Humor, Race and Mockumentaries

I hope that you are all having a well deserved break and that you are taking advantage of the time to make up any work that you may have missed! I will be checking all your blogs within the next few days – so make sure they are looking awesome!

The Tribeca Film festival is about to start and they have some really interesting examples of what they are calling Storyscapes. I’m going to go! Check it out!!! Its free!

I wanted to congratulate you all on your mockumentaries. Many of them were extremely funny as well as being thought provoking. Please, tweet them out using the hashtag: #ct101, #mockumentaries, and direct message me @chloesmolarski.

In my second class the important question of the relationship between race and humor was addressed. Last week the blog-sphere was full of  media commentary now referred to as #cancelcolbert. Stephen Colbert is a Comedy Central comedian who will actually be moving to CBS soon replacing David Letterman. Colbert impersonates ironically a “willfully ignorant” (his own words) news pundit. Last week a staff person tweeted something out – that out of context was construed as being racist towards Asian people. An activist, Suey Park whose twitter handle is “Angry Asian Woman” responded with the hash tag #cancelcolbert which instigated a lively debate about twitter and humor. I am going to post some of the videos, tweets,  and articles which I would like you to read and then please blog your own opinion about  “#cancelcolbert” as well as your own thoughts on the topic of humor and race by next Monday.

Here is the original clip in which Colbert used a parody to critique Washington’s Redskins team name. Angry Asian

These are the tweets that Suey Park tweeted that trended.







Here are a couple of the articles that attempted to analyze the the outrage causing a media storm. The New Yorker, Color lines, Huffingtonpost, Salon and Time. Please do your own searches to supplement this list. Below are Colbert’s and Suey Park’s responses.




Happy Editing and First Sunny Day

Hello People -

Very excited to see your mockumentaries! Please come to class on time so that we have enough time to see them all. Don’t forget to upload them to Youtube or Vimeo and embed them into your WP sites.

Also, I understand that we got a late start to our WordPress sites but please make sure they are up to date by Monday. Let me know if you have any questions.

Just for fun – This video always makes me happy.

Video trailers, Robot Snowden, Foley Art …

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you are enjoying making your mash-up trailers! Remember that you want to change the intention of the film/tv/video/s through your editing decisions, voice overs and use of of sounds.

Here is a basic imovie tutorial. And here is a imovie link to download the program for free! As in free beer …

As we migrate from sound to video I would like you to consider how sound affects imagery. I’m linking some videos about foley design. Check it out!

The LA times put a concise and insightful 1 minute documentary out about the art of the foley sound.

Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated produced by Pixar and directed by John Lasseter. Toy Story’s sound design was created by Gary Rydsrom who also worked with Pixar creating the “voices” Luxo Jr (1986) which I love.

Luxo Jr is widely viewed as a breakthrough in the animation medium as a whole, changing traditionalists’ interpretation of computer animation. Lasseter’s aim was to finish the short film for SIGGRAPH, an annual computer technology exhibition attended by thousands of industry professionals. The sounds are critical to the personification of the lamps adding humanity and humor.

Moving on:

Snowden recently gave a Ted Talk in which he discusses how he made his decisions to release NSA documents. When asked if he considered himself a whistle blower, hero or traitor he responded by saying he was just an American citizen. Please watch and be prepared to discuss. You will be asked to blog about it next week.

sound scapes …

Sorry, for leaving those “demo posts” up accidentally … I was demonstrating the difference between linking and embedding in Word Press.


I was happy to hear some of your mash-ups and think that many of you have done a really good job! Maybe this project has created yet another generation of DJs. I’m also really looking forward to seeing what people come up with for their soundscapes. Record 5-10 different urban sounds and mix them together to form a sound portrait of a place. Here is a definition of what a soundscape actually is.

If you prefer another assignment in the DS106 audio bin please complete 5 stars worth of work.

Here is a comprehensive list of all the assignments that we have done thus far. Please post them all this week!!!

Week 1 – Spreadable media  reading response. 4 daily creates

Week 2 – Gifs, Gifs, Gifs video, animation, 3D G

Week 3 – Net neutrality reading response – “Old and New” image editing assignment

Week 4 – Album Art Makeover (include the original and your interpretation)

Week 5 -  Blog post on Everything is a REmix – Audio Mash-up

Week 6 – Sound scapes, OR five stars from Audio bin – Complete designing, updating and creating great posts on your blogs.

Let me know if I have forgotten something …

The Audacity of Audio Mashups, Putting the Remix in Context

Just wanted to touch base with everyone and looking forward to seeing your mashups. Extra credit for those who design a hybrid album! Lets make these good!!! When posting your mash-ups include a list of all your sources below it.

Please watch Everything is a Remix and write a response post on your WP blogs. I am posting below some best practice posting guidelines.  I have adapted Professor Smith’s post on The Making of a Good Blog Post.

1. A Thoughtful Title – This would be a a title that both considers the content of the post and is creative.  You are trying to hook your readers after all.

2. Media Embeds – It is always preferable to embed media in a post rather than link to the external site where it is hosted. WP supports almost all social media network embeds, if not there are plug-ins. For common image formats, JPG, GIF, PNG it is always preferable to resize the embedded image so that it fits the width of the post. That way the image fit’s the design of the blog.

3. The Purpose of the Post – At some point in the first paragraph of the post a clear description of what you are presenting should be stated. Whether you are describing your creative and technical process  or analyzing an idea, you must succinctly summarize your idea early in the post. This should be stated in as much as possible a conversational tone. Blogging allows for and encourages informal language however this does not mean sloppy syntax or grammar. Remember that you are creating an online presence and you want you posts to reflect your ability to be professional and intelligent!

4. Posting Links to external sources – There is always an opportunity to reference sources that were some how involved in the decisions you made and what you are writing about. This might include research done that influenced your process, an image found and embedded to illustrate a point, or even a simple reference to the assignment. Links should be contextual and the source described. For example, “While searching for techniques to record ducks on a pond, I discovered Avisoft Bioacoustics a company focused on analysis of animal recordings. They hosted a number of examples of animal recordings, I liked the frogs the best, and more importantly a detailed tutorial on how they make choices for microphones, recorders, and microphone placement.”

5. If you are posting material that is not entirely original it is important to label it correctly letting the reader know. “Attribution” is very important for several reasons. Not only does this show respect for the artists you are referencing but it also allows your readers/viewers to form a more informed opinion on the piece.

Remix Theory is an online resource by Eduardo Navas that offers some of his research on Remix. Edward Navas speaks about several different types of mash-ups including regressive and reflexive mash-ups. He defines regressive mash-ups as an extension of a song in which the aura of one song over powers the remix while a reflexive mash-up incorporates two, or more elements with the intention of creating commentary or a new message.

Here are some examples that we looked at in class: Mad Professor No Protection

Dj Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation  is a a mashup/remix experiment which I think illustrates how mash-ups

La Femme Deadly Venoms Female DJS Beat makers  - an interesting example of “live” mash-ups/

And of course the amazing Grey Album, Dangermouse’s  remix between the Beatle’s White album and Jay-Z’s Black Album.

Here are two assignments you can choose from : audio mashup  and Sound Scapes. They are both based on composing music, one with found sounds and the other with sampled sound.

The internet archive has existed since 1996 and has billions of open source materials made available to the public at no cost. It has an extensive audio archive called Community Audio.

Free Music Archive is also a cool resource to check out.

Audacity is a great free audio editing program but you should feel free to use any program you are comfortable with.

As mentioned on the tools for audio post when recording please make sure that you can download files to your computer.

Welcome to the Srt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Band

Hello,  so much going on – so read this post carefully and don’t forget to have fun!

As you are are aware we began the process of setting up our Word press sites (better late than never)!!!  Think of your site as your little corner of the internet and your domain name is your personalized address. As well as providing a platform for all your blog posts, the accounts you have already opened (twitter, tumblr, youtube, flickr, and soundcloud) will all be linked to your WP blog. I will also be creating a blogroll of all our websites.

Most have you have registered a domain name with Reclaim Hosting and are ready to install WordPress, Akismet and Jetpack. If you were absent you have to go speak to a TA in order to set up your site. They will be able to walk you through the process and provide a promotional code (you do not have to pay – York pays for the hosting for as long as you are enrolled)

Everyone is required to go to the lab over the course of the week in order to work with a TA on setting up WP, navigating through your dashboard and getting started with pages and posts.

Below is a checklist of the all the things you need to complete and understand in order to create, set up and navigate through the back end of your own website. The check list PDF should be printed out and initialized by a TA.

  • Open Reclaim Hosting
  • Carefully choose and create a domain name  -
  • Check out using provided promotional code (ask TA)
  • Sign in to Reclaim hosting using new password
  • Look at c-panel and navigate to the WordPress application
  • Install and activate Akismet and Jetpack.
  • With Jetpack you should be able to create links to all you social media accounts
  • Check out your url! – Hello World – You are live!!!!!!!
  • Log onto your WordPress site and navigate to the dashboard (To log onto the dashboard: Example –
  • Choose theme – the default theme has a magazine layout (I like it) but feel free to choose another. Consider the functionality, design and responsiveness.
  • If appropriate for your theme design a header.
  • Create a “Bio” page –  explaining who you are and what you do – don’t forget to erase the sample page.
  • Create your first post!!!

Please print it out and have a TA, initialize the checklist. I will be collecting this form next Monday.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 1.21.49 PM











Also – Please complete your Album Cover Art! The assignment is to take a classic album and recreate it. Please post both versions of the album in your new blog and explain your process. Also include useful links and the assignment tags. Also submit it to iloveyork tumblr !!!

The Beatles recently enjoyed a 50 year anniversary. As well as often being accredited with being the first rock band they also enjoy the distinction of being the first band to create album art. I am playing with reducing the DPI to 1.



Please read – looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Here is an article from the NY Times that is about the landmark agreement between Com Cast and Netflix.

Lastly, this is an article which explains what some of the possible ramifications are of Netflix’s agreement with Comcast written by a group dedicated to defending net neutrality called the Free Press. The site also offers several ways to get involved on line.


Hello, Good to be back … and nice to see what you have been working on.

Take a look at our new course tumblr site – !!! Don’t forget to submit.

A quick note … We should be getting our Word Press Sites next week and I’ll be giving you instructions about what to include.

By Monday please have your “Journey to Sometime” – a photo montage of an old image and a new image. At least one montage is required but I encourage you to make a series of 3-5. Please upload them to your tumblr and submit to For historical image archives take a look at Flickr’s Commons and the Internet Archive. Be prepared to have a critique …so make them good.

Here is a tutorial I made on the various ways to select in Photoshop.

Selecting in Photoshop 6 from chloe smolarski on Vimeo.

Here is a tutorial that demonstrates some of the more complex uses of Quick masks.

And here is a tutorial on how to make 3D gifs with two white lines. The trick is not to have too many frames.

We spoke about the Creative Commons licensing system. Please take a look at their site.


Net Neutrality and Journeys.

Hello Everyone,

By the time you read this I will be on an Airplane to Berlin, Germany. 3D_airberlin

Dwayne and Shakira,the TAs will be running the class today. Please feel free to contact me via email at any point and I will get back to you as soon as possible. It is important that you refer back to the blog regularly as I will be blogging from abroad. I will also be posting assignments, tutorials and readings throughout the week. This is a hybrid class and students are expected to put in 3-4 hours of work in outside of class.

I got inspired to make a 3D gifs after reading this article. The idea that one could create an illusion with something as simple as two white lines I found intriguing and poetic. It essentially incorporates a simple design principle: Overlapping objects will give the allusion that one object is closer than another. Of course, as usual – when working with remixed material, one must really analyze the images you choose to work with. For this particular gif – it is important that you choose a sequence that is coming towards you. Remember Gifs work best when they are short sequences. (12-30 frames) Since a gif is essentially loop it is also important to consider how the last frame meets the first frame.

1)Many of you have already done so – but I would like each of you to create a Tumblr account. In this account you should post and tag all your gifs. Please email me your Tumblr sites by the end of class.

2) Discuss

Its difficult to imagine the world with out the web. It has become such important part of our lives that often we can longer separate our on-line life and our actual life. We use the web in all areas of our lives including personal, economic and political. Up until this point the web has been a medley of professional and amateur media co-existing often feeding off of each other.  Tim Berners-Lee the man who invented the internet has recently been speaking out against the recent FCC ruling that threatens Net neutrality. Here is an article on it by By David Kravets in Wired.

3) Homework

Please re-watch the video posted above and read this article by Tim Berners-Lee. Write a one page response paper/post in which you explain in your own words what net neutrality is, why it is being discussed this year is and what Tim Berners- Lee perspective is. Do you agree or disagree? Be prepared to discuss and to turn it in next Monday.

4) More Homework –

I would like you to take 9 -12 photographs and that tell a story about a “journey to somewhere”. You may also choose to use old family pictures or found images.  You may interpret this assignment literally or figuratively. Journeys can also be interpreted as life challenges that must be overcome in order to succeed, be happy or simply grow up. Please then assemble them in a Google Slide Show and have a link prepared for the next class-tag and tweet it out. If you want you may also use Powerpoint (you will still have to upload your presentation to Google Drive) or Prezi (Prezi is an online application and provides a link to share). Please use only imagesNO TEXT. Be sure to upload all presentations to your Google drive. Also – No Crazy transitions – simple is better. Straight cuts or fades will work well. I’m including a little tutorial on how to create presentations. This is a tutorial that gives you an overview of Google Drive. And here is another tutorial that covers how to share files from your Google drive. Send me an email if you would like some feedback.

I’ll post my Berlin Narrative – so, check back in a day or two.

Please consider how each photo links to the next creating a narrative. Also think about each frame’s individual composition. You may want to work some ideas out on paper. This is sometimes called storyboarding. Be prepared to present your work to the class.

Here is a short piece that comes out of a creative commons journalism class. Apparently the student, Priyanka Ghetia was not in the class but because the course was on line (like DS106!) – she was able to participate from far away. The piece is beautiful and haunting. It appears that both students below used video programs to put their pieces together which is why they have more control over the slow fades and could add sound. I found their work inspirational and encourage you to really think about the mood of your pieces. We’ll take a look when I get back.

Journey to nowhere by Alex Mason.

Let it Snow Gifs … Keep an eye on this blog for updates!!

Hello everyone,

I wanted to congratulate all of you who made it through the snow storm to class. I enjoyed working on gifs today and am looking forward to see what you come up with!

Homework is to make at least two different kinds of gifs. One should be an gif animation (5 stars) and the other a “video” gif (5 stars). In all you need to have completed at least 10 stars worth of assignments. Extra credit will be given for extra stars. Don’t forget to tweet them out. In addition, to the provided assignment tags please use #ct101.

I posted two assignments of which you should complete one. In the first gif animation you are asked to create a mini animation in 4-8 frames of an action from a dream. Tumblr is a great place to get some inspiration. If you are new to Photoshop and would rather make a TXT gif (3 stars) that’s fine as well. Let me know if you have any questions!

Below is a Gif animation made by Marian Narin a student from last semester.

Personal GIF “Man on the Moon”

For an additional 5 stars, choose a moment from a movie Been There  that you can relate too and make a gif out of it. While doing this assignment I would like you consider your edits. Often short, movement to movement works well.

Check out some of the other gif assignment . I particularly like the Tate Museum gif challenge – a great way to remix culture.

What else? … use ss to grab videos from youtube. For example: (that’s a link to Reggie Watts Ted talk – check it out)

Oh don’t forget to tweet your gifs out – in addition to the provided assignment tags use #ct101

Happy Snow – Just when you thought it was spring … this happens. A little housekeeping before we go onto Gifs.

My office hours are at 9 AM and 2 PM on Mondays. Please be sure to shoot me an email if you plan on being here.


Gifs have an interesting history and have been enjoying a revival. “.Gif” is an extension that allows files to be very small in size. It has been largely replaced by PNG which is not patented and is also highly effective for vector graphics. However gifs are making a comeback largely because its format allows for loops. One of the first “Gifs” to ever go viral (more than 25 years ago) Dancing Baby Meme. What are gifs really good at expressing? What is it you think that makes a gif meme “spreadable” as Jenkins would say or viral?

Gifs express moments – often very timely.

They can memorialize moments RIP philip seymour hoffman.

There is a large community of artistic gifs on Tumblr Gifs

Here are some tutorials I made about gifs – one is an “animation” gif and the other is a video Gif. I made both in Photoshop CS6 but although more complicated it is also possible to make Gifs in Gimp (an opensource image editing program)

video gif tutorial comp from chloe smolarski on Vimeo.

animation gif tutorial comp from chloe smolarski on Vimeo.