Make #5: Stories and Spaces

I am already late – and have little time to execute this story properly – but I wanted to share my idea about public spaces.

I have always wanted to explore (photographically) what I have found to be “private spaces in public places in NYC.” These 3 photos are examples of what I mean: all are public places that somehow afford an opportunity for some quiet personal space. I did start to make a list earlier in the week and I want to explore some of the ways others found to “tell” their stories. I just need to find the time…

Central Park, NYCLehman College, Bronx NYNYC Subway Train

Make #4 – Systems

It has been a busy week at our Summer Institute, so I have not had a lot of time to experiment with the idea of systems. I was thinking though about systems that I sometimes take for granted such as the U.S. Postal System – how do they transport and organize all of that stuff? And the NYC Subway system – how do they manage the trains on multiple overlapping routes and tracks? And then I found a site that gives you a chance to actually experience the “Signaling and Interlocking System” of the NYC subway system!
I think the above link takes you more directly to the simulator than the image below.
Anyway, I was excited that this combines the ideas of a “game” and the practical reality of an urban “system”. And pushing that thinking further into the future – will it be the game-makers who will be our most successful system-makers to help us manage our complex future world? I should probably mention that I am reading “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline so my thinking is somewhat skewed towards imagining constructed virtual worlds!
What I am wondering now is what systems might we need or want that we have not yet created or imagined? I want my next thoughts to go out of the realm of current reality. I like the Rube Goldberg approach proposed by Kevin – if I can just push my thinking outside the box of the here and now!

Make #3 At Last!

While I was enjoying all the game-creations this week, I was struggling to create one on my own. My first idea was inspired by the Brian Kelley’s film-image-race: His game involving linked film images reminded me of Renga, a form of Japanese poetry described by the Academy of American Poets as:

Renga, meaning “linked poem,” began over seven hundred years ago in Japan to encourage the collaborative composition of poems. Poets worked in pairs or small groups, taking turns composing the alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. Linked together, renga were often hundreds of lines long, though the favored length was a 36-line form called a kasen. Several centuries after its inception, the opening stanza of renga gave rise to the much shorter haiku.

To create a renga, one poet writes the first stanza, which is three lines long with a total of seventeen syllables. The next poet adds the second stanza, a couplet with seven syllables per line. The third stanza repeats the structure of the first and the fourth repeats the second, alternating in this pattern until the poem’s end.

Contemporary practitioners of renga have eased the form’s traditional structural standards, allowing poets to adjust line-length, while still offering exciting and enlightening possibilities. The form has become a popular method for teaching students to write poetry while working together.

And then, this morning, BrainPickings provided the inspiration I was looking for! Two of my passions merged – an alphabet book and a simple word game. Here’s the amazing book, one to surely add to my alphabet book collection:

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/12/19/take-away-the-a-book/

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My adaptation would be to make it a “One Letter – More or Less” game of story telling modeled after the book but allowing for letter additions as well as subtractions.

So, while  “the Cramp lost it’s R and could now go to camp” there’s also the possibility of, “The hose finding a U and building a house.” See what I mean? But the book by Michael Escoffier (author) and Kris Giacomo (illustrator) is the true game-starter! I will post this in our Facebook space just in case anyone wants to try it out together. Which makes me think of a challenge – how to make this a collaborative game? Could the sentences created by each person be linked to the previous one in some way or is that too restrictive? What if only the letters were designated, so rename the game “GRACE: More or Less” – and each sentence uses the next letter in the name. I’ll start:

I was having TEA when the G opened the garden GATE.

Anyone want to take the next letter – R?

My reflection on this week of making is this: Staying connected both within the community (seeing the variety of game types being created) and outside the community (staying tuned-in to a site like BrainPickings) makes making happen! Maybe not right away, maybe not easily. But the ideas gathered even randomly over time can roll themselves up into a manageable seed of creativity. Thank you to the CLMOOC community!

Make #2 Continues…

One of my favorite things to photograph is what I call “found art” – photographing things in reality (without computer manipulation) that could look like an abstract painting. Kim’s challenge to make art from an image encouraged me to take this another step further and actually use some image manipulation to remake the found art. Here is my first attempt and while I still like the original (that white line makes it for me!), I love the feeling of having swirled the image.

First found art imageSwirled Art