Wednesday, September 3, 2008

final project videos

I Love Pigeons


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Final presentations for SOPIS community

Congratulations to all!
The final SOPIS presentations will be in Kellen Auditorium this Thurs. Aug. 7.
We will meet there at 4pm for refreshments, and the presentations will start at 5pm sharp. Please be there with your group at 4pm to check DVDs, etc.

**Please remember to bring:
- your handouts (books, stickers, etc.)
- your booths
- a quicktime version of your presentation video on CD/DVD
- a mastered DVD version of your presentation video
- a copy of the quicktime version for me to keep on CD/DVD

Thursday, July 31, 2008

National Pigeon Day

Some exciting news... we've been invited to participate in National Pigeon Day next year!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grabbing video from youtube + free sound effects

Website to grab video from youtube:

Free sound effects:

How to Make a DVD

To make a DVD that can play in a consumer DVD player, you need to master it in iDVD.

1. Export a full quality Quicktime file from FCP.
-Go to File>Export>Quicktime Movie.
-Title your exported project.
-Current settings is fine, just make sure that "Make Movie Self Contained" is checked.

2. Open iDVD.

3. Create a new project (make sure the Aspect Ratio is Standard 4:3 or Widescreen, however you shot your footage), and save it in the Movies folder (or your personal folder).

4. Click the Themes button (lower right), and change '6.0 Themes' to 'All' (upper right).

5. Scroll down and choose a theme for your DVD by clicking on it. The longer rectangles are widescreen, so you if you shot standard you need to pick one of the smaller ones. I recommend choosing the Portfolio B&W or Portfolio Color themes -- nice and simple. These directions are specifically for using the Portfolio B&W or Portfolio Color themes.

6. Drag your full quality QuickTime file into the theme window.

7. To adjust the size and shape of the movie button, click on Buttons (lower right). You'll see the shape options at the top, and you can adjust the text label with the options below that. To adjust the picture on the button, click on it once, and move the slider above until you get to the frame you want. This is what people will see in your DVD menu.

8. To move or adjust the title on the top, just click and drag it, or click on the text. Then click on Menu (lower right) to change the font. If you want to make a new one, or an additional one, hit Apple + K on your keyboard.

9. Below the main window are 3 buttons: Motion (man walking), Preview (play button), and Map View (folders). Make sure that Motion is turned off (it should be white, not blue). This keeps the movie in your button from playing, and leaves it on a still frame -- less burn time.

10. Click the Preview button, to see how your DVD will look and sound. Make sure you have the right movie, and everything is working. When you are done, click the Exit button.

11. Check the prefereneces. Go to iDVD-->Preferences. Choose Video Mode: NTSC, and Encoding: Best Quality. Close the dialogue box.

12. Congratulations -- you are ready to burn. Click on the circle to the right of the volume slider, and insert a blank DVD-R DVD (you MUST use DVD-R DVDs). Wait for the computer to get ready, then click burn. Your burn time can take 20 minutes or more, so be prepared to wait. Once it's finished, test your DVD in another computer before you make more. If it works, it's a good idea to make more DVDs right away -- the next one you burn will take about 1/4 of the time, since the file does not need to be encoded again.

**We have a had problems with Fuji DVD-R DVDs in these drives, so I recommend TDK or Memorex. All DVDs are not the same, cheaper is NOT better, buy a known brand.**

Video + Final Project Presentation

Your presentation video must...
-be approximately 5 minutes in length
-include footage of all group members participating in performance
-have a title and credits
-clearly show us what happened in Union Sq. Park on performance day
-include a voice over statement at the beginning that explains the project and who you all are

Divide into teams of 3: 3 people work on intro statement/voiceover and a plan for final presentation, and 3 people work on editing existing footage.

Think about recurring themes that you can use to tie your footage together (colors, actions, graphics and logos that you designed). Use the project goals that you wrote to help with your intro statement.

Your final presentation will consist of your 5 minute video, and 5 minutes of you introducing yourselves, talking about the project, and showing what you were handing out to people.

A rough cut is due Thursday. We will also go over how to make a DVD in iDVD Thursday.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Homework due 07.29.08

1. Please post online or print out all of your photos for your group to review.

2. As a group, take a preliminary look at your video footage. Make notes about what you want to use, and what can be discarded. Remember, the final video will be approx. 5 mins.

3. Sign out a video camera for Tues. afternoon's class.

In class on Tues. we are going to cover Final Cut Pro, and start putting together your video presentation.

Pigeon Performance in Union Sq. Park 07.25.08

The performance was a great success! To see photos, click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pigeon Performance POSTPONED!

After checking numerous weather reports, it looks like it will be rain and thunderstorms all day. We are officially rescheduling the performance to Friday 07.24 from 4:30-6:45. I hope you can all still make it!

Guest critics: If you can't make it tomorrow we'll manage, just let me know.

Students: All of your booth materials need to be moved this afternoon from room 802 to Anne Gaines' office. Please meet me in room 802 at 4pm this afternoon to carry everything downstairs. Also, all of your video equipment still needs to be picked up today from 55 West 13th St. 9th floor, and is due back tomorrow at 7pm -- you'll need to return it immediately after the performance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Project Outcomes

Group 1
Here are our hopes of what we want the people we see on Thursday to go away with!
- That the kids understand that pigeons are not dangerous animals.
- To be happy about having experienced some playfull activities
regarding pigeons.
- That pigeons are both interesting and harmless birds!
- To make both kids and parents positive and more open towards accepting
- To prevent kids and parents from hurting or treating the pigeons bad.
- And most important of all, we want the kids and parents to walk away

Group 2
We want people to:
- Realize that Pigeons are Cool.
- Learn some interesting facts that they never knew before.
- Know that pigeons are not dangerous and don’t carry disease.
- Think how meaningful they can be… save lives, inspiration to many people.
- Reconsider they previous thinking about pigeons.
- Show that there are people that care about the pigeons and found them exciting.
- Get some resources with information they can look after they leave the booth.

Openings this weekend for possible interviews


Bushwick (7-10) AD HOC ART 49 Bogart St: "5 Identities, 5
Destinations" with Jenn Porreca, Amy Crehore, Molly Crabapple, Ewelina
Ferruso & Lizz Lopez

Williamsburg (6-9) THE ERRANT GARRISON 166 N 12: Tryn Collins and Mary
Hill "This Horse Is Confused"

Williamsburg (6:30-10) * * * LIKE THE SPICE 224 Roebling St: "Forming
Lines: Translations Between Drawing and Sculpture" with Rachel Beach,
Seth Cohen, Beka Goedde, Abby Goodman, Dean Goelz, Barry Hazard, Allie
Rex, Marc André Robinson, Rodger Stevens, Kathleen Vance.


Bushwick (7-12, RSVP: ) THIRD WARD 195 Morgan Ave:
"Good Wood 2008- Give Back" curated by Aww Sweet & Alldaybuffet with
Mike Perry, Fernanda Cohen, Nathan Fox, Keetra Dixon, Jeremy Traum,
John Breiner, and Unplate; Donald Kilpatrick III, Leo Espinosa, Serge
Gay Jr., Matt Gordon and international talent (Jakob Printzlau, aka
"Plastic Kid" and the front man of The Fashion) ; Chuck Anderson (No
Pattern) and Ryan Katrina (Neuarmy), Andrew Davis.

Noho (6-9) WERKSTATTE GALLERY 55 Great Jones St: "Glass Houses"
curated by Eddie Martinez with Derek Aylward, Patrick Brennan, John
Copeland, Denise Kupferschmidt, Liz Markus, Samantha Moyer, Sara
Murphy, Ryan Schneider, Jade Townsend

Upper East (6-8) * * * PRAXIS 25 E 73: "ColorĂ­n Colorado..." with
Alejandra Villasmil, Blanka Amezkua, Maria Berrio, Patricia Cazorla
and Sol Aramendi


Bushwick (6-10) * * * VAUDEVILLE PARK 26 Bushwick Ave (at DeVoe):
"Dream Tigers" curated by Brian Zegeer with Eric Ayotte, Reed Barrow,
John Bianchi, Maya Brym, Elizabeth Cooper, Allen Cordell, Claire
Corey, Rachel Frank, Will Gabaldon, Siobhan McBride, Andrew Prayzner,
Naomi Reis

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pigeon performance/intervention this Thursday

The great Parsons pigeon performance/intervention is this Thursday 07.24.08 in Union Square Park, south side, from 4:30-6:50pm.

Please come by! There will be free t-shirts, stickers, candy and other great stuff, along with stimulating pigeon conversation.

-Image from:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Homework due 07.22.07

1. Continue working on booth and handouts.
2. As a group come up with 6 questions that you might be asked while working on your booth, and 6 responses. Be prepared to present in class on Tuesday.
3. Go to Erin Lee's website, and check out her work. She will be a guest speaker in our class on Tuesday, speaking about all of her work and what it is like to do performance projects.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Homework due 07.17.08

07.17.08 is an in-class work day. Bring any materials you need to continue working on the performance (booth, handouts) to class, and be prepared to present your progress to the class. At this point you should have a clear picture of what the performance will be, what you will be handing out, and what your booth will look like.

guest speaker Cynthia Lawson

Today at 4:30 Cynthia Lawson is speaking to the SOPIS program at Kellen Auditorium, 66 5th Ave. ground floor.

Cynthia is an artist, educator, & technologist. Cynthia is currently
Assistant Professor of the Integrated Design Curriculum at Parsons
The New School for Design in New York City.

Additionally she has traveled in Latin America and Japan to teach
courses and workshops. Her artwork has been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally, including The Modern Museum of Art (Bogota, Colombia), Exit Art Gallery, Macy Gallery, NY Arts Space, HEREart, UCLA Hammer Museum, CalArts, and RISD, amongst others. She has published and presented papers on electronic poetry, educational technology, and interdisciplinary design at various conferences and festivals worldwide. Cynthia holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Universidad de los Andes, and an MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University.

To learn more about what Cynthia is doing, visit her website at:

In this lecture Cynthia will present on her recent project:
In June 2008 she traveled with 13 students and 2 faculty from The New School to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala to work with the women's artisan association "Ajkem'a Loy'a," in partnership with CARE. Cynthia's presentation will present this project as a case study for humanitarian design, addressing the tremendous opportunities, and challenges, that today's designers face when working in developing countries.
For more information on the project, visit its blog at:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Homework due 07.15.08

1. Mockups of all 3 of your handouts (colors, fonts, paint + cookie supplies, etc.).

2. Detailed drawing of your booth.

3. Email 3 paragraph statements to Matthew.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pigeon Map Photos

To see photos of the giant Union Square pigeon map, click here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Murakami exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum

Thursday we are taking a field trip to the Brooklyn Museum of Art to see the Murakami exhibit. We have a guided tour that starts promptly at 3:30pm. Give yourself an hour to get to the museum on time. I will already be at the museum, and will meet you just inside the main entrance.

Directions by subway:
Take the 2 or 3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum. Click here for a map and detailed directions.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Homework due 07.10.08

With your team, write a three (or more) paragraph plan for your final project.
Describe your booth and the handouts your team will be giving away.
Be prepared to present your writing in class.

Framing the Final Project: "Talk to Me About Pigeons"

This American Life: 'Talk to an Iraqi' Booth Project

Part 1

Part 2

SOPIS Final Projects
Your final project will be modeled on the 'Talk to an Iraqi' booth, but instead of focusing on Iraq, your topic is pigeons. You will be doing a one day performance in Union Square park on Thursday July 24 during class time (4-6:50). You will need to build a temporary booth and design posters, flyers, t-shirts and/or artwork to give away to people that pass by. Your handouts will include little-known pigeon facts, and resources for people to learn more about pigeons. You can also include information on the politics of feeding pigeons and pigeon population control -- hot topics here in New York City, as you know. We have been studying pigeons since the first day of class, this performance should utilize all of the information you have learned.

Each team member must take a turn manning the booth and interacting with people. You must prepare in advance to clearly answer questions about pigeons and the materials you are handing out.

Each team member must also do some video taping, to document the performance. Afterwards, we will edit the video along with photos and other documentation into an organized presentation. This final presentation will be shown to visiting artists and the SOPIS community at the end of the semester.

Team 1
Soon Ji

Team 2
Jo Un
Yu Jin

Steven Lam talk + suggestions

Steven Lam's website:

David Byrne's "Playing the Building":

Galleries in Chelsea:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Spray Booth + Homework due 07.07.08

1. Finish pigeon t-shirts and bring to class.
Spray Booth: 25 E. 13th St., 4th floor.

2. Prepare materials from field trip to Hoboken with your team (print out photos, organize your data, prepare to present in class).

3. Read the following article on pigeons in Staten Island (including the first 13 comments):

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Homework due 07.03.08

1. Get the following supplies:

-several T-shirts (Big D on 14th St. between 5th and 6th Aves., middle of the street, south side)

-Xacto knife and blades, #11 and #16

-18 x 24 pad of white drawing paper (this was on your original supply list)

-tracing paper

-brown kraft paper (whoever has it from the map project, please bring it in)

-black sharpie marker

-drafting tape

2. Make your drawing to scale, i.e. the size that you want it to be on your T-shirt.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Homework due 07.01.08

1. Readings: "On the Waterfront" and pigeon racing in Hoboken.

2. Clean up + update the pigeon facts wiki. Fix any grammar or spelling issues, and annotate each fact (tell us where you got it, make sure it's a somewhat reliable source).

3. Come up with 2 pigeon-inspired T-shirt designs. Keep the designs simple, no more than 2 colors. Watch the video below for a quick stenciling demo.

4. Supplies for next class, field trip to Hoboken:
-$ for PATH train ($1.75 each way)
-$ for food
-sketchbook, pencils, pens, markers, whatever you want to draw with
-digital camera (bring video cameras too if you have them)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Homework due 06.26.08

In collaboration with all of the other groups, create giant map from your pigeon following exercise. Use kraft paper, photos, drawings, writing. Photos can be printed at the UCC (55 W. 13th St., 3rd floor).

Pigeon (NYC) Dunk by Staple Design

-designed by Jeff Ng from Staple Design (Parsons)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Class 06.24.08 Maps + Mapping

Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood.

In semiotics, a sign is defined as, "...something that stands for something else, to someone in some capacity." (Marcel Danesi and Paul Perron, "Analyzing Cultures".) It may be understood as a discrete unit of meaning, and includes words, images, gestures, scents, tastes, textures, sounds — essentially all of the ways in which information can be communicated as a message by any sentient, reasoning mind to another.

-Daniel Chandler, "Semiotics for Beginners,"

Psychogeography: Guy Debord
Situationist Guy Debord devised the notion of psychogeography in the 1950s. It deals with the study of the exact laws and specific effects of our geographic environment. Psychogeography describes the sudden change in atmosphere a few meters further along a street, and the different characteristics of city districts. It reveals the path of least resistance a person subconsciously takes when wandering aimlessly and points out the attraction or repulsion of particular places.

Imagine if you were walking in an unfamiliar area of town and suddenly you realized that it was very dark and the shadows looked distinctly unfriendly. But what if you had a map, a map that clearly marked out entire sections of the city as safe, or peaceful or even scary. Such a map would be dramatically different from normal maps, in that the data being presented is no longer merely objective, but also subjective. Welcome to the new world of psychogeography.

Psychogeography is an umbrella term used to refer to a number of different ways to explore cities and towns. This new field is still emerging and like any new genre there is still a sense of uncertainty. Most definitions hover around the issues of maps and people’s responses to urban spaces and surroundings. The most accessible one is as follows: Psychogeography is the hidden landscape of atmospheres, histories, actions and characters which charge environments. But there is a basic thread running through all the various versions of psychogeography, and that is the generation of maps. These are maps that challenge all preconceived notions about maps.

Psychogeographic maps present maps that may or may not be objective. A case in point is 'mental mapping'. These are maps generated by individuals walking along areas in the city and recording emotions. The resulting map is more than a physical record of distances travelled, it is also a record of the internal state of mind of the map maker.

Other kinds of mental maps include maps made from memory alone. Some maps even overlay several such mental maps and the final result is a unique perspective of hitherto familiar areas. The newness of this field also leads to widely differing methods of map making. By far the most commonly used method is something known as "Generative algorithms". This involves the establishing of a predetermined method of walking, and the psychogeographers follow such algorithms in order to explore the city in new ways. Typically, the rules for walking would involve just a series of instructions such as turn right, and then the second left, etc etc, and soon the participants would end up in places they would never have consciously chosen to go to.

Another example of this new way of walking is using a map of, say, City A, and follow it in City B. Or by randomly following a person on the street and observing the route he/ she takes. While these projects seem to push the boundaries of maps further, one is tempted to ask what use is it all? For this we have to wait and see. But for sure, the city will no longer be something that lies in-between their houses and offices, instead there is likely to be a renewed interest in the concept of being an urban dweller.

-Dinesh Rao

Artist's Mapping Projects

Jasper Johns Map, 1961
"Whether or not we try to interpret this painting as a rethinking of America, we discover maps to be an interesting visual subject, because while they are themselves concrete objects, at the same time they are abstract representations of geographical and political boundaries, somewhat arbitrary organizations imposed on the land. A subtle but important conceptual issue arises here: has Johns painted a map or a painting of a map? We might think both, but he felt it was the former, that instead of trying simply to represent something, as most past painters have done, he painted the thing itself. Theoretically, we could use this map in a classroom as easily as another."
-Philip Yenawine, "How to Look at Modern Art"
Map (B&W)
Other works

Nina Katchadourian

Kathy Prendergast, Lost Map
In describing “Lost Map” Prendergast writes: “For the last few years I have been researching place-names with the idea of producing an “Emotional Atlas of the World.” This atlas would show all the places in the world which have names connected with emotions, i.e., Lost Bay, Lonely Island, Hearts Desire, etc., rather than the conventional atlas which shows places of importance. “Lost Map” is a variation on this theme. Through Prendergast’s work, we may come to know every “lost” place in North America. -
more of Prendergast's work

Alighiero Boetti, Mappa del Mondo

Joyce Kozloff

GPS art
GPS artist Jeremy Wood's Meridian Project
A walk though London along the quote: “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” (from Herman Melville's Moby Dick)
more GPS drawings

Mona Hatoum
Map, 1999, glass marbles
Map, 1998, glass marbles (Basel)
Precariously balanced, fragile yet potentially dangerous, Hatoum's work powerfully suggests the contingency that defines the geo-political landscape.

Mona Hatoum: "...the map was very fragile: as soon as one set foot on the parquet, the marbles on the floor started moving. At the same time, the work was very menacing. I like it when things are attractive and forbidding at the same time; both seductive and dangerous. The marbles made the floor hazardous, because you could slip on the glass balls and fall down. I've done quite a few works which destabilize the ground you walk on."

Hot Spot, 2006, stainless steel and neon tube
Hot Spot interrogates the notions of ‘boundaries’ through the depiction of a world map – an ongoing theme in the artist’s work. Hot Spot is a cage-like globe, approximately the size of a person’s height and arm span, which tilts at the same angle as the earth. Using delicate neon to outline the contours of the world on its surface, the work buzzes with an intense energy, bathing its surroundings in a luminescent red glow. Compelling and seemingly dangerous, Hot Spot suggests that it is not simply contested border zones that are political hot spots but an entire global situation: what Hatoum describes as a ‘world continually caught up in conflict and unrest’.

Brian Collier
Human Movement Patterns, 2002
"Tracking an individual's regular movements can be both uncomfortably intimate and frigidly anonymous. For this project I create a series of map-portraits based on several individual's habitual weekly travels. The appearance of scientific objectivity in the finished map-portraits works in direct opposition to the fact that I personally know all the individuals represented. Furthermore, the initial maps were made by those individuals themselves, rather than an outside observer. Most of the participants reported that this self-surveillance was slightly disturbing. There is an underlying intimacy, evoked only subtly, when the viewer notices the flesh-like quality of the hand-waxed paper or the use of only first names of participants."

Vito Acconci
Following Piece, 1969

How to reserve equipment + Equipment Center info

All reservations must be made online through the Newschool website. To reserve equipment (still digital cameras, video cameras, etc.), go to Under “Student Reservations” choose “Equipment Center” then sign out the equipment you need.

55 West 13th St, Rm. 921

Monday - Thursday: 9am - 9pm
Friday: 9am - 7pm
CLOSED on Weekends, Holidays, Breaks & Intersessions

Tel: 212.229.5300 ext. 4556
Fax: 212.647.8202

Friday, June 20, 2008

Homework due 06.24.08

1. Post 3 pigeon facts to our wiki.

2. Fill out Pigeon Watch data sheet with your partner anywhere in Union Square Park.

3. In your sketchbook:
-Make at least one drawing from observation of a pigeon in your sketchbook (can be any media, including pencil, pen, marker, pastel, etc.).
-Answer the additional questions about pigeons written in your syllabus.

4. Read the "Pigeon Wars" article from the New York Times Magazine.

***5. Bring digital still cameras to class.***

*6. If you haven't already, please get your newschool email address as soon as possible, and email Jeannie.

How to Login to the Pigeon Facts Wiki in Blackboard

1. Login to

2. Choose "My Courses" with the Bb logo in the upper right of the screen.

3. Under "My Courses" choose SOPIS.

4. Under "Courses" on the left, choose "Blogs and Wikis".

5. Under "Pigeon Facts" click on "View" and the wiki will open.

6. To add your facts, click on "Edit" in the upper right -- remember to add your initials after you type in your facts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Welcome to SOPIS 2008

To download the syllabus, click here.

To download the questionnaire, click here.

To download the Project Pigeon Watch kit, click here.

To read the "Pigeon Wars" article online, click here.

The best way to contact me with questions or if you are unable to attend class, is leddyn [at] newschool [dot] edu.