Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seeing Sideways v. 2.0

I will be offering a course in Seeing Sideways again in the Spring 2008 semester, so be on the lookout for lots of new postings soon. I just have to survive this semester first!!! Until then enjoy this video...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Last class

Wednesday, June 20 was our last day of class. :-( Every one is sad to see it end... especially Antonio, as you can see!)

In attendance were 19 students, 1 teacher, 3 visitors, one child, one Great Dane puppy, and 2 baby sugar gliders. It was anything but a boring evening!
There was a lot of interest in continuing to meet in some way so we are looking into ways to arrange monthly meetings to discuss all things sideways. We all bonded as a group and it is the first class I have ever experienced (either teaching or taking) where no one wanted it to end...

The final projects were great! We had everything from:
  • a 3-d website interface created in Google Sketch-Up (the sideways part was based on one of the creators having just gotten glasses and a part of the UI will involve not being able to see unless you put on virtual glasses before you navigate...)
  • to a Dada-inspired performance piece,
  • to finding ways to animate Z-Brush3 images (the program does not support animation like the student wants to do...)
  • to very non-traditional methods of scrapbooking,
  • to a sculpture that incorporates a cast of a female bust combined with computer parts,
  • to a digital photography life-sized version of the old kid's game of "Guess Who?"...
  • to a digital interpretation of a ceramic sculpture idea about peace and war
  • to exploring new software for managing databases
  • to creating a wearable rack of digital cameras to photography multiple viewpoints of a subject simultaneously
  • to in-depth research of the artist Basquiat
  • to a continuation of the storyline developed from the egg assignment (1st assignment in this class)
  • to outdoor assemblage sculpture of mixed media
  • to typographic experiments
  • to stereoscopic video coupled with scent stimulation
  • to experimental coding for video gaming
  • to explorations of juxtaposition of peace and war images
  • to experimenting with metaphor in words and images
  • to my creation of this experimental class...
The variety and depth of ideas was astonishing! Look at the blogs of interest (on the right side of my blog) over the next few days/weeks for updates on these projects and images.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My bliss comes in the shape of a Great Dane!

I chose to take my bliss time for the current sideways assignment the day after class so we could go down to my neighbors and visit with the puppy we bought. We will officially pick him up the day after the Summer I session is over - that is June 21, next Thursday!

In the mean time we
have some pictures. We have finally decided to name him Beowulf. That is the third, and final, name we have come up with for him. The first was Faust (too demonic sounding for Martinsville) and the second was Wagner, like the composer, but people will pronounce it with a "w" sound and not the "v" sound at the beginning... We briefly considered Wozzeck after my favorite opera, but we quickly realized that we are the only people besides about 10 others on the entire planet who would have even a remote clue how to handle that name!

So we came up with the name Beowulf today and it is perfect! We don't care that some people will still not know how to pronounce it. It really fits him! So Beowulf it is
! I can just see it now - I am sure his unofficial name will be "Woofy!"

He was born on April 5, 2007 and he is an onyx brindle Great Dane! When he was at the vet a week ago for some shots he weighed 22 lbs! And he feels like every pound of that when you pick him up. But boy is he a snuggle bug! That will be interesting when he weights close to 150-200
lbs! Fun times are ahead!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cool links

Chauncey Frend from class e-mailed these amazing links and i thought they belong here:

Let's build a roadmap!

Here are the bare bones of a summary of what I think makes this whole idea work. This is just my take on it and I want everyone to help shape it. I am posting it here because I want it to be accessible to everyone. As the class whittles it into shape I will post our findings. I am sure there are things I have forgotten to list, and the presentation of this is absolutely not creative. Together we can create something interesting that will remind us each of the journey we have taken this summer...

Sideways Roadmap

The point of seeing sideways is to become free and more creative; to solve problems and communicate in new and interesting ways.

Roadblocks to creativity:

fear, failure, ridicule, deadlines, boredom, clients, acceptance, money, habits, skills, structure (too much), not enough focus, reality, believability, commercial considerations, time, unrealistic demands, expectations, usability, preconceived notions, propriety, copyright, access to a stimulating environment...

Creativity thrives on:

freedom, time, humor, emotion, storytelling, play, visual acuity, comfort, curiosity, problem-solving, practice, inspiration, imagination, letting go of reality for a bit, refining, defining, dreaming, questioning, point-of-view, surprise, wonder, suspension of disbelief, stimulation, thinking...


· Take an everyday object and do something unexpected with it

· Use your senses in new ways

· Ask big questions that are emotion-charged

· Ask 50 “What if...?” questions

· Answer (as much as you can) one “What if...?” question that was asked by someone else

· IMA fieldtrip

· Research someone practicing in the field of new media

· Take a stab at coming up with a sideways project of your own

· Carve out a 3-hour block of "play" time where you only follow your bliss and forget everything else and then question your project to see if it helped loosen your idea a bit

· Helping to create this roadmap

· Discussions

· Blogging and e-mails


· What the bleep...

· Art 21

· Rivers and Tides

· Sharing personal projects and stories

· Star Wars Tech

· Various CBS Sunday Morning News segments

· Looking at unusual websites

· Look for a theme or “hook” that you can build on

· Your own personal experiences

· Chat room and e-mails

· Discussions

· Suggested movie list

· Suggested readings and required texts

· IMA fieldtrip

· Research someone practicing in the field of new media

· NMC poster process

· Dissection of some of my projects and discussing the obstacles and solutions

Exhalations of emotion (skip this if you hate poetry...)

What is a blog without the obligatory poetry, eh? Being the dark, tortured artist I am you should have seen these coming. Through the years these have been my therapy and the way that I have been able to take my inner demons out and look them in the face. It is not easy to carry these emotions around with you all the time and by excising these thoughts through poetry I think it has helped me stay sane (or the precarious balance I currently call sanity!)

Some of these have been published in various small journals and others are just my orphan children. I hope you enjoy them, but even if you don't, I do. Art needs a little self indulgence now and then! I have an interactive new media project I plan to do with these someday, but until then, here they are in their raw form... Maybe you will find them comforting - I do.

Warning: These are not happy...


Searching for Survival 4/16/03
A bee
beats itself
against the screen
in a primal dance
of desperation –
I long to hold it
in my hand
and watch as it
plunges its dagger
into my unyielding hand,
expelling its life
in an impotent strike.
I would carry the mark
for a day or two;
a constant reminder
of a life once led
but hastily cast aside
in the search
for survival.


muse 1-14-98
through a veil
of prisming tears
you see the world
in shades of purple fire -
jagged needles of wonder
that stab to the core


puddles 3-18-98

ringed by raindrop ripples
water collects
into magnifying glasses,
turning pebbles
into boulders
that crunch under
careless feet


*after the storm 3-7-98
liquid emotion rains down
slicking the world with
drops of silence that
like velvet pearls
slowly falling
one by


8-29-98, revised 9-11-98 last chance
white breath clouds
pregnant with words
hang unspoken
(a swirling mass
of stillborn thoughts
bleeding away
in vaporous frost)
as the stop light blooms
a noisy green


I Close My Eyes 4-30-95
I close my eyes
and you’re still here.
The salt of your skin
lingers on my lips,
flavoring the world
with your sweet presence.
Your shudders echo
like a frightened bird
trapped inside my chest.

My mind never sleeps
for fear of waking
from this dream
where you and I are one.
But if I ever come
to find you gone,
and my flesh grows cold
without your warm embrace,
all I have to do
is close my eyes
and you’ll still be there.


nothing monumental 3-14-98
no lightning
cleaves the black sky
to create a proper ending

no rain
pounds the hollow earth
to sound a final farewell

no music
punctuates the moment
to set a poignant mood

nothing monumental happens
to signal the end

i just sit
in this familiar chair
and mark

the close of a life
as you slip away
into the silent darkness

and your hand grows cold
no matter
how long i hold you

--Beth Lykins

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wow! Ashes and Snow video

Please enjoy! It is a really long movie (about 18 minutes) and I would recommend a high speed connection, but it is worth the time.

Stumble upon stumbleupon

Chauncey shared this link in class yesterday and I have become addicted!

And here is a random cool video I found on it:

Monday, June 11, 2007

We won People's Choice!

At the poster session for the NMC conference we won an award for People's Choice. We were too busy to get many good photos, but here is what we have. You can see pictures other people took by going to flickr and searching the term nmc2007.

Thanks everyone who voted for us and for all the great conversations about the poster and the ideas. It was really fun and I look forward to doing something like this again (after I have about a year's-worth of sleep!)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Products for NMC poster session

I have some samples of the products I am making for the poster session to accompany the New Media Refrigerator. If you click them you will be able to see them from different angles. They are animated GIF's so the resolution isn't the best, but you get the drift! (for some reason the image of the Dip won't animate from within Blogger, so I added the individual images...)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New box designs for NMC

Here are some more package designs. The Question Dip will have the center of the front (where the eye is) cut out and the other eye to the left of the design will be glued inside the box so it will be multi-dimensional (AKA "old school" 3-D!) Once again, imagine then cut and folded on the dotted lines... I will post photos of the completed boxes ones of these years... Right now I am just feverishly working trying to get them all finished! :-)

Getting ready for NMC

It's getting down to crunch time for the New Media Consortium. I talked to Ben about his part of the project, and it sounds like all is peachy! My part of the poster session is going really well, although I do need to get some supplies for making the food boxes. A moment of explanation might be in order...

Since Ben and I are making the "New Media Refrigerator" (for lack of a better name) I decided to share my poster points on labels for food items that would eventually go into the fridge... The
New Media Refrigerator is just that, it is an actual refrigerator that is a new media project. But it is crazier than that! You will need to come to the nmc2007 poster sessions to see!

I have gleaned the students' blogs for cool stuff and there is plenty! I think I will present them in a plastic container and their brand will be "Blog-O-Bites" with prints of the items rolled up like snack sticks, or something... I already have "Sideways Pop-Overs" and "Auntie Beth's Extra Curious Recipe Question Dip" along with anothe
r package that deconstructs creating an abstract painting from photography. I will post more pictures later, but here is a preview of the layout for the "Sideways Pop-Overs" (imagine it cut out and folded along the dotted lines and glued in the shape of a real food box - think TV dinner...)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

What if...?

Follow me down this rabbit hole and let's see where we go...

Take the question "What if...?" and finish it 50 times. Here are some examples I came up with in just a little time... You don't have to spend hours on it, but you can if you want. I find myself asking this silly little question over and over again... It gives my mind something to do while I am driving. I also discovered today that while I was driving I started coming up with lots of interesting ideas with no way to record them. So I called my office number and left a message for myself on voice-mail. The system at the University is so cool in that voice-mails then get sent automatically to my e-mail as a .wav file! Not only do I have my ideas saved, but I have them in a file format I can play with on the computer!!! How cool is that?
  1. What if... the world really is flat and you could stand on the edge?
  2. What if... you put a laptop on a pen with 35 chickens?
  3. What if... I wore my underwear outside my pants for a day?
  4. What if... I could only experience the world through the sense of smell?
  5. What if... gravity was random?
  6. What if... all the world's computers vanished in the middle of the night tomorrow?
  7. What if... people smoked carrots?
  8. What if... my red is your blue?
  9. What if... French fries were really from France?
  10. What if... I was a platypus?
  11. What if... flowers had eyes?
  12. What if... cottage cheese was really made of little cottages?
  13. What if... you could talk to the people who live in cottage cheese cottages?
  14. What if... there were really no rules?
  15. What if... bleach smelled like cognac?
  16. What if... I never kept an appointment?
  17. What if... light waves could make figure eights?
  18. What if... dogs spoke Spanish?
  19. What if... you could see 200 feet into the ground all the time?
  20. What if... you could do 3-d on your phone?
  21. What if... wind came from the ground?
  22. What if... evil was good?
  23. What if... good was evil?
  24. What if... earthquakes opened wormholes to the center of the earth?
  25. What if... everyone laughed 8 hours a day?
  26. What if... men wore bras?
  27. What if... forks had only one tine?
  28. What if... penguins had thumbs?
  29. What if... you hug every person you see in a day?
  30. What if... water burned and then lightning hit the ocean?
  31. What if... faeries were real and live in teacups?
  32. What if... dust didn't exist?
  33. What if... snakes spelled words when they slither?
  34. What if... flowers were extinct?
  35. What if... you programed all your code backward and it worked?
  36. What if... math made sense to everyone?
  37. What if... you found a fossil of your own face?
  38. What if... rainbows were really ribbons from the birthday packages of alien children?
  39. What if... your day was completely random?
  40. What if... cars drove only in reverse?
  41. What if... I could breathe water?
  42. What if... these questions were to never end?
  43. What if... no one ever asked a question again?
  44. What if... everyone on earth blew their nose really hard at exactly the same time?
  45. What if... time got stuck?
  46. What if... paper giggled when you wrote on it?
  47. What if... buildings changed height depending on how many people were in them at one time?
  48. What if... you had a truly original idea?
  49. What if... you could hear the sun?
  50. What if... this class makes a difference in your life?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Answers, continued...

What is New Media?
Communication and problem solving in creative ways using technology? At least that is my attempt for today at defining this behemoth. It is an ever-evolving field that is by virtue of its name destined to be in flux.

Why did you chose to go into New Media?
I have been called unfocused my whole life and the possibilities afforded by New Media really appealed to me. I am searching for identity, humanity and art in an increasingly technological wasteland. But for all its wastes there are many gems waiting to be uncovered.

Who are you?
Egotistical, and I am the first to admit it. I try not to be, but it is ingrained in who I am...

I am a little girl from New Paris, OH who went to sleep 10-years-old and woke up in her late 30's teaching a bunch of college classes! I hope no one notices that I am still just a 10-year-old pretending to be a grown-up... Shhhhh, don't tell anyone...

Who I am changes on a daily basis (wouldn't a therapist love to hear that!) depending on what input I have recently had and who I encounter. At the core I am a searcher who is compelled to share my journeys and observations. (I know, that sounds like so much BS but I can't help how corny it sounds because it is true!) I am doomed to think about everything and analyze those things. It is very difficult to let things just wash over me - that is probably part of why I can't sleep very much. If I am asleep I am missing things... And movies are ruined (but I love them!) because I am always dissecting how they are put together... How can this movie make me cry, or this one make me think about my life, or this one make me feel like a kid again (of course, I just said I am still 10!) I don't usually like mysteries because I can almost always guess the ending. Formulas are so over-rated! I love movies that fool me, because I am looking to see what they are up to and if a filmmaker can pull one on me, I am in love! I love "Unbreakable" and "The Others" for this reason. I guessed "The Sixth Sense" about half way through, and that is too bad, because it was pretty good...

This class has opened a huge flood gate in my own creativity and I am lovin' every minute of it, even if I am really tired. I have so much to say and do that I am just bursting with it. I thought I would hate doing this blog, but I actually love it! I doubt anyone is actually reading it, but at least I am getting all this stuff out. That is huge!

If people choose to listen to what I have to say that is great, but the journey is mainly for myself - I just take others along for the ride. Sometimes what I say/do/think will impact others and effect their journey, other times I am the one being effected. That is
actually when it is most interesting. It is fascinating to watch as my ideas evolve around what other people say/do/think/etc. I guess that is why I love teaching so much. I learn more from the students than they do from me, I think... It's all very exciting and I wouldn't want to change a thing with my life right now! Now that's really saying something!

Graphics for NMC

These are the graphics I ended up using for the NMC session (at least for now.) I ordered t-shirts, a tote bag, and 2 designs of refrigerator magnets. I really liked when I put the words "What if...?" on the board in class the other day. Thanks to Mary Ellen Reed for pointing out that it is the most important thing to ask in this class...

Original logo was too "straight"

Someone posted a comment about the original logo I created for this course, and I agree that it was not sideways enough. So how is this one?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Answers, or are they???

Share something (or multiple things) with the class that moves or inspires you.
I am inspired by loss, pain, grief, etc... You know, all the fun stuff! :-) The Japanese concept of mono no aware blows me away. Simply put it is the idea that things are beautiful by their very nature of being transitory. The classic example is a cherry blossom. It is beautiful, yes, but the fact that it is so fragile and temporary adds an exquisiteness to that beauty that borders on the indefinable. That is why I like to make pottery that is a document of the moment just before a piece will self destruct. I am looking to document that feeling you have when you know you are going too far with something and you are caught up in the wonder of the fact that it still exists. In that briefest of moments before it all falls apart you have hope that it will last just a second longer because it is the coolest damn thing you have ever done or seen or heard or felt...

This poem by John Donne is my favorite. For someone who has ever lost a person they care about, or is worried about that loss, these words can be a powerful salve.

by John Donne

Sweetest love, I do not go,
For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter love for me ;
But since that I
At the last must part, 'tis best,
Thus to use myself in jest
By feigned deaths to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,
And yet is here to-day ;
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor half so short a way ;
Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man's power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall ;
But come bad chance,
And we join to it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
Itself o'er us to advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,
But sigh'st my soul away ;
When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,
My life's blood doth decay.
It cannot be
That thou lovest me as thou say'st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart
Forethink me any ill ;
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy fears fulfil.
But think that we
Are but turn'd aside to sleep.
They who one another keep
Alive, ne'er parted be.

What do you consider to be sacred?
nature, wonder, hope, humor, peace, love, freedom of expression

What is an image?
Transferring an idea that creates the elements of visual stimuli from one mind to another, regardless of the vehicle of transference, usually constructed of line, color, shape, texture, value, etc. The mind often attempts to arrange all visual stimuli into recognizable objects, but not all images will allow this to happen.

What is music?
Aural stimuli that has meaning to the listener or creator, usually arranged in rhythmic patterns

What is New Media?

Why did you chose to go into New Media?

Who are you?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Questions, questions, questions...

  1. Share something (or multiple things) with the class that moves or inspires you. These can be things to which you have positive or negative reaction, but they need to be things that you react to strongly. Be ready to discuss how they move you.
  2. What do you consider to be sacred?
  3. What is an image?
  4. What is music?
  5. What is New Media?
  6. Why did you chose to go into New Media?
  7. Who are you? Hint - how have you come to be the person you are today and what are you interested in. This may be a very personal question so answer as you see fit, but think about it seriously. You don't have to share everything you experience in your journey through this class.
  8. How is this class impacting you and your approach to New Media? Have you seen any changes in your approach to projects or how you think about New Media? Consider the discussions, projects, and examples we have experienced when you are considering this question.
These are some really heavy questions that cannot be answered in just a couple days, so we will revisit these questions later. I am just posing them now so you can start thinking about them. I imagine your answers will change over time. I ask myself these questions all the time and the answers change continuously, so once again, there are no right or wrong answers - only truthful ones that apply to this moment in time.

Course logo with words

So what do you think about this? Any comments or critiques welcome.

Sense exercise

Here is a link to my sensory stimuli exercise answers.

I chose to deliver this post via MP3 files. This exercise was fairly easy for me since I spend my whole life attuned to my various senses and I like to describe things I am experiencing. I chose the audio format because I think it is a little more immediate for you since I am speaking in your ear instead of interfacing with you in the normal written way.

It is interesting that this class has opened a flood gate of creative expression for me. I think I am learning as much, if not more, than everyone in the class about expressing myself creatively. That is often the case when I teach something. The students are learning - I hope - but I am also learning. That is why this profession never gets boring (and I am easily bored...) I hope your experiences are rewarding as well.

Egg becomes weird embryo

I played a little with an image of my egg tonight. It seems to have evolved into a really strange embryo...

Here is the picture Embryo was based on (along with lots of others that went into the final version...)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sideways movies

Here is a list of DVD titles that are helpful in seeing sideways in one way or another. Please feel free to suggest additions to this list or question why something is or is not on the list. It is not by any means an exhaustive list, just movies that I could get my hands on for class...

The following movies are in no order except how I took them out of my bag to write this list. (the links appear to go to the wrong movies now since I edited the list, but I guess that just adds to the sideways-ness of it!)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I am starting to see weird *&$%!

Caution! Too much seeing sideways will mess with your head!

Check this out...

I have been working on getting images ready for the NMC, and I am starting to see weird things in my images... I don't know if I am too sleep-deprived or something, but I am starting to see people in my Photoshop images who aren't there... It is very creepy. I combined several photos I took in my woods, etc. to make abstract images and I came up with these...

Here are some close-ups of the images. Let me know if you see people or if I need to start therapy sessions right away...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Let's come to our senses

In class we discussed several ways that seeing sideways can make new connections. I showed examples of my own sideways work and how I have made the journey from a clay artist to a new media artist. We then got a look at our next assignment. This assignment is in 5 parts:
  1. Go to a movie and document the smells you encounter.
  2. Go out to eat and document the sounds you hear.
  3. Listen to music and document what you see.
  4. Get ready for your day and document what you physically feel.
  5. Go to the grocery and document what you taste as you journey up and down the aisles.
I am looking forward to doing these myself as well as seeing what everyone comes up with.

During class we all watched the movie "What the Bleep do We Know?" It is about quantum mechanics and there was some interesting discussion by some folks afterward.

After class we had our first meeting about the New Media Refrigerator I am presenting at the New Media Consortium in early June. I want to use as much student work as possible in it...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I have added a section on this blog for other blogs and links that are of interest to the cause of seeing sideways...

Bertha is dead, yet lives on

Yes, it is true. Bertha met a rather unfortunate end on Monday. Suffice it to say that it involved a screen door and some carelessness... But, she lives on in beautiful video footage. Once it is edited I will post it here.

Once again, I have come up with an interesting assignment for the class. This week we are focusing on emotions and sensory input. Monday we shared our egg experiences and then watched some scenes from movies that created suspense. We analyzed how various elements converged to make us feel the suspense...

Wednesday Ben, Elizabeth, and I will be starting on the new media refrigerator for the New Media Consortium. Should be interesting!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Party egg!

Well, my, my! Bertha had her first big outing. She was invited out to dinner at the Meridian Hills Country Club, and what an event it was! She had her picture taken by several revelers, but alas, she has no photographic evidence of this swank soirée. But she did pick up quite a few souvenirs of her adventure. She will post pictures of her new-found treasures as soon as her headache goes away, however. There was an unfortunate event which she doesn't want to discuss. Maybe she will feel like discussing it tomorrow if her head clears up.

I must have ADD

I have so many ideas of what to do about my egg that I am having a hard time deciding what to do, so therefore I have not done anything...

I already broke the assignment rule about talking to someone in class about it. Sometimes you need someone (or a group of someones) to bounce ideas off. This will be something interesting to discuss in class.

I asked one of our deans about creating a group sanctioned by the school where we could have people come together to share ideas, and there is already a term for that. It is call Creative Commons. It would be cool if this class leads to something like that for New Media students...

Well, I am off to the Senior dinner. I might take Bertha with me...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The egg and us

Today was the first day of class and I think it went well. I know there are some people who are thinking I am completely nuts, which is somewhat true, but I think everyone had a good time and is starting to see a little differently already.

The first assignment was the egg. Each person chose an egg (or something related to the egg) and the assignment is to do something with the egg and document it. We will all discuss what we did with our eggs on Monday. I am participating in all of the assignments, too.

I got my egg home safe and sound, and have decided to name it Bertha - at least for today. I tucked my egg in safe and sound in the refrigerator and discovered something amazing about my egg. Check out the pictures to see what I found. I have not altered the egg at all yet.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Welcome to Seeing Sideways!

This is a place where I will document my journey during the course of my New Media class N485: Seeing Sideways: The New Media Eye. This course (and subsequent blog) came about because I want to see if we can come up with creative solutions to every day New Media problems.

Tonight I created the "logo" for this course. Here is the original image and the cool-ized version. Thank God for Photoshop!

I also brainstormed with a friend and came up with a kick-ass first project. I am anxious to see how it goes. It is hard to exactly plan out the assignments for this course because it all depends on what happens as we go along. But one thing is certain - it will be different!