GIFS and photo animations
GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are a file format used to share motion-photography and looped animations. They are also an artform born of the internet age. They can be seen everywhere nowadays, in advertising and communication technologies, and knowing how to make them is a relevant skill for media producers and comsumers (i.e. everyone).
In these workshops participants explore the abilities and restrictions of the GIF format, the way GIFs are being shared to spread messages and their potential for conveying emotional information much like emojis do. Placing GIFs in the tradition of sequential art (a.k.a. comics), participants experiment with GIF making by first creating a 2-image GIF. Once familiar with the process, participants plan, photograph and animate a final GIF that tells a story or makes a statement. Discussions and activities focus on how the choices in image order, animation speed and subject matter determine the GIF’s meaning. The role the smartphone/camera-phone technology has played in propelling GIFs from obscurity to ubiquity is also discussed.
ARTWORKS CREATED IN THIS WORKSHOP COMING SOON
PHOTO diptychs, triptychs and essays
We live in a context with more visual information available to us than ever before. Accessing the potential of that overwhelming amount of imagery and processing so many visual forms of communication are key issues of (new) media literacy education.
In these workshops participants sharpen their visual literacy and photo editing skills by creating photo diptychs (image pairs), triptychs (3 images) and essays (3+ images) that use image sequence and curation to create visual statements. Participants develop content search and retrieve skills and explore the full potential the internet has to offer by using internet search engines, stock image libraries and personal image archives (such as those saved on digital devices as well as digital and analogue portfolio assets) as their materials for creating new stories and organize ideas. By learning techniques for simplifying visual information in order to amplify meaning, participants gain new perspectives on how messages and audience reception can be controlled and manipulated.
MASHUPS, VINE VIDEOS and SOUND MEMES
These workshops are the film student's/storyteller's version of the GIF and Photo Animation workshops, with a twist. Instead of beginning with 2 images, these workshops begin by reducing plot-line exposition through creating movie mashups that sharpen editing skills and explore a variety of techniques. After reducing a long story to a very short one, participants storyboard and produce GIFs, cinemegraphs and 6-second looped videos with sounds they access through stock A/V content libraries and record themselves. Discussions focus on the beginning, middle and end-ness of storytelling, and the video-loops ability to explore/convey circular narratives.
This workshop does require access to video editing software.
ARTWORKS CREATED IN THIS WORKSHOP COMING SOON
Collage Self Portraits
Collage is a wonderful art medium for exploring and expressing messages about identity as it allows the artist to incorporate the artifacts of daily life, connect seemingly un-connected ideas and create meaning through the choices they make in symbols and composition. Through the process of choosing materials to borrow and build on their meaning, participants gain skills in controlling messages about themselves as well as a greater understanding of the devices used to control media narratives.
In this introduction to the world of collage, participants create collages that convey information about themselves, their identities and point of view based on their lived-experiences. Activities and discussions focus on the politics of representation, personal affects that can be used as “stand-ins” to tell our stories and making thoughtful choices to create a relationship between background and foreground in simple and effective ways. Collage’s ability to create whimsical, silly, fantastical, emotional, epic statements and visual puns is highlighted in this session.
Collage is an easy way to interact with and change the meaning of media messages. Participants are provided opportunities to question the cultural norms and values they see reflected in media (art, advertising, maps, fairy tales, textbooks, google search results, etc.) by subverting those messages in fun and empowering ways that sharpen their visual literacy and critical thinking skills.
Participants manipulate art, advertisements, branded and newspaper images to question, exaggerate and respond to the messages they see. Activities and discussions focus on how images get their power (money, religious, high art, brands etc.) and collage’s ability to create subtle changes and well crafted illusions that call for the viewer to do a “double-take”.
Sounds transmit information (grinding teeth), represent imagined auditory experiences (aliens in a movie), directs our behaviour (ambulance siren) and enhances media (sound cues in video games). By separating and deconstructing sounds from theses familiar multi-sensory contexts, we stretch our sense of hearing and explore messages beyond the visual world of images and words. Participants gain a heightened awareness of the information sounds transmit as well as how sounds affect our experiences of and reception of media messages.
In this workshop participants listen to, produce and perform sound art pieces. Through activities such as sound charades, listening tours and discussions on the science as well as art of sound, participants are encouraged to resist the dominance of visual culture and explore the realm of the auditory. Participants work in small groups to produce sound stories they perform for their peers, sound diptychs, soundscapes and sound installations.
Site-specific Art Installation
Site-specific art installations highlight the nature of space and disrupt the unwritten rules informing how that space is experienced. Participants gain a heightened awareness of how space shapes the creation of meaning and effects message reception.
In this workshop, participants look at works of site-specific art installation, performance art and guerrilla advertising to analyze what those works say, change and highlight about the nature of site (space and place). Participants engage in a site-specific storytelling tour of their school or community space and collaborative mapping activities. Participants produce and install works that disrupt and/or highlight our relationship with space (public, private or virtual) and invite audiences to interact with that space in new ways.
In past workshops participants have created art installations, performative art actions, guerrilla awareness campaigns and interactive games. Activities are tailored to the age and needs of each group.
Zines (D.I.Y. low budget publications) are fun to make and an empowering introduction to the world of publishing, community building and collaborative storytelling (such as fan- fiction). Participants gain an appreciation for the relationship between corporate interests and mass media and examine how that relationship affects messages.
In this workshop, participants look at youth-driven media and zines, examine how advertising effects media messages and discuss the way headlines are used to control meaning and herd audiences. Participants explore the limitless possibilities of zines by creating one on a theme of their choice, connecting a variety of ideas. Participants learn simple booklet/zine making techniques.