Haley Garvis
Reading Response #1
NMC Horizon Report-2011 K-12 Edition

The concept of the “cloud” computing was a little difficult to digest, as I am not familiar at all with data processing or how computer information is stored, but it did provoke a lot of questions. What form exactly does computer data take? How does it get transported, transferred, and travelled? Will all words to describe this process be mostly abstract and intangible (a “cloud” used to describe data transfer?)? Would it be possible sometime in the future that the “cloud” would fill up from widespread use and become “full”? But if this cloud system lessens cost and conserves resources, while expanding accessibility to the creative uses of the internet, I wholeheartedly think it should be employed whenever possible.
            The segment on mobile devices made a super point about utilizing these devices for fieldwork and collecting sound or video. I think that’s a great excuse to move the classroom outside, away from the mundane four-walled box into the woods or the city streets, but also possessing the potential to bring collected media back into the classroom to analyze and work on. The article also discussed how the “age at which students in the developed world acquire their first mobile device is dropping” (p. 15). With such technology becoming available at younger and younger ages, the students may become more familiar with the devices than the teachers. I remember one student in our class who has been teaching for several years mentioning she had experience with this herself. In the store where I work my boss asked me a computer question and I was completely at a loss, when my boss’s ten-year-old granddaughter overheard us and performed the task in about five seconds. I believe it is extremely important that we are as knowledgeable as our future students on new technology so that we won’t limit their learning but can increase their understanding.


Reading Response #2
Applied Autonomy: Engaging Ambivalence

I thought it was intriguing that the article describes DARPA as the “business of creating and satisfying desire” (p.96), and that makes sense as humans do have a craving for technology that improves and streamlines their lives. However advanced technologies can both simplify and complicate our existence.
The concept of the graffiti writer was exciting; I was very attracted to the image of a little robot man scooting around and spraying “fight the system” onto a government facility. Also the use of government funds towards projects that potentially place art or messages on government buildings and perhaps even undermine the government in some ways was interesting. Interpreting the phrase “previously denied areas” (p.97) as the privatization of public spaces opens the door to such activity. The question produced in my mind was how do groups using the graffiti writer receive their funding? Do they not have to provide outlines and results of their work to their funders? And if so, why would the DARPA sector of the department of defense allow these actions? Part of this was resolved later in the article where it discusses how the technologies are “neutral” and used for general purposes which crosses the boundaries between military innovation and civilian usages.


Reading Response #3

The point made in “Students Find Ways to Thwart Facebook Bans” about students being more apt than teachers with computers, is a very relevant statement. I feel this is a thread that has been running through several of out readings, but it is so very significant. If your students are more attuned to technology than their instructor, how can the instructor further their knowledge and integrate technology-based lessons in their teaching? As far as the Facebook ban argument, I feel that it is the students’ responsibility to have the self-restraint to remain attentive in class and not be distracted by social media. I was going to propose assimilating class work into social media but I believe there’s too much of a potential for distraction, disruption, and diversion in that suggestion.

In “Program or Be Programed” the thought of shared thinking really frightened me, this is a realm of technology that I think should be left alone. The mind is a complicated object, and I believe it gains beauty in its inexplicability. By attempting to dissect, analyze, and place technology into our own brains that would “connect” us or create a collective consciousness, I really think we would cause more damage than development. The suggestion for all individuals to go out and start writing programs is implausible; this is not a simple task. Rushkoff points out that “we spend more time and energy trying to figure out how to use them to program one another instead” and if most people are still considering how to connect their iPhone to their computer, how could they be expected to write code? The analogy of cars and how the automobile industry quickly and almost imperceivably morphed our lives and environment made me understand Rushkoff’s logic. 

Reading Response #4

The term that truly struck me in the article “Web Work: A History of Internet Art” was “immateriality”. I love the idea that the art doesn’t really exist in the material, visible world but is transmitted through complex code and invisible routing. It’s an abstract concept almost comparable to performance art, in that it doesn’t occur in an object but a moment and on an electronic screen that is transient and permanent at the same time. However its availability to anyone who has access to a computer creates it into a force that breaks down the barrier of the realm of the art world that can be inaccessible and elitist to all people. I really enjoy how open it is rather than restricted or unapproachable as other areas of “high” art sometimes are.

I question the nature of net art; if someone were to capture an image of a three-dimensional artwork, and put the digital image on the internet, and the actual, observable piece was never shown to anyone, but the image existed on the internet, would that be considered net art? Or is it more rooted in the coding and manipulation of encryptions to produce a novel Internet expression? Essentially does it apply to anything deemed “art” that is on the Internet?

Also the idea on the Internet “time moves faster” and made me ponder both how time passes and moves and how it could be bended or collapsed but also “dog-years” and the conversation from human years to pet lifespans. The lifespan of entities on the internet is sometimes very short, as there are so many items each one only has its moments of fame or attention for a short period; we could compare it to a mayfly’s supposed twenty-four hours of being. The paradox is that once a thing is given birth on the Internet, it is there forever, or at least some leftovers of it that could be traced back to its original source. I thought this was an interesting enigma. 

Reading Response #6

When I think about montage editing, I think about juxtaposing short shots that create movement and meaning. This was the first thing that came to mind:


This article was really stimulating as we begin to think about concocting interesting and creative lesson plans. I have been fantasizing about tailoring a video lesson to elementary age students and facilitating narrative writing and character creation for a stop-motion type video with illustrations done by the students. This article spoke to lessons for older age children, and I must say I would want to read the article about fifty times before I would feel comfortable enough to relay it to someone else. Actually once I read the article through again its much more attainable. Truncating into steps like looking for edits and counting edits, as well as analyzing why that edit functions in the way it does or the significance it serves makes the experience wieldy. I wondered why the films “Citizen Kane” and “Vertigo” were suggested; I wanted to know why these were the most fitting to teach with. The iFilm link held some interesting inspiration.

Response to Jiyun’s Website:

The opening page looks really great! You set it up in an understandable and organized way. The white strip at the very top with your name is a bit distracting; maybe try to find another color. Also I just noticed the forest image is repeating across the screen and the line where the image duplicates is obvious. You could do that trick we learned in Photoshop where you flip the image so its mirrored on its side and the colors would be the exact same on the line down the images. I loved reading your biography! You’ve lived in many exciting places. There were a few grammatical/verb tense mistakes you might want to look over it. Cool start to your portfolio, I enjoy how each image enlarges when you click on it.

Reading Response#7

What a great idea! Why fight social networking in schools or deny its potential? Instead utilize the benefits and advantages it provides. The original idea for Facebook was to connect people from all around the world to share opinions and viewpoints, which is a beautiful concept that is sometimes overlooked in the narcissism and popularity game is has become in the states. As far as the suggestions for the classroom, there are several brilliant ones and others not so valuable. I would not recommend Facebook as a search engine or forum for legitimate information gathering. It is a network of advertising and estimation and runs in the same vein as Wikipedia as far as sincere information; posts can be edited by anyone and are not verifiable. It would be useful for an opinion poll but not valid facts. A super suggestion was to use Facebook to become knowledgeable about 21st century skills. As in every article we read, we are reminded technology is not going away and is advancing faster than ever. Therefore it is imperative that students understand how social networks and other systems are going to grow and change, as well as how to collaborate with others halfway across the world. Another idea in this nature was social media etiquette. In another education class we have a debate coming up about social bullying and where, when, how, and if schools should step in during a serious online situation. I believe informing on how to be civil and gracious in social media arenas would be the best mode of interference. Going along with that, effectiveness and efficacy on social networking sites is also an important skill to know that could be tied into politeness and etiquette so that students pay attention through the lesson and do not write it off as being solely about manners and decorum.

Week 10 Reading Response

Computer technology should surely be considered as a valid, authentic, and compelling mode of art-making. I would like to say to Chuck Close, just because it is different from your manner of creating does not lessen or diminish it in any way. In fact, Chuck Close should be honored by Scott Blake’s work for it is evidence of the huge influence Close has had, and proof his art will live on into the future and not disappear with time.

What’s wrong with a “labor-saving device”?! If the art is not about process or the long term toil that goes into it, and is more about the conceptual notion of creating an image on the computer, or purely the end product, there is nothing wrong with a time-saver or labor-reducer. People will always have reverence for painting, as long as painters continue to expand in their own field, and it may be in the future that the realms of physical painting and virtual painting coincide and inform each other (if it isn’t already happening now).

I do see a point when Close says he does not want his art “trivialized.” He is considered a very talented professional who’s work is deemed “high art” and sells for innumerable amounts. He doesn’t want his legacy to fall into the “kitsch” territory where every family can have their own personal portrait they paid fifty dollars for right next to grandma’s crocheted blanket and collections of Disney figurines. I am not sure how I would feel if I were in Close’s position but I’d like to think I would rather have my art touch everyone that it possibly could, let it be accessible to people in all walks of life, and allow my ideas to live on in other forms.


Week 11 Reading Response

The question “what is art?” or “is it art?” is completely futile and fruitless, as each and every individual have their own subjectivity and personal subconscious aesthetics. Duchamp flipped the “high” art world upside down, and ever since his actions artists have been searching for more and more ways to expand and challenge the definition or notion of art.
However in order to convince the non-believers and support games as an art form, the article gave several commands of what not to do without providing a constructive suggestion except for more conversation about it. The article states not to turn to written literature or film, not to create marketable products informed by game culture, and not to present game stills in a gallery setting.
But here’s the thing. The author says that showing images from games has “been done at the main videogame retailers trade show for years”. I want to point out that videogame retailer trade shows are not considered the art world, and they don’t market themselves that way. The are an influence and perhaps a far-off sector but most of the people attending these shows and interested in games purely as games, they most likely want to continue playing their games and expanding their repertoire in that sense rather than joining the fight for judging games as art.

I think Cory Archangel’s work performed a massive effect in asking other people, outside of the gaming world, to see his video work as art. Many people are still surprised to see electronic systems in a museum or gallery, Cory Archangel not only celebrated, reminisced, and preserved the games he used, he also manipulated them in such a way that they did what (one definition of) art does: makes people feel. He made a piece that was at the Whitney where it is an interactive golfing game, and viewers can hit the ball with a golf club. On the card explanation on the wall it states that it game is rigged, the ball will never be hit successfully. Archangel says participants would read this and still get frustrated when they could not gain points on the game. This brings up a lot of questions, like why do we try when we know we will fail? Why are we competitive? Why do we want to win and bear irritation when we don’t? Why do we play games?
I believe Archangel’s mode of bringing virtual games into the art conversation are most effective. Gaming art DOES need to find its place in galleries and other exhibition spaces.

Reading Response #12 : Pedagogy Art and the Rules of the Game

This article is not taking about teaching art or art history in the form of a physical or virtual game that is competitive or playful. In is instead explaining the use and value of examining the word “game” under a different connotation, not a match or contest but the set of systems and directives different modes and periods of art follow. In imparting this knowledge to mature students, it would provide a more “dynamic understanding” of what art is and where art can go. Being aware of the previously unstated principles and rules will give young artists the ability to expand and advance from the earlier set of rubrics in sense. After reading the article I was still interested to know exactly what the “rules of the game” were in application to ART. We were given the rules of rules, which were stimulating (1. Rules limit action, 2. Rules are explicit and unambiguous, 3. Rules are shared by all, 4. Rules are fixed, 5. Rules are binding, 6. Rules are repeatable). These were especially interesting to me because I and two other students recently applied for a grant to fund the production a physical, collaborative, creative game that incorporated STEAM concepts, therefore reading this was applicable to me and I will refer to it in the future!


Reading Response #13: Gaming Literacies
In some ways, I do think learning the language of programming encourages seeing “the world as a series of interconnected parts”, but I say some ways because in our two month experience with the Game Maker program, I don’t think it has instilled any knowledge as far as the relationships between all the ingredients of our earth. I do think however that attaining programming linguistics “empowers a person to model knowledge” because I tell everyone I know we are creating video games, and this aspect could potentially help younger children gain confidence.
I honestly think the Makey Makey tool is the most shrewdest and most effective tool we have experienced in our class when it comes to game design and relating it to education. I think that an instrument that opens up minds to the possibilities and pushes an individual to devise a creative scheme is the most successful approach to integrating education into “fun stuff” like games. In presenting previous opportunities performed with the Makey Makey, inidividuals are inspired to expand and experiment themselves. The key is that the mechanisms or food or whichever substances connect to the apparatus as the controls influence the actions or verbs undertaken in the game; I believe it would propel children forward with their inventive thinking and finding the programming and design elements to fit with their idea.

Reading Response #14: Learning By Playing: Video Games in the Classroom

Did they learn anything?
Depends on “how you wanted to think about teaching and learning” .

I think for the most part our educational system works, thanks to great teachers who work with what they have in the conventional, boring system and bring creativity and ingenuity into their lessons and classrooms. It was pretty awesome that people designed interdisciplinary games for the children to use for their learning. Who made these games? When I was first thinking about this article I considered my public school experience and thought it was really important that schools stick to the traditional form of teaching, then I realized that even after twelve years of history and science, how much of that information did I retain? Presently, how much do I remember from those classes? Not much. Not as much as I should. Was it because I had no interest in those subjects and only in art and music? Or was it because the methods and procedures weren’t apt enough? Should the structure be manipulated so that I could have combined my interests in art with science, in long-term projects and explorations? And children involved in video games could use design as a mode of interdisciplinary learning? After letting it sit in my head a while I totally understand why Quest to Learn exists and should be used as a model for other remixed educational systems. The only problematic issue is that alternative schools sound amazing in theory, but if the students are not enthusiastic, committed, and self-disciplined, then the scheme falls apart. I have friends who went to an independent alternative school but they were given freedom and time to delve into a personal interest, however this ended up meaning a lot of time “hanging out” and wasting time. In order to succeed at individual and nontraditional projects, students must be passionate and eager to learn, as well as have varied interests they want to explore. The problem is that these students will generally succeed, in a super cool exciting charter school or a regular old boring public school. The students we as teachers really want to reach are the ones who don’t come across as passionate, enthusiastic, or driven, those are the ones we want to help, the ones who need help. How do we reach them?


For our lesson at Binford Middle School, Lee and I taught the students about animating sprites in GameMaker. I don’t think it was problematic at all that the projector was not functioning and we all stood and sat around the computer; this served as a more intimate mode of sharing the steps of creating and animating sprites. At this last minute I suggested to Lee that we ask the students what their favorite game was as they introduced themselves, to get to know them a little bit and possibly have a conversation about why they liked these games, and the aesthetic qualities they could perhaps utilize as they design their own games. However I feel this opened a can of worms that continued to distract the students throughout the class and while Lee and I were attempting to give specific directions in the GameMaker program. In the moment I kept trying to think of ways I might lead the conversation back to the present example and steps we were showing them, but instead I just kind of stood there awkwardly. I wanted to give them respect and hear what they had to say but at the same time we were there for a purpose and needed to impart this information. I feel my enthusiasm level was high, but there is a fine line between being a overly-excited super smiley and bouncy teacher who thinks this will make her accessible through her eagerness, but in fact comes across as false and unrelatable, and a genuine realness without over-acting. I always try to be aware of this. I think we did challenge students because once we presented the concept it allowed for freedom and creativity in designing characters and players for their games. It was great with such a small number of students in the class because I think our teaching was most effective on the individual level. When I was explaining how to take an image from the folder on the desktop and morph it into a image with movement using four different frames, I couldn’t tell for sure if the kids were listening to me or understood. When they worked on their games individually though, it was easier to see what points came across and which ones needed to be reiterated. I also realized when I was talking to the class as a whole that I need to practice choosing my words wisely so that others know exactly what I intend. Utilizing the right language when describing a concept is key to clarification in another’s mind, and it’s also important to be concise and succinct in potentially as few words as possible, the right words. The adjustment at the end of our allotted time to not bring the class back together for another demonstration was a good decision because the students seemed so rooted in their individual work. The most successful moment I believe was when one of the girls in the class expanded on the lessons we imparted by finding a new way of animating a rolling head through a series of transformations. Overall, for one of my first experiences in a middle school classroom I feel it was both a learning experience and an accomplishment.


I feel I need to explain the game I designed because I feel it’s more an art exploration than a functional competitive contest. There is no way to win this game, but a player does not know that. There is no way to lose this game but a player doesn’t know that. There are a series of buttons surrounding the computer that the player must press but some are operative and some are not. I have been thinking about how video games make individuals feel they have agency in the world, they contain power or control over a situation and can cause effects when they press a button. In reality, this is a fabricated condition, as individuals perceive they are altering and modifying things in the world when in truth they are simply pressing switches within an invented environment. Individuals also become frustrated when they push keys and nothing happens; they expect to be able to influence a situation with the touch of a mechanism but this is not the way the universe works. I was inspired by Cory Arcangel’s work, specifically “Self Playing Nintendo 64 NBA Courtside 2” where Shaq throws free throws but misses every time for infinity. Also in the “Pro Tools” show at the Whitney, Arcangel created a piece where individuals could attempt to play a virtual golf game. Arcangel hacked the game and manipulated it so that one will never win, and stated this on a card at the exhibit, however people always tried and tried again even with this information. I am very interested in video games as an educational tool and as an art form, and this project is not a statement about the futility or non-agency of video games, purely an exploration into the psychology behind winning or losing and the vexation that occurs with a convoluted set of keys and lack of effect.