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!