Thursday, June 30, 2016

Creative or Crap? Christo's latest use of Fabric and digital media that ensures his success: A digital story Critique

“€˜The Floating Piers”€™ on Lake Iseo by the Bulgarian artist Christo on June 8, 2016, in Iseo, Italy.

The obscure artist Christo has done it again, transforming the here into the now, transcending nature to another realm, creating a heaven on earth for all to enjoy. To his amusement I am sure, the critics are a buzz, and Christo's work takes over digital media without him even posting a single word. As usual, the green devil is at work... 

Just in case you are wondering, it is not the 16.8 million dollar budget that the project required for completion, no, Christo funds that himself. The people complaining are expounded by the popularity of the attraction, and pissed because Christo refuses to charge to view and experience his work, so no one is profiting, no one, and that in this 21st century seems to get some peoples goat. I found this article posted to my FB wall and my Twitter, along with seeing it on the Huff stream, all which have been posted a multitude of times along with being tapped into by again by individual viewers, and as the article suggests, the digital media attention is only drawing more people to the installation to take a peak for themselves. 

The article: 

Priscilla Frank, arts writer for the Huffington Post, speaks on behalf of what seems to be a critic in mentioning the experience as 'offering viewers an admittedly useless but utterly enchanting aesthetic experience for free. " As if viewing anything does something magical that you take physically with you, I am not sure what she was expecting. The installation, speaks words to consumerism, the environment, and ethereal connection. You are allowed or maybe abled to now 'walk on water' with out disrupting the natural flow of the environment, is that not enough. Oh and is just so happens that it is Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Literary Dimensions:

Coming from the Huff, of course the article is left for the reader to make meaning and takes on multiple persona's to give the full story, though slightly swayed by the author there is plenty of room for ones own identity to take poll on the event at hand. Though you can't participate by leaving a comment, I am sure Frank has received plenty of emails from both sides weighing in. It is unclear if the author has actually been to the cite, (actually, I can guess that she hasn't, or that she is just not a fan),and of course participation by the public in reality is the problem, overwhelming popularity of the installment has left eager viewers waiting and some times stranded.( This is really the concern of the critics, boo-hoo, have you ever been to the Louve? Ok, me neither, but I hear it can take all day to get in, and do you get to take anything but the experience home, no.) 


Because the posts comes from " a newsworthy' kind of site, there are no comments, though I wish there were, especially for this article it would be interesting to see the participation in the comments from all sides, especially because Christo is famous for chiming in. In this aspect a bit of the interaction is lost, but because of the nature of the topic and the artist, I do think that people probably continue to explore thereafter. 

Frank did include a multitude of images, that tell the story literally from beginning to end, I found the pictures of the production even more intriguing that the finished product, and hope that these images will too encourage readers to look more into the work of the artist. 
During the life size test at Montecolino- Christo, Iseo, Italy.

Looking into creativity: Forced to see with two different eyes

As we travel through education and life, hopefully were are challenged to be creative in multiple ways, to challenge what has been put before us, and change the things we do not like, but what is creativity? What is 'being' creative? Are creativity and artistic synonymous, or just related? Do you need one to be the other, or can they inherently be independent.

The Assignment: 

Create an inspirational poster, you know those useless hanging cats " hang in there', or the mountains with a message of hope. Does any one really use these? I am usually a little more sarcastic in my work, but the internal battle that I have been fighting has really got me questioning what is creativity. 

What you see is what you get

I an ashamed to say, with all this gripping about creativity, that yes, I borrowed a few images and just did a little PhotoShop magic to create the image for the poster. A perfect example of what creativity to me, is not. I would have preferred to create the images my self, but time and blah, blah, blah keep us from doing everything that we wish to do. Perhaps that is why so many people use gif's instead of creating their own. This week I spent more time messing around with creating my own gif's than is probably necessary. Creating gif's still requires that you 'borrow' images (unless you are really handy on Ps or other digital media), so I am not sure, though I feel better about creating my own that I would call this 'creating' very creative.  

So what is creativity? 

The good ole' dictionary lists creativity as: 

the state or quality of being creative.
the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination:
the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.
the process by which one utilizes creative ability:
Extensive reading stimulated his creativity.
So I being creative is orginative; productivity, than nothing that I have described above bridges on creativity, or is it? Feel like your reading the speech of a politician, I kind of feel like my thoughts on creativity are just that way. 

Some question the creativity of artists, actually if probably happen more so than not. And thus tags along the question of what is art. 

This week in Italy, famed artist and creative genius Christo and Jean Claude created a floating pier on Lake Iseo, connecting multiple small islands with 100,000 meters of yellow fabric. Some say it is a waste of public funds. Ask any of the 10k plus a day visitors, and I am sure that they would tell you different. 

What does it even matter

Maybe this is the great thing about creativity, and art, we all get to choose what we think is creative and what is not. As Lankshear and Knoble have said about digital affinities, there is no administrator, or leader, we all have a voice. And all this digital stuff, is just another way for people to express and transcend ideas, which makes the process creative even if the end product is a little borrowed. We all wish to be heard, seen, and now followed. Though I prefer the real world to any affinity space, it is a freedom that is acquired through these spaces that I believe is a draw for so many people, including myself. 

"Our work is a scream of Freedom" - Christo
Lankshear and Knobel (2008) Ch1: DIY Media: A Contextual Background and Some Contemporary Themes

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Digital Story Telling gets a little Basquiat, a reflection of week 3

Charles the first, Jean- Michael Basquiat, 1982

Jean-Michael Basquiat's artistic endeavors were short lived, as he left this earth prematurely at the age of 28. His work exploded on the New York seen only shortly before his untimely death, but in that short time he took the art of graffiti leaps and bound beyond, blurring the lines between street and high art. Homeless when he was discovered, and taken under the wing of famed Pop artist Andy Warhol, Basquiat was instantly thrown into the lime light of the creative industry in the middle of the art mecca of the time.His alias SAMO, tells of his beliefs of the art world; "same old, same old".  His work tells an important story of poverty, race and culture of his time.  

Just a Basquait blurred the lines of what the meaning of art and value was in New York City in the 80's, my lines of understanding and acceptance become blurred once again. I continue an inner struggle with technology and the digitization of our world. The allowances of 'creativity and artistic ability are judged through my passion for a craft that is seemingly being borrowed every second of the day. This week, I let my passion for a community of people that struggle to become known, to make their art their life's work without starving, close my eye's and shut out acceptance. 

My head gets a little crazy...

Head, 1983
There was a line in our reading that I had to read several times, up to that point I was had become a head nodder, in acceptance, feverishly taking notes of things that struck me in awe, that I LOVED, Then there was this line:" the possibility of drawing on existing media to resourceDIY media projects mean it is quite possible for the everyday person to cre-ate a polished product without necessarily being “artistic"( Lankshear and Knobel. (2008). WHAT? Yes, it is true, all the technology and digital Apps and programs make just about everything accessible to everyone, but creating polished products without being artistic? NO! What is happening is that people are being led to believe that they are suddenly artists, without any creativity. And that lack of creativity is what will always separate those who possess artistic talents and those that are just riding coat tails. An app, a program only allows you to create what the creator of that app or program allows you to create, you are constrained to the creators ability and creativity. Without artistic ability, you will have a sub-par product, this is the difference between the business cards you can't seem to stop looking at, and the ones that get lost in the bottom of your desk. 

I struggle through the rest of the reading, ever present is this notion of art and artistry that I can't let go, I feel myself falling apart and regressing to my younger self pre-technology. My second daily create reflects my mindset as I use the opportunity to inform my peers of the creator of stop motion film, re-birthing Muybridges walk, whilst everyone else uses the technology of the day to create 'cute' little films of themselves walking around. My music is purposeful- 'I walk the line", striped of color and feeling, this is where technology started. 

Simplicity and Focus regained- " I don't think about art when I am working, I  try to think about life" Jean -Michael Basquiat. 

Untitled (Sugar Ray Robinson)-1982

Sometimes we become so focused that we actually loose focus. It was at the Tedx conference this weekend that I am reminded how important that all this technology stuff is, that we continue to grow and develop as a community and species rather than lying stagnant. What would graffiti look like if the art never progressed past Taki183? Noted as the 'first' graffiti artist, Taki simply wrote his name, with a goal to have his mark in all 5 burrows of NYC. I see now the connection, we are all Taki's, and some of us are even a bit Basquiat creating better and more artistic marks that we leave behind. We all just want to share what we can do, to be noticed, and for someone to leave a comment. 

In an expert talk, practical futurist Taylor Romero outlines he and his wife's success, all at the hands of technology and the digital age, because they opened their minds to the endless possibilities of being connected. He reminds the audience that anyone that doubts technology and 'hates' it should be riding a horse naked, and to that he would tip his hat, oh wait he couldn't because that would bring manufacturing into the conversation, and he would hate to offend. The crowd laughs hysterically, and there I realize that I have been kind of an ass this week. 

I don't 'hate' technology, I am just getting used to the change. I have to remember all of the things that technology and being connected has brought me, my students and my craft. As my list of followers grows, the connections that I make become more valuable, conversations are used to help myself and others grow. This week I made a 'handshake' on twitter with @dogtrax, to the first person to figure out how to make a gif, a real one, not copy and paste, would teach the other person. This is what I need to remember about technology and artistry as I read about the accessibility of becoming a non artist.  

Throughout my struggle with the topic, I continue to participate, though I still don't think that I have fully tackled the possibilities of what hypothesis is. I know that I write comments that I want to post to twitter, but then can't find them because they are part of a reply? I love connecting each week to an artist, and have not duplicated yet- there are so many to share, and inform the non artists and learning artist about, and remind the artist of the rich history that ha made so many changes to our culture. Basquiat is especially important, his work really impacted the art world, racially, economically and socially, which is a goal of mine with my students everyday. 

I was a really lousy artist as a kid. Too abstract expressionist; or I'd draw a big ram's head, really messy. I'd never win painting contests. I remember losing to a guy who did a perfect Spiderman. 

Do you think that the non artist drawing someone else's Superman is remembered by anyone? Use your own creativity to leave your mark, if you wish to be remembered. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Digital age; Everyone's a little Van Gogh! Reading Response

"Indeed, the genuine sophistication of even the most basic audio and editing programs and the possibility of drawing on existing media to resource DIY media projects mean it is quite possible for the everyday person to create a polished product without necessarily being “artistic”Lanksher and Knobel (2008)

After reading this in this weeks reading I felt like: Should I cut off my ear, am I mentally disturbed, am I in, out... I like it, I use it, why does it make me feel this way? 

Is there another famous work of art that is re-mixed, recreated, emulated and adorned other than Van Gogh's Starry Night? In it's inception back in 1889, I am sure that Van Gogh would have never believed that his relatively small 29 x 36 1/4 acrylic painting would grace the sides of buildings all over the world, let alone be a part of gif's, memes, and become clothing articles. 

Never would someone back in the 19th century believe that anyone could be an artist or create such artistic and esthetically pleasing pieces as the Masters, but today with DIY Mecca's such as Pintrest, everyone is giving it a try. Van Gogh didn't even see himself as an artist, or really that good, and here we are proclaiming artistry with little effort and commitment. A Van Gogh painting can sell for millions, what value does DIY created work hold? Is is purely for the advancement of and recording of a time in history, and if so, who is keeping it? 

Again, I board the roller coaster of likes and dislikes of the digital age, pulsating and swirling like the clouds in Van Gogh's Starry Night, I just can't pick a side. I am challenged by the excitement of a new way to create, but the notion that everyone thinks that they can do it, is nothing sacred? Why do we peruse specialized degree's if everyone with a phone and a laptop will be able to get by producing what I spent years perfecting? 

And then I remind myself, there will always be a difference, maybe subtle, but there is a difference between professional quality and that of a weekend warrior trying it out for the first of maybe even tenth time. I agree with the integration of technology and gaming and all the digital, but with caution. During my undergrad in Industrial Design is was evident who had a background and who did not, it still takes an understanding of the basics. I guess what I am saying, is yes, I love DIY and finding that thing that you didn't fathom you could do, and then getting it done, but I also worry about the practice in participating in a little of everything and being specialized in nothing. 

As Pintrest is a great site for DIY, it does not promote creativity what so ever, as most people use is a a copy and paste board, what I refer to as monkey see, monkey do. All these sites are giving way to more copying ( I think that they are meant to re-mix, but is that really happening) and not necessarily true creativity. I will be the first to admit that I LOVE incredibox, but it harbors nothing in the sense of creativity, they are not your beats, not your space, and being ground to reality, I know that I am nothing even close to a DJ, but I am afraid for others, that kick out a quick beat and suddenly believe that they are musically inclined. 

"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.- Van Gogh"

Don't get me wrong, Lankshear and Knoble (2008) have a lot of good points, "learning through passions", "The idea is that doing it yourself (DIY) is worthwhile activity in and of itself (Jacobson, p. 32, this volume)."There were a lot of things that I was shaking my head yes at, I may have gotten a little Starry Eyed at the statement of everyone doing something that is passable with out the artistic, creativity part. 

I refocus and start to re-read the chapter again with what I am hoping is more clarity and less of a wall constructed.... Hoping to sway my inner battle positively. 
"A graffiti mural in a back alley on King Street in London pays tribute to painter Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night. I bet van Gogh would actually be chuffed that he inspired such street art."

DIY VanGogh's Starry Night; A digital story critique

After reading this week's Lankshear and Knoble:(2008) Ch1: DIY Media, I decided to tackle a review of a You Tube Video that has made the rounds lately on Facebook, Pintrest and other media websites. For this critique I will be looking at media grammar, story and voice/creativity. 

The video is a Turkish medium called Ebru, or painting on water. The piece is completed by Ebru pro Garip Ay. Though it is not exclusively posted as a DIY, there is a world of buzz around the idea that anyone could attempt this process. 

The Media Grammar

The small excerpt given below the video is concise and give a little information, offers 2 websites to look into the artist, and then also sites to see more art and design. Looking at the job of You Tube to inform, and spark interest in the media, I would say that it has done it's job, I looked further in into the art of Ebru, and the artist. The wording, context and phasing are all appropriate for a variety of viewers, the language though simple is not overly simple, but could be read by a a beginning reader. 

The Story

The story is short and could use far more background, to help people understand the art of Ebru, but does leave the part of participation to the viewer, which according to Lankshear and Knobel, is exactly what they should have done. The video is paired nicely with Ludwig Van Beethoven's - Moonlight Sonata, and the comments below offer a range from amazing to thoughts on the life of Van Gogh.

Voice and Creativity

The work itself is incredible creative, the video itself , not so much. Though the video is well dubbed and produced, but on the whole is not very creative. There could have been a title in a Turkish font, or a little back story on the art of Ebru. The work itself does resemble the famous work by Van Gogh, and it is fascinating that Ay then turn the work into a portrait of Van Gogh without changing the water. But when pairing the two there are dramatic differences, and should there be? After comparing the two, Ay had really created a sort of 're-mix' of the famous painting, not an image of the famed 1889 Starry Night. 

Garip Ay Starry Night, Ebru 2016
Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night, Acrylic 1889

The video is  a perfect example of how new technology and media can be synthesized with old techniques and tools to promote visual aesthetics. The difference between the two, no one tried to copy or emulate Van Gogh in his time, he was/is a Master, whereas today the digital age has really made nearly everything accessible.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ds106 6 second watercolor 2

6 Second lesson-

Well here is something that makes me feel a little 'Bob Ross' on crack, minus the afro and acrylic. Though I refrained from mentioning happy trees and clouds, I think he would have still been proud, and really anyone could compose a similar image by following along after downing 12 cups of espresso.

There is no media trickery here, a single shot displays the simplicity in which a water color painting can be made with very little supplies and only a small bit of manipulation. For this daily create, it was a no-brainer to combine my digital and non digital self.

 I try to complete at least one water color or sketch a day, when I am lucky, I squeeze in two into the the busy western life that have become a custom to. No, this is not something that I have done my whole life, and much like living in the digital limelight, I have just began to live again by sketching. I blame a man by the name of Danny Gregory, after hearing him talk, and watching him sketch during an ART of ED conference, I have been hooked, he is my creative Yogi. I follow his blog:, have purchased his books, ( yes all of them, which I have lent out like a favorite pair of pearl earrings to very special people) and now follow him on Twitter. Wow, that sounds creepy- but really he is quite inspiring, and really teaches one to slow down and look closely to the things that are around us, kinda like the Warhol of today, without all the fame and hype.

So how do I get my student's to react the same to sketching? Good question, let me know when you find the answer- As a new(er) teacher, I still struggle getting my students to practice, and sketching what is in front of them is a challenge. Let them 'free' draw, and they will draw every cartoon character and everyone else's drawings all day, but to extract their own creativity, I am still pulling teeth for about 75% of them. Sometimes I think I am expecting too much from elementary, but even my middle schoolers, are the same. I am wondering if offering more of a daily create, and the use of technology might inspire them, maybe if it is some of this 'new school' creativity, it will become more successful? 

I put the movie together using Imovie, after all I am a complete Apple drone (again, it creeps me out to say so, but for the artist, a PC just won't due). I had forgotten how much fun, and all the little gadgets, and buttons, to make things do this and that. Much like riding a bike, it took a few trips around the block and I felt back in the saddle again, and snap there was my own little movie. I hope it sounds as intentional as I had planed, for NAS to just start singing about life as the film ends... 

Sketching, painting and creating is life, and now I feel so too, might this digital thing.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pouring on a little more: Digital Stories Week 2 reflection

As we continue to learn and add to our repertoire of digital understanding, I feel our learning developing like a Holton Rower painting, ever changing and flowing, not sure what it will look like in the end. 

You can say that Rower's work is a re-mix of the color field paintings of the 40's - 60's, where artist like Rothko and Still painted massive paintings of blocks of color. Rower takes from this experience and create enormous paintings by pouring paint, lots of paint. The result is a new style of color field painting with a sixties feel of undulating color. Each color represents a new media, or digital tool, and I find myself sampling and pouring each learned artifact using different methods to see which yields the most aesthetic result. 

The same way that you sit mesmerized by the movement of the paint, I find myself becoming fascinated with this digital language, as an artist I have always been curious and willing to try any medium, and now with teaching and the exposure to all that the digital era has to offer I feel like there is a whole new art store at my finger tips. 

Lankshear and Knobel, synthesize literacy and the digital age by theorizing that all this meme and gif, blogs and tweeting along with every other shorthand communication are all the new literacy, the new way that our culture artifacts and documents the stories of our days, and I think that they are right. I was awakened to the idea that many things are re-mixed and the context of the word is forever changed in my mental dictionary, as the word art has so many times. As I become more comfortable and understanding of the media, my creating becomes more 'mine', and I am able to start to express myself digitally. The daily creates continue to challenge my process in a good way as I challenge myself more to use the mediums presented and seek out new ones. 

I loved reading A open letter to my students, Shaffer's philosophies on teaching are so similar to mine. As I read through the article, I saw the correlation to this class, the discovery and exploration that must be student driven, I can imagine that trying to lecture on digital story telling would be about the same as a lecture on pouring paint, BORING! I feel that learning is all about the self discovery, trying to post a video what feels like several million times before it works, is far more memorable than just being told how to do it, conquering the task, that feeling is what I try to teach my students to look for. 
As the class for me begins to flow like paint from the cup, each week creating a new vision of digital media, I think that I have picked the perfect complement in Art as my focal theme, there is always as artist, period or medium that relates to the learnings, and an endless supply of street art to help support my thoughts and express my emotions. It has also become my online art room this summer as I hope to encourage people to look more at the art around them, expose the readers of my blog to new artists and a different artist with every post.

Art and literacy hold a lot in common, they are both not something that can not be described in black and white and both will forever change based on the the time and culture of the people seeking to describe them. The value of both will changed based on the viewer, seller and purchaser of the item being traded, but both will always rather intentional or not, will document and speak to the moment they were created. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Remixing since the beginning of time- Wk 2 Reading Reflection

Urban Street Art, from the way back-


Lascaux Cave Paintings- Dordogne region of southwestern France, circa Paleolithic Period, 20 thousand years ago
Take a virtual tour

It was a conversation this week via Hypothesis, on Lankshear and Knobel's "New Literacies" (2007) that re-sparked my attention to the earliest form of storytelling, and street Art. The Caves at Lascaux hold the history of man, and the first recorded images/writing of man that we know to date.

In the dialogue there was a dispute over the context of writing and new literacies, ie: Memes. Are memes writing? If I would have asked my self this question ten years ago, I wouldn't have the slightest clue of what I was talking about, but today, memes are everywhere. The focus of the conversation became rather memes, and other visual graphics are actually writing because they are only pictures. Only pictures, I gasp? And my mind instantly went to the Caves at Lascaux, if these things were mere pictures, and held no literary connection, we might not be 'writing' today. As Lankshear and Knobel theorize the idea of re-mixing as a means to communicate and tell stories in various mediums, I can 't stop thinking about those cave 'drawings'.
Lascaux cave painting

As the cave paintings at Lascaux, offered the people of the time a way to record history, tell stories and inform those who came across the               paintings, the petroglyphs do the same things, slightly different, or shall we say in re-mix?
WE can continue to follow throughout history as images, symbols and pictures are used and manipulated to communicate and tell the story of life. 
petroglyphs Colorado

Images and Symbols verses characters and 'writing'

contemporary graffiti alphabet
I offer that some forms or symbols used for writing, some more intricate than the next, but all images and pictures. All are a re-mix of the idea to build a system of symbols and images to communicate. In Lascaux there are over 2,00 symbols that represent what we now know are six 'stories' of the life of the early paleolithic man that inhabited the area over 20 thousand years ago. Imagine if the works in Lascaux were dismissed as just pictures.

I offer you you this:  WE learn and are taught what pictures and symbols create a language that is spoken or written to communicate.

What does this all MEME? 

Memes are just that, the current form of writing, the new version of what humans have been doing for thousands of years, create graphics to express what they wish to communicate about a current or past event. The meme takes a whole new twist or 're-mix on the form of writing as we know it, and re-mashes visuals with our writing system to invoke a deeper understanding of the communication that the author hopes to convey. Imagine the image on the right being posted alone, it looses impact. 

 With a positive mindset on technology,  we have to embrace this new way of writing, teach it, learn it until the next it to is re-mixed into something new. Symbols and images have changed over time , just as Shakespear's new language boggled the minds of those around him,  we no longer write using script, we must adapt to the way our written language is being used today, without forgetting and diluting the importance of the ways we communicated in the past.  The paleolithic people used the symbols familiar to them to write their stories, street artist use familiar symbols today to record, inform and communicate, the walls are bigger, the colors brighter and the medium and tools have changed along with the exact reasons, but the idea stays the same, tell a story. 


Yes- Of course there is a Banksy for this too... look familiar ( or would this be considered copying like Warhol)
Lankshear & Knobel (2011) Chapter 4: New Literacies and Social Learning Practices of Digital Remixing

Andy Warhol, it's all Re-mix! Week 2 Story Critique

"They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." - Andy Warhol

Remind you of a mindset from Lankshear & Knobel (2007) Chapter 1: Sampling “the New” in New Literacies? Warhol was the positive mindset that allowed art to move forward and allow the everyday person to experience and feel art like never before. 

Self Portrait Andy Warhol, 1965

With all the talk about re-mix and using new technology this week, could there be a better artist to evaluate news on other than the re-mix master himself. Andy Warhol never created anything that was 'his own', his very idea of art was to take what ever is already there, make it art and accessible to everyone. New technologies? Warhol was an innovator and pioneer for POP art, he set he stage for 'art for the masses' and could be partially responsible for what we call re-mixing today. All those posters and replications of art are all thanks to one quirky man that didn't even want to be an artist, he just wanted to be famous and to never be forgotten. Well played, Warhol! 

This week I will be critiquing an older but relevant digital story from Art News. I will be looking at story, research, and digital craftsmanship. If you need a quick history lesson on Warhol, look here

The Story

is well written and it is obvious that the writer is familiar with Warhol and the many tribulations that have occurred with his work, both during and after his life. I love the the author continuously quotes Warhol and lists the astronomical amounts that the famous 're-mixer' has procured for his works. The story follows a distinct time line and although the story is about a negative topic of scandal and falsehoods, the author keeps a non bias voice. The story is intriguing and keeps the readers attention with the twisting story, even though there is a lot to take in. 


It is very clear that the writer knows their stuff, research is evident and documented, the history reads true to any world class biography. Being that the digital story does appear on an ART website, and that the subject has such a prolific history, I would have liked to see graphics for the pieces mentioned in the article, not just the self portrait. The Brillo boxes are part of the title, don't they deserve a spot on the page? 
Brillo Soap Pad Box,  Andy Warhol 1964

Digital Craftsmanship

In looking at digital craftsmanship, there is a lot to like. The clean page is adorned with complimenting fonts, a colorful header a top the simple black and white page, and typography that is easy to read while pleasing to look at. My only complaint, again, in an ART publication, I expect to see more of the artists work. There is no shortage of Warhol work, and with their being multiple pieces mentioned, I would have added a small image of each.

Below is the 63$ million dollar silk screen by Warhol, well meaning he made the silk screen, he did not take the photo! How is it done, and why is it questionable art? Here is Warhol's non art process

Colin Lankshear - Michele Knobel - elea E-Learning - 2007

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

John Lennon does beatbox...

DS106 Audio Assignment


Keeping true to my passion, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to make some street art 'talk', literally. While surfing through the numerous options, I have to admit, I already had a plan in mind, so I looked for an assignment to match, cheating I know. Here's a little tid bit of history to help you understand, ( I am not normally the cheating kind but...) I just went through a technology PD before school got out and have been playing around with some of the sites that I was exposed to during training. As an Art teacher, you have to understand, most PD's are not relevant, so when one comes along that I can actually utilize, it has a lasting effect. 

The Image

John Lennon, his image speaks for itself, right? This image brings it all, social commentary and my passion for art, street art in particular. I am only sadden that we are nearing the end of the generations that understand just how profound his image is, and what it stands for. What would Lennon say about all the violence today? Yoko powers on, but it's just not the same. In light of all the disparity, I wanted 'Imagine' what Lennon might be doing now, There are so many artists using music as a means of education and empowerment, would he join in with Brother Ali, Language Arts Crew, Roots, Atmosphere, and throw down a little beat about what the world has become? Truth. 

The Sound

As mentioned above, I have become completely enamored with a few Apps that I discovered in a recent training. Incredibox is a fairly new to me, but has been around since 2008. An app that allows you to become your own DJ, my daughter and I spend hours playing around and making music. A completely user friendly interface makes it a breeze to make a simple tune, with more practice you can learn to pause and record the music. There are 4 versions to meet any music lovers taste, try it out, jam on! Students with free time? They LOVE to create a jam and are eager to share the experience, queue engagement, language and instructional conversations in the classroom.

If you can't appreciate the simplicity of Incredibox, and your already more of a DJ and need something a little more sophisticated, try out Beatlab. You can check out other users musical talents and add your own to Beatlab radio on SoundCloud.

                                    The video

Another mesmerizing and completely fun app, Chatterpix. Again a user friendly interface allows the user to take or select a picture and add their voice. I have been using this app in the classroom, and all the kids love it. For the older students, I use the app as an art history lesson, taking a photo of an artist or say the Mona Lisa, and having the picture give the history instead of me, far more entertaining! And with the younger kids, they love to give a voice to their creations. Kindergarten made talking dinosaurs, the dinosaurs told a short story about them selves and what they eat-
Pure magic to a kindergartner, not to mention cross-curricular and   again opportunity for instructional conversations.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Digital Stories: My Abstract Expressionism

Convergence 1952, Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock's style of painting, as exemplified by Convergence, is one of the most important, innovative developments in the history of painting. When Pollock created the painting, the United States was at the induction of the 'cold war' with Russia. Convergence was the embodiment of free speech, and freedom of expression. It was everything that America stood for all wrapped up in a messy, but emotionally deep package.
The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating. ”
-Jackson Pollock

Digital Stories: My Abstract Expressionism

I am exhausted and my mind remains a jumbled mess of information, new ideas, and anxiety about the coming weeks. I see my work this week and am reminded of the great Jackson Pollock in many different ways. 

In first, I saw digital storytelling much like an amateur see's the work of Jackson Pollock, having no reference, I questioned the technicality of the craft. When most people look at Pollock’s work, they see only splatters of paint, with no skill or talent to lay them on the giant canvases, I saw digital story telling as processing IMovie’s and creating posts, simple writing, who couldn't do that? I now realize the brevity and scope of what we call 'digital story telling'. Like Pollock, I am learning to use the tools that I have used forever in a new ways, hoping to master the techniques enough to make them mine own, and display a successful body of work that both incorporates my new understanding of digital literacy and my passion for art and change. 

The week started off with much anxiety and fear of failing, but now I can see that I just need to utilize what I do know and think of using the tools in a new way. I love the daily 'creates', and hope to modify them in my classroom in the coming year, giving students a way to be creative in an outside the box, again using the tools we have with a new way of thinking about their purpose. 

As Pollock battled his own demons, the digital era continues to be mine, there is so much that I like about being connected, but also abhor. Through Twitter, the network of like minded change agents is amazing, but I still feel that I am missing the world around me as I surf through the countless posts. I am amazed with the amount of people that have followed me, are it weird to want to know why? I am not sure about annotating and the hypothesis site, I still have a lot to learn about finding the comments, it was kind of fun... (Oh dear, does that mean I am becoming a digital nerd?)

Pollock spent a short eleven years working with his now famous technique before his death, I feel like 8 weeks is not nearly enough time to become even a budding digital story teller, to learn the tools and truly understand the spectrum of information that is being presented. However I do love a challenge, and true to the principle, I do my best work under stress. Like Pollock learning to fling paint fuelled by emotion, I have learned to use so many of these tools that we all are surrounded with; Twitter, Flicker, Sound wave, and I even encountered a new arena " Notey in my digital travels. I still wonder if I am writing too much or too little, there are so many rule to the grammar, syntax and construction of digital language that I don't yet understand. 

Completing all the assignments on time, and though I know that I will improve, I think I was quite successful. I hate the ideas of grades, but since we are constructed in the way that they are the end all be all- I would say that I met expectations. I hope to grow as a blogger and build the amount of resources that I use for daily creates and the assignments (which I also found to be very intriguing). 

Jackson Pollock' Biography