Author Archives: Connie Cordon

Personal Blog Connie Cordon 03/08

Visualizing Poetry With 1960s Computer Graphics’ by Stan VanDerBeek and Ken Knowlton

While working with a large selection of images, it was important for me to keep track of the source and the year it was published, as well as having shared access with members of the team. For larger PDFs of files, such as magazines that had 300 pages, I’d save the PDF to my hard drive, and select pages that I’d want to convert to JPGs in order to upload to the Dropbox.Something that I was actually looking forward to was searching physical archives, since scrolling on my laptop can be a bit daunting for hours and hours. Having 14 tabs open and re-clicking links I thought I hadn’t open before gets overwhelming, and the idea of diving into a web of endless images online was overwhelming.

The problem with digital archives is that most are directories to physical archives at the specific library, and the few available digitized collections only represent a fraction of what are at physical archives. In order to keep track of all the digital archives I’ve found, I’d compile a list on Notion where it was tagged as Digital Archive, Physical Archive, Website, Podcast, Book, Video, and References (a website referencing online archives to be used). I included the date in which it was added, title, a link, who added it, and a brief description of the source. The more I kept track of archives I had already searched, the more manageable it became. Before, I’d found myself clicking the link over and over again searching for the same key word in hopes of finding something I had missed the last time. By checking off archives that did not provide results and describing why they were useless, it gave a sense of accomplishment, in that I could cross something off a list and move on.

The past week I generally had a hard time narrowing the scope of our project. It seemed to go in a several directions, when it first started off with the history of mainframe computers, emphasizing on how people interacted with machines and how it has affected us as a society. I then had ideas about digital dark ages– in which there is a lack of historical information in the digital age as a direct result of outdated formats, software, or hardware that becomes corrupt, scarce, or inaccessible as technologies evolve and data decay. What would happen if we, as a species, lost access to our electronic records? What if we could no longer access important documents, scientific data, or treasured family photos?

With more research, I discovered that the Museum of Moving Image had an exhibition called “Computer Films of the 1960s“, a 37-minute reel of psychedelic films. Organized by guest curators Leo Goldsmith and Gregory Zinman; it features work of Stan VanDerBeek, Kenneth Knowlton, A. Michael Noll, and John and James Whitney, among others. In the 1960s, computer programmers at IBM, the MIT, and other research labs experimented with computer-generated films. It highlights the interrelationship of science and art, and the collaboration between artists and engineers. These abstract films are usually about new ways of seeing and new forms of sensory engagement with cinema and the world.

I then discovered Radical Software, a journal cofounded by Beryl Korot in 1970 in NYC. It emphasized the relationship between power and control of information, and the importance of freeing television from corporate control. It was also a call to encourage grassroots involvement in creating an information environment exclusive of broadcast and corporate media.

Radical Software Volume 1 1970 Cover Page

In the magazine’s first issue, it states: “Our species will survive neither by totally rejecting nor unconditionally embracing technology—but by humanizing it: by allowing people access to the informational tools they need to shape and reassert control over their lives.” 

Project Work Plan – Mainframe: Present and Past

The Plan: 9 Weeks

Phase 1 (March)

Part A: February 27 – March 12 (Week 1-2)

  • Outreach and Publicity: Consult with Digital Fellows and others before creating a social media plan.
    • Assign: Connie & Kai
    • Deadline(s): March 5
  • Create Data Management Plan
    • Assign: Kai
    • Deadline(s): March 3

Part B: March 13 – March 26 (Week 3-4)

  • Design: Create a visual brand and logo for social media pages
    • Assign: Connie
    • Deadline(s): March 16 (Zoom Presentation)
  • Create Information Architecture for Website Draft
    • Assig: Kai
    • Deadline(s): March 17th

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Personal Blog Connie Cordon 03/01

H316 General Purpose Digital Computer Brochure, 1965

Connie Cordon graduated in 2018 from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Communication Design with a concentration in Illustration. Publications and exhibitions include 3×3 Illustration Annual No. 16, Creative Quarterly 55, Society of Illustrators 2019, Society of Illustrators 2018, and Melted City 4 at YUI Gallery in 2018.

Her main interests include collaging, which later turned into an interest in archives, as she spent most of her time researching materials through physical and digital ones. She became interested in humanities while working on her illustration thesis, in which she created a series of images based on other individuals’ personal recounts of sexual trauma they experienced during childhood. By researching how trauma can impact an individual’s memory, she also explored the media’s interpretation of similar topics about abuse and sexuality, and how it can be misconstrued into something else entirely. For example, how the media has managed to make Lolita a positive cultural icon in our society despite the controversy the book caused. This research led her to questions about the notions of censorship and truth, censorship in advertising, and more specifically the ethics and morals regarding censorship in art and photography.

She is eager to explore how humanities and social sciences are intertwined with visual media in regards to storytelling, as well as the moral responsibility that visual storytellers have in regards to its impact on culture. She hopes to gain the tools needed in order to practice multidisciplinary experimentation with emerging media technologies that deal critically and logically with subjective, complex, and imperfect information.  

Her main contributions to the project is researching material, creating a visual identity, outreach and social media, as well as project management in conjunction with Kai– the main project leader.

Printers and Printer’s Marks – Omeka Workshop Reflection

Emily Fairey talks about her journey in her process of archiving all the photos she collected over her 1 month internship at Columbia University, specifically in the Treasure Room of Diamond Law Library. In there she became fascinated with the ‘printers mark’ of the books, or the frontispiece– the decorative or informative illustration facing a book’s title page. Over the course of a month she collected over 200 photos of 50 books. (link to full presentation here)

After collecting these photos she wondered how to showcase them to the world, in order to explain why these are of importance. The frontispiece is thoroughly integrated into the context of the book– so it would only make sense to extract it as an ‘artifact’ of the book. They were complex self-definitions, sometimes to individuals printers themselves and other times of fraternities. Stating in clusters of symbolism what values they held preeminent.

Antonio Pinelli, A River God-The Tiber? Wolf with Romulus and Remus. Papal hat with tassels, coat of arms. 1610

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Connie Cordon Skillsets

Design/UX: I studied Communication Design with a concentration in Illustration from Pratt Institute. I have experience as a design assistant at Rizzoli, a publishing company focusing on fashion, interior design, culinary, art, architecture, and photography, and as a design intern for freelance graphic designer Billy Gray. My most recent design position was an apprentice at the advertising agency Ogilvy in the art department as a storyboard artist. I have experience in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Project Manager: A skillset I do not have official experience with. One small example of project management I took on was at my previous retail job, in which I designed the front floral display of the store in coordination with the store manager and the sign maker. Tasks included ordering inventory from vendors and suppliers and securing shipment and arrival times, managing inventory by stocking and cataloging products, reporting discrepancies in inventory that indicate theft or quality issues in products, calculating daily sales, and generating displays for holiday seasons during the pandemic– a time in which sales were at an all-time low.

Developer: I have beginner knowledge of HTML and CSS, but am not proficient. I took my first introductory class to Javascript last semester where I created a website mapping out sites of personal importance to an author in her graphic memoir Fun Home.

Outreach/Social Media: My use of social media is limited in that it has mostly been geared towards using it as a platform for my illustration portfolio.

Documentation: During my undergrad at Pratt, my pieces involved creating collages from photographs found in the photo archive at the Pratt Library or researching old photos on online archives. I believe in this context, documentation skills is something I am interested in expanding further and am eager to get hands-on experience.

Research: My experience with research has been limited to academic papers. Writing is not my strongest suite, but it is something I am eager to improve my skills on. During my undergrad at Pratt, my self-driven illustration projects for senior thesis involved extensive research on sexual trauma during early years, medias interpretation of sexual trauma and how it is portrayed in cinema, censorship laws concerning art, and the morality of advertising.