An Album Cover: Like a Moon on the Tides / Sydney Weekender

Visual Assignments: An Album Cover
 So here’s something fun for everyone to do, should be quick and easy, but try to make it pretty. First, go here: The title of the article is now the name of your band. Next, go here: Go to the bottom of the page. The last four to five words of the last quote are the title of your first album Lastly, go here: Select the 3rd image. It is the picture for your album cover. Manipulate the picture, resize it, add some other color, whatever. Do the same with the band name and album title, put them over top. However you wanna do it. Make it look cool.
 There are more than forty people who have completed this album cover assignment. That’s a lot of participants and I thought I should be one of the bunch. One trivial memory from the creative process is that I had to reload quite a few times to find an image under the right license. All these impressive photos appeared, but sadly they said “All rights reserved”. The photo I finally found then was the base image for the album cover. Assuming from the photo title, the scenery happens to be somewhere in Paris, France. Despite the artist’s name “Sydney” weekender, the background image is of another continent.
 I tried using GIMP this time and failed to create a proper cover art I initially intended to make. During my first try, I messed up the original picture so I had to restart from downloading the image again from Flickr. Then, I resorted to Pixlr which probably didn’t eat up my computer’s memory. I was slightly mad at myself after realizing while working on this article that I spelled the word “Sydney” wrong (Syndey? What?). Of course, I went back to Pixlr and it was fixed. There’s not many photo manipulations done to the base image. Instead I played around with the fonts. I noticed for the first time that Pixlr lets you use the fonts you already have in your computer. The fonts used in the cover art are free, by the way.

Surreal and Kind of Cute.

Visual Assignment: Fat Cats make Art Better

 Using this site: as a platform for ideas, and using Photoshop (or something like it) as your tool, place a fat cat into a photo of a classic art piece. The goal is to make it convincing: make the art become on with the cat.

 Unbelievably, I haven’t written any DS106 blog post for this section. After submitting reports and essays for other classes, I sort of went into short hibernation. Although, I have been thinking about this and that in my head starting from Neuromancer to Web 2.0 and the future of cyberspace. Was I slacking off? Kind of. Well, today I decided to be part of the Fat Cat craze and share my piece.

 I don’t reckon people know that I was an AP Art student back in my high school years. The art teacher I had constantly insisted that I should be a visual art critic, and I was and I am still interested in art history and philosophy. Yet, I chose to pursue another field of art, and thus, going through a bit of a rough ride I ended up being here in Temple. As I’m writing this I feel like I need to listen to the ballad “Dream On”. And speaking of dreams, the classical art piece I used for the assignment is one of the notable works of the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali, who portrays dream images and landscapes. I’m talking about a different definition of dream, but anyway, the title of the piece is “The Persistence of Memory”.

 This is my first attempt at creating an image using Pixlr which Scott recommended in the CIS blog on Monday. The online photo editor is quite easy to maneuver. I used GIMP to manipulate images for The Pioneer section and it took me time to figure things out. So Pixlr is a nice discovery. Thanks for recommending it Scott.

To tell the truth, there is not much to comment on the process. My initial idea was to place a cat in some wintry ukiyo-e, but I was unsuccessful in finding any that are usable. I abandoned the idea and turned towards western art. Dali was an easier piece to work on, because of the surreal nature it had. Placing a ginormous cat in the scenery would look just fine. Personally, I think at least half of the burden was on researching images for the process.

I love cats (or most smaller mammals) and lived near them all my life, despite the allergy I supposedly have. If you got interested, try this assignment and join the Fat Cat craze!

Patty Pioneers – Weiner eating a wiener.

Original scanned photo by telehistoriska - CC Licensed via Flickr

Visual Assignment: Patty Pioneers

Simply put, this assignment involves editing a picture of any Computer Pioneer so that it looks like they are eating/about to eat/holding a burger or similar types of fast food.

After this morning’s class I thought I’d do a post on Weiner. I decided it was about time to move on to DS 106 assignments since we are ending the section in one week or so. My first intention was to start off with the easier creative assignments, but technology was intimidating me. It has been quite a while without touching any photo editing software. I have had experiences with Photoshop back in my high school years, because I was one of the yearbook editor. However, I couldn’t suddenly buy Photoshop and I never worked on freewares like GIMP or Inkscape. Both of them were installed in my laptop somehow, though I had no clue how to use them. It took me a few hours to begin the whole assignment, and I had trouble going through the process. I failed a few times, but thanks to the Internet Pioneers — I with helps from tutorial sites I actually got something done!

Whenever I see a dachshund, I always think “a hot dog is walking on the street”. As you know, the name hot dog derives from their long body that looks just like a wiener. I doubt that there are hardly any hot dog stands or shops out there using proper pork and beef mixed wiener sausages. Hot dog is fast food, right? It’s quick and easy to prepare. So I added a hot dog, a bottle of coke, and a plate of french fries in Norbert Wiener’s picture. In the original photo, he is holding a cigar between his fingers.

Norbert Wiener has an unique biography. The story of him being the child prodigy is interesting enough, but what appealed to me was the transformation of his ethics against science and politics. I think he is an almost underrated contributor to the fields of cybernetics, mathematics, and extensive studies he related to them. He has won significant awards and honors. However, I have a feel that people tend to pay attention on the sophisticated form of outcomes the more modern pioneers have produced. Perhaps, his partly Jewish origin had kept him away from further prestige and celebrity. I didn’t know him and thought that the originator of Cybernetics and electonic communications should be noticed by everyone. Also, along with accumulating some facts about Wiener from online readings, I realized that truly intelligent individuals seem to have similar human philosophy. They all work for the establishment of a better human society by applying what they specialize in. As I mentioned before, Wiener is a remarkable personage. His near-rebellious attitude towards the government and questions on the ethics of scientists distinguishes Wiener from the other pioneers we have covered so far.

The Anguish.

Visual Assignment: Make The Untranslatable Understood

Use the Random Words with No English Translation tool ( to generate a word that could be better understood with a photo or image. Find a creative commons image or make your own, and include the word somehow in the image (using a desktop photo editor or web tool like Aviary or PicNIk). Then share it with someone and ask if it makes sense.

anguished soul :p by kelsey_lovefusionphoto – CC Licensed via Flickr



This is my third DS106 assignment for the section. The image looks quite plain without any extra captions and effects, but I wanted it that way. I hope people can kind of guess what the word “toska” means by just looking at the image.

Toska – “At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning”

Before I restarted the assignment, I already had another image half done waiting in my CIS folder. That was suppose to be used, but I suddenly felt the desire to manipulate another photo instead for this assignment. It’s obvious that I haven’t spent too much time on this piece compared to the other posts I’ve done. I thought a messy complicated composition wouldn’t fit the picture, and therefore, the image was kept simple. The process was just about doing the glowing effects around the text to give a cold, but burning impression.

Everybody has the moments of anguish at certain times of their life. I often feel restless inside without a clear answer to why I feel like it. Sometimes you can’t really find the specific reason for feeling so disturbed. Even so, I think there are external and internal causes for feeling “toska”. We all live under pressure; the good and bad stress come into us at once. I imagine, that the same spiritual anguish must be lurking in the depths of every soul.

By the way, I fixed the tagline for this blog. I misspelled the word “newbie” incorrectly…!