More-Progess Report (thank god)

1) Last week I accomplished pretty much everything.  Well, not everything, but everything tangible relating to my project.  There is actually a product now.  Heck yes.

2) Next week (and the rest of this week) I plan on capturing the last images – which amounts to about 5 or 6, designing the front and back cover, writing a poetic little something about moments as an intro, and compiling a contributors page.  After that, It’ll be all ready and set to be pdf’d over to the printing gods.

3) At this point, pretty much everything.  Except for this workshop because my fonts didn’t quite make the journey from my computer to my external hard drive.  whoops.

4) See above.

5) It’s not too late to submit a story………………….

but it will be in a few days from now, so I’d do it tonight.

Thanks 🙂


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Progress Report:

1) Accomplished last week:

Last week I went on two photo shoots.  I learned this lesson from a friend of mine:

An obvious photographic representation of the story is potentially much less interesting then something with less of a direct connection.

This insight has guided my project into good places.  I feel less pressure to capture specifics, and have generated more excitement in just capturing the things that I’m taken by.  Less planning, more experiencing.

I also made nice progress in receiving stories.  Reminders are key.  So are pep talks.  The decision to leave the stories anonymous was a valuable one for the comfort of my contributors.

Part of this process that I’ve realized to be very important are my responses to the story writers.  With such intense emotion and experience being conveyed, and offered to me to use in my art, I want to make a follow-up conversation very possible for anyone that would like to reflect further.

(2) Goals for Next Week:

I hope to have a formatted template, with all of the stories I have currently inserted, as well as the photos.  This means doing minor edits on each story (simple sentence structure and grammar stuff) while also bolding certain sentences with the most impact.

Beyond the formatting, I plan to shoot the hell out of this city.  I have a lot of moments to capture still, and with every story I receive, my gratitude is met with the weight of having to capture yet another.

(3) What’s going well:

I have received some expert pieces.  I have also received works from non-writers.  I love the variety.  I think it will make my project very rootsy and real.  I mean, everyone has moments.  And I think ultimately, that’s the point of this whole thing.

I am very pleased with the photo pairings that I have so far.

(4) What’s not going well?

I’m feeling a little nervous about getting all of the photos done. Time is a concern, and I don’t want to have to settle.  But, because it’s such an enjoyable task, all should be fine.

(5) Class help:

I could use an InDesign tutor…. anyone?

we can do a trade.

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I Re-Propose!

Yeah, scratch that last one.

Now it’s time to be real.

Instead of creating a website of myself, I am proposing to create a digital book of many upon many others

I would like the authors of the book to be a vast assortment of individuals, all contributing a single story on one set theme.  The theme you ask?

”It was only a moment, but it changed everything…”

My call-out has already been announced on Craigslist under the ‘artists’ tab within the ‘community’ section.  Although, my experience with artists is that they tend to take themselves a wee bit seriously and might be more inclined to dismiss my project then actually contribute to it.  I am currently brainstorming alternative posting spots. 

Next stop: Mixed Connections?

I also posted an event on my facebook page and invited approximately 150 or so “friends” to participate.  

My goal is to collect a minimum of 25 stories.   

Each story will be paired with a photographic representation, taken by me.  The photo-adventures will be story specific, and I will do my best to do the stories justice. 

I chose this theme for a number of reasons:

(1) – It’s broad enough that all humans can relate to it.

(2) – Connection to photographic representation.  One of the reasons that I am drawn to photography is because essentially, the camera is a moment capturing apperatus.  I don’t see how a moment could have been comprehended in the way that it can be now post the advent of the camera.  I find it fascinating that there is a tool that can actually freeze a single moment in time.  

(3) – Moments are what comprise the human experience, although it’s hard to notice because we are so often wrapped up in these long, drawn out processes.  Except every now and then, we are hit with a single moment that is so absolutely transformative.  These, I find worthy of reflection and sharing.   

Project in a nutshell:

Moments are powerful.  Our lives are comprised of lots of them.  If we can concentrate more on the moments, then maybe we can feel a fuller sense of existence.  Even if the transformative moments are painful, they allow us to endure the senstations of living.  My hopes are that exploring this phenomenon on a personal level (which is what the writers will be doing) and then comparing them on a grander level (which is what I will be doing by presenting them together) will make for an intriguing, emotional, and thought-provoking project for my *mystery* audience.     

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I Propose!

I am not a practical thinker.  The process of following consecutive directions clouds my brain to the point of malfunction.  I am also not a technical person, for thinking in those terms seems to require a similar linear, step-by-step process.  Ya know, left brained functions (mine, um, doesn’t work that well…shhhhh).  When contemplating this final project, it was only natural for me to assume that I would take the creative route, something along the lines of an off-the-wall artistic rendition involving my most guilty pleasure – some aspect of the human experience.

Well, that was until I began the out-loud brainstorming process.  I began discussing the potentials of this project with people I know and trust, and somehow landed on something quite foreign to my experience of project development: usefulness.  As an aspiring something, I need a means of compiling myself in one place.  Maybe that something would start to become clear once my journey, projects, and passions were secure within one viewable source.  And, as an aspiring something, exposure is a key component.  Opportunity will only reach me if I am reachable.  So instead of devoting my project to something quirky, experimental, and fun as all get out, I am shifting my ways for a 5-week period of time.  I am doing something that I fear about as much as my first Chicago winter – technical practicality.

I am going to make a website of myself.

At this point in my life, studies, and aspirations, it is the most logical next step.  Instead of being spread over a facebook and flickr page, two blogs, 3 email accounts, many word documents and 8 physical walls, I can exist on one single page.  It just makes perfect sense.

And it’s troubling for these reasons: I just found out last week the difference between a jpeg, and any other file.  I opened photoshop for the first time two weeks ago.  I have chronic technological frustration syndrome (if that isn’t a real disease, it should be), and I will go to drastic measures to avoid reading as much as possible on a computer screen.

But the prospect of a) having a website of my own to customize and update throughout my entire LIFE, and b) complete a task that I dreadfully fear, is worth it enough.  I hope I can say the same for my first Chicago winter.

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Beyond Multimodal.. I think.

What you are about to experience is an artistic medium based on destruction, corruption, and decay.  Except what is being so terrifically abused is quite far from the expected.

Hardware, software, data, media, digital files… All severely F’ed up, for the sake of a new kind of art.  They call it Glitch.  Except they write it this way: GLI.TC/H as would only be appropriate.

Here’s a blurb from the GLI.TC/H website:

“…workshops and skill-share-sessions highlighting the wrong way to use and build tools; a gallery show examining glitches as processes, systems, and objects; all in the context of ongoing dialogues that have been fostered by experimentation, research, and play.  GLI.TC/H is a physical and virtual assembly which stands testament to the energy surrounding these conversations.”

Are you ready for the modes of GLI.TC/H art?  Are you sure?  Well, eh-hem.. here they comes:

“Projects take the form of: artware, videos, games, films, tapes, code, interventions, prints, plugins, screen-captures, systems, websites, installations, texts, tools, lectures, essays, code, articles, & hypermedia.”

So, unlike the previous post, there is absolutely no question that this is a multimodal project.  In fact, it might just be the most multimodal project in the history of the universe.  Because GLI.TC/H involves almost all conceivable modes and then a severe mutilation process on top of that, I would argue that GLI.TC/H art has taken new media beyond the comprehendible.  Well, at least my capacity for comprehension.

And of course, it must be asked…WHAT POSSIBLY COULD BE NEXT?

If you are interested in seeing a live screening of this project, in the company of the artists, all you’ve got to do is head on over to Transistor this Friday, the first day of October.

5045 N. Clark Street (in the Andersonville hood)

Chicago, IL, 60640

8 o’clock

Check out Transistor’s Facebook page for more details.

Do it!

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What Really Counts as Multimodal?

I was taken by the photographic work of Bobby Neel Adams.  The concepts behind his work are rather simple, but absolutely fascinating, the kind of thing where I wish I had thought of it first.  His work being classified as multimodal is questionable, although I found that it offers a few new angles on some seemingly unexplored areas of the topic at large.  First off, his modes are film photography (exclusively), and a tool for excision.  Each of his images are technically two photographs “collaged” into one.  Although the mode is more or less singular, there are multiple processes involved in creating the final product.  This has led me to question if process can be a defining characteristic of multimodality.  Further, does the manipulation process in itself give something a right to be deemed multimodal?

More interesting still in his AgeMaps collection is his incorporation of a mode that hasn’t yet been mentioned, but that I believe could use some attention – that being the passage of time.  These portraits are characterized by two combined images of a single subject, at two distinctly different points in the subject’s life.  I would argue that time in itself is its own mode, for the artist is dependent on its effects on his subjects.

He uses this same technique in his project titled FamilyTree where he combines the faces of two immediate family members, ie. father/son, mother/daughter,  father/daughter, or mother/son.

He also uses the process of combining two separate images to capture couples – all of which hold strikingly close resemblances to one another, which I find to be a clever display of the theory that people more often than not, are attracted to people that physically mirror themselves.

Multimodal? Yes? No? Kinda-Sorta…?

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White Facets: A Multimodal Project

Dana Norrell is a master of color, fashion, business, paint, words and quirks.  This blog post is dedicated to her new blog, White Facets, for she is a) one of my closest friends, doing amazing work, and I’m pleased to plug her whenever an opportunity arises, and b) because she is using truly interesting and innovated modes to communicate a message.

The story behind White Facets:

Dana co-owns an eclectic boutique in Santa Cruz, CA, and since opening, has had little time to put energy into her first artistic love of painting.  She needed a way to bring that deeply rooted passion back into her life (most of us know what that feels like), but also came to realize that it would only make sense if it somehow fit cohesively with the other modes she uses to define herself – i.e., fashion, interaction with and the study of other artists, finding inspiration, and composing text.

Blogging was a perfect fit.

So she created one that encapsulates all of it, in an organized, viewer friendly kind of a way.

How it all works:

Dana begins with a color, and then writes a poem:


Black is the color of secrets, horror, hollowness.

Black is the color of the night.












Black berries.


My cat.




Solar Panels.


The perfect little dress.






Black is powerful, dark, sexy, and mysterious. It’s lonely and cold, but so attractive. Black enhances everything. It’s elegant, luxurious, sophisticated. Black is experienced, rebellious, and solemn. It acts as nothing, but is so essential.  Black is the polar opposite of white, yet works perfectly with it. Like Ying & Yang. Black is the perfect contrast, a great neighbor, a great shoulder to lean on.

She then puts on something from her wardrobe of the featured color, is photographed, and then briefly breaks down the outfit (this is from her piece on Teal):

This is an easy go-to outfit. I’m wearing my favorite jeans that I’ve literally worn to death, a black thermal long sleeve tee, Market infinity scarf, and Saltwater sandals. The teal was again inspired from my tribal rug in my kitchen.

But the foundation of her blog project is a working abstract painting, where each color of that day’s focus makes it onto the canvas.

Dana uses a variety of different painting techniques and materials.  With each addition, she describes the process she uses:

After mixing the paint to match the shirt, I added in a ton of this fine grit sand and glue. This made the paint thicker, and added a nice texture that reminisced the nubbiness of the shirt.

Here are three stages of the painting that has been growing for the past 17 days.

In the Beginning:

In the Middle:


But that’s not all she does.  She also spotlights her inspirations, ranging from other artists, to books, to zany obsessions, to objects and scenery.

Her latest inspiration blog post was on whistles, which made it into her “obsessions” category.  And I, personally can attest to the severity of this obsession.  What can I say, the girl just loves whistles.

Now let’s see if I can quantify all of her modes:

1) painting

2) clothing

3) color

4) inspirational elements

—other artists


—random objects

—physical landscapes

5) photograph

6) text

7)…I’m sure I left out something.

These all interact and are presented through the medium of her blog.

Now go check out her blog for yourself!  The way she has orchestrated the interaction between the modes is both a creative inspiration and a glowing example of multimodality.  And, it must be said (and highly encouraged) if you like what you see, become a follower!

I figured I would ask her some questions that relate directly to what we are talking about.  So what follows is an exclusive interview with the blogger herself 😉

Q: What message(s) are you trying to communicate through your blog?

A: My blog acts as a virtual sketchbook of my ideas and inspirations; a place to document my progress and work.  A place to make sense of my crazy thoughts.  My blog is a way of sharing the creative process with others and revealing a side of my work which my paintings cannot always speak.

Q: Who is your intended audience (who are you blogging for)?

A: I am blogging for others interested in learning more about the arts and those who willing to follow a day to day diary of myself, or people who simply have an appreciation for the arts and want to learn more.  I double majored in Art History, and I think my blog is great way to keep my own learning going.

Q: What is the benefit of using multiple mediums and modes to communicate your message?

A: I believe that words only reach so far.  By incorporating multiple mediums to communicate, it reaches a wider audience and does more than just scrape the surface.  I offer a spark for people who enjoy the arts, the process, fashion, painitng, collecting, and the appreciation for the connection of them all.

Q: What is the inspiration behind your chosen mediums?

A: My inspiration behind my chosen medium:  It has not only helped me share my process, but has forced me into doing what I love not just for myself, but for others as well.  I found myself constantly doing things first and not leaving any time for painting, which is truly what I love. Having followers, I feel obligated to keep up on my blog, and not sacrifice on the production of painting.  By scheduling it in as something I must do and something that people will be looking forward to reading has definitely encouraged me to make time for painting again!

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