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?