Theme Two: Visual.2

Inspiration #1: Stopping to look at an unlikely place – the peeling wall.Wall Art

Inspiration #2: Photographing a section of it

Inspiration #3: The freewriting that came out like this…

What is behind? But so much is in front. The cover-it-up paint. The announcements and pleas. The world as we want it to be. The stage and screen and someone else’s idea of beauty.  Were they layered on with care and thought by the ones with the message? Or were they just assignments carried out for cash? And now they are not being peeled away by curious caretakers to reveal assorted truths. Instead they are withering away. In the drying out, in the sun-bleached fading, or rain drenched neglect they are slipping off their perch. Edges droop, images fade, messages are butchered. No one sees what was originally sung or savored or sold. It is a blur of lost intentions.

Even when they were new those were thin pronouncements needing glue to stick to their mount. What they have become is a soup of voices stirred together by time and their own colorful character. They are now a new sound, a new voice: no longer wailing or wooing but a complex chord that my lens catches with surprise. And this new message, whatever it is, will be the wall that lives.

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Theme Two: Visual

I am always looking for the “artistic image” in the seemingly unartistic, uninteresting or ignored spaces. It means I walk a little slower past construction (or destruction) sites, stop short at seemingly uninteresting places and look closely or with a cropping in mind to isolate something that could be considered “abstract art.” For this theme, I am only just beginning to pursue the challenge I set for myself which is to combine writing with images. I started by looking back through my iPhone images for those that were inspired by what I sometimes call “found art” or “wall art” or “What is art?” This is only step one in the process. Before the end of the week (time is so limited except for this extra day off in the middle!) I want to add writing to these pieces – somehow. Not sure how yet, but I am interested in what Nathalie and Wendy shared about Bazaart.

Here re 6 images from this past year that have nothing necessarily to do with each other but will be my visual palette for this week’s writing.

Wall Art

Unofficial CV for Digiwrimo 2015

My unofficial CV is a the start of something I want to explore this month – alternate uses of photos such as this intentionally torn piece of one of my own photos. And how might text or sound be layered onto or into this – physically or digitally? And what have other artists done that could inform my own creative thinking?  I’ll use this blog to chronicle my journey and share it in the Digiwrimo spaces this month. I know I will be inspired by others in the Digiwrimo community to see what I can do that may be new to me, out of the box or out of the comfort zone.
I am adding this list to explain how this image is an introduction to who I am as well:
It’s a photograph, a found image, an abstraction
It is from the NYC subway and the floor of my NYC apartment
It’s on textured, touchable paper and on real wood
It is open to interpretation.

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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!