Tag Archive: ds106


Real vs Computational Art

The past two weeks I started three classes (I am probably certifiably crazy) while experiencing vertigo attacks and working full time. The classes included two MOOCs from Coursera: Intro to Computational Arts (SUNY) and Creativity, Innovation, and Change (CIC) (Penn State) along with Digital Storytelling (DS106) headless version started at Univ of Mary Washington and is now about online learners engaging each other. They are all complementary and I would love to take all three but I realized this past week that I do not have much interest in computational art. I was lucky that one of the exercises this week in CIC was to look at the passions and purposes of your life ring. I have known my driving passion for some years, but I have also found that I misplace or mislabel that passion when something knew comes along. And I think that is what I did when I signed up for computational arts. I wanted to learn and seek out new knowledge and then share it (my driving passion and the reason for the name of this blog). I also wanted to interact with others while attempting to create new art (even if computational). That has been an exciting part of the last two classes – Intro to Art (Penn State) and Art & Inquiry (Museum of Modern Art). But as I looked at the assignments and videos for Intro to Computational Arts, I realized why I do not find it as satisfying to do computational art as I do real art. Real art means that all your senses are involved not just your eyes (your brain is involved no matter what form of art is done). In computational art, I can’t feel the paper – touch its grain or thickness. I can’t smell the pungent turpentine or oils. I can’t taste the glue on my fingers when I accidentally chew on a fingertip while trying to figure out what to do next. I can’t see the textures and colors until the programming code works. As a programmer, I have to imagine the finished artwork and hoping that I make no typos. As an artist, I am also imagining the finished artwork but I am seeing it take shape as I create it. And while it is exciting to “birth” a visual object from code, it’s not near as exciting as seeing the evolution of new artwork into a surrealistic abstract, a funny sculpture or a more traditional portrait of my dog for mail art. So with only a small sense of regret, I’m going to give up computational arts for the time being. Perhaps some day I will find enough time to try it again.

So here it is at the end of the first week when I intended to “kick ds106 butt” and I find myself thinking about 21st century elegance. I think the concept of elegance has changed somewhat from the 1800s. Instead of being tied so much to people and their dress & mannerisms, I find elegance in science and technology – new solutions that let us connect quickly around the world – new robotics that mimic human mannerisms with its own weird grace – new structures that tower above the ancient palaces where elegant couples once tripped a dance. I also see it in new forms of art that weren’t possible before the 21st century where the junk of the past 100 years is being repurposed into something magical like the metal swallows that Jeremy Mayer makes out of typewriter parts. Or installation art like Second Meeting by James Turrell where his skyspace invites you to explore light and color. This is true elegance – simple, graceful, full of impact.

But the task for today’s Daily Create was to take a photograph of something I would consider 21st elegance. I saw so many possibilities but chose a mixed media picture that I created in December 2010. This is shown amidst the chaos of the garage that I have turned into a quasi-art studio.

Through A Plastic Mist - Mixed Media artwork by kelcym

Through A Plastic Mist – Mixed Media artwork by kelcym

This is a mixed media picture with the figure drawn in oil pastels. Other materials include posterboard, plastic bath mat, bottle caps and lids, and beads. I was inspired by a painting of a very elegant kingly figure and wanted to try to create one. Mine took a turn for the absurd and suddenly I knew that this little wannabe was peering through a mist trying to be something he could not be. Ergo the plastic bath mat as the mist and the bottle caps as jewels for wannabes don’t get the real thing. Instead they need to find their own elegance rather than try to emulate someone else’s.

Despite 2013 being an apocalyptic year for health issues (glaucoma, vertigo, car accident) for me, I’m learning how to enjoy classes with subpar health. And I’m grateful for the truly creative and fun people that I’m meeting along the way. I may be in overkill but this week I sort of started ( still have to register) a class called Digital Storytelling (DS106) from the Univ of Mary Washington – a “headless” online course where no one and everyone is really in charge. I’m also scheduled to start an online Coursera class on computational arts that is similar in some ways to DS106. And next week I start Penn State’s MOOC on Creativity, Innovation and Change (CIC or PSUCIC). I’ve signed up to work with some fraingers (friends who were strangers and have become friends through online courses) from another course. I’ve also agreed to become part of a quadblog group again for #CIC to help others learn how to blog. It’s great to have an instant audience when you are first learning. You will see others of my CIC quadblog group if you look at the links on the right hand side.

In addition to posting new experiences, I’m hoping get out a set of experiences from the past 3 classes that I have not yet added to the blog: Penn State’s Intro to Art, UPENN’s Growing Old Around the Globe, and MoMA’s Art of Inquiry this summer.

Jabulani Does CIC

Creativity, Innovation, and Change

My MOOC experiences

conversations and learning in the digital world

Gather with Purpose

intersection of community, learning and technology

Teaching 'E-learning and Digital Cultures'

thoughts and reflections on the EDC MOOC

Digital Cultures

Digital cultures, e-learning, and humanity

Taxipediography

Travel::Kids::Tech::Foreign Service

RecoveringFed

I know it's hard to believe, but we're citizens just like you!!

What's The Big Data?

The evolving IT landscape

Shepherd's Pi

A fuzzy technologist carves up facts & figures