Handmade Scroll of Jack Holding His Scroll

Halftone scroll of jack holding his scroll

Halftone Scroll of Jack Holding His Scroll.
Digital prints on vellum with Highland tape, 5.5 by 14 feet.
Right wall: Marked-up book and On The Web via touch-device.

Image tiling in Illustrator was the key to production in the making of this giant scroll of Jack holding his scroll. A happy accident: The pixelization in the halftone pattern sort of looks like a copyright symbol (appropriate seen as how the image this is based upon is appropriated from a photograph taken long ago by Gerry Nicosia) and/or a smiley face (an image that sometimes appeared on LSD stickers, I forget how I know this but it’s not by direct experience…anyhow, Jack would have probably liked that reference even though the publication of On The Road was a little ahead of the Timothy Leary era).

On Brands and Branding in Chapman’s 2013 Design Symposium Branding Issue

x with chapman journal

Chapman University 2013 Design Symposium: The Branding Issue, Vol. 1, Issue 1

Chapman University published its first design journal to accompany their 2013 Design Symposium. Though I wasn’t able to attend the symposium, my article, On Brands and Branding was included in the journal—a beautiful, hard-cover issue that also includes contributions from Brittany Rosenblatt, selections from the 2013 Orange County Design Awards, Iridium Group, and Armin Vit.

keep calm and carry on in pixels

From footnote 21: Remaining quiet and immobile creates a mass audience that remains passive and more easily manipulated.

My article, “On Death Brands and Dying Branding” is a selective remix of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ 1969 book, On Death and Dying. The words “brand” and “branding” are substituted in salient quotes from Kübler-Ross’ text for the words “death” and “dying.” The Swiss-born psychiatrist developed her “5 Stages of Grief” hypothesis to help the medical industry understand the emotional processes undergone by patients suffering from terminal illnesses. By substituting “brand/branding” for Kübler-Ross’ primary target (death/dying), I suggest a culture in which brands and branding are the norm will enact a process of grieving akin to that of the terminally ill.

“On Death Brands and Dying Branding” appears on pages 39-47, but the bulk of the investigation is within the footnotes, pages 44-7.

Walk On Wire

walk on wire on an iphone 4

Walk On Wire previewed on an iPhone 4.

My goal this summer was to create an app for publication in the iTunes store, and here we are nearing the end of July and the app is available! I watched the better part of 3 Lynda.com videos and cobbled together a lot of code I found out there on the web. The Apple Developer program, thank goodness, comes with two free emailed Q+A with an Apple guru. I only had to use one of them (saving the other in case something else comes up). So here it is: I created Walk On Wire in homage to Philippe Petit’s famous high-wire walk between the NYC Twin Towers on August 7th, 1974 (he performed this only 20 days before I was born in Albany).

xtine walking on virtual wire

xtine walks her virtual wire, nearly 40 years after Petit’s NYC high wire performance.

You can download the app for your iphone or ipad. Open it, click and hold to create a pin, telling the app where your walk should start and end. Your virtual high wire will be drawn between your two pins and the view shifts to an aerial perspective.

Part balancing and athletic challenge, part game, part homage to Philippe Petit’s NYC high-wire walk, this app enables anyone to experience what it’s like to perform a high-wire walk without leaving the ground. Just keep one thing in mind: Don’t look down!

Angelica Perez Wins Second Place!!!


What Dog Breeds Best Suit Your Personality Type? Second Place Winner, AEJMC Best of the Web

I’m so darn proud of my student, Angelica Perez, who just graduated in May 2014 with her BA in Communications: she tied for 2nd place in the AEJMC Best of the Web (Individual/Class Projects/Web Design) competition for her final portfolio project, What Dog Breeds Best Suit Your Personality Type? Her project, coded mostly by herself (with the help, of course, of some Javascript and CSS found online), is included in a category with some very impressive works by students at Indiana University, UNC Chapel Hill and University of Nevada, Reno.

Angelica is an up and coming web designer. She just moved to Seattle. She is, I’m sure, going to be a life-long learner. She also loves dogs. This project of hers pairs dog breeds with people’s personality types based on a combination of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and the Brain Color assessment tool.

If you like dogs, or web design, or both, you should check out her award-winning work!

Coming Soon: The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies

Today Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher and I are submitting our completed, 41-chapter anthology to our editor at Routledge. The expected publication date of the Routledge Companion to Remix Studies is in December this year. Whew!

This is the 5th time I’ve prepared a manuscript for publication, my third with Routledge, and my third collaboration. Eduardo and Owen are amazing. They are dedicated scholars with passion for their field and care for their peers. I had a blast working with both of them, and look forward to the next phase: copy editing proofs, finalizing a cover design, and assembling a conference or festival to celebrate the book release.

Best Student Work of the Year

This past weekend I wore the black gown and mortar board that signifies graduation. The end of the academic year offers educators a time to reflect on the impact they hope they have had and an opportunity to collect evidence of student successes from the year. The Photocommunications concentration that I coordinate at Cal State Fullerton is small (at least, in relation to our sister concentrations). We are about 70-80 students in size, and I estimate about 25 or so graduated on Saturday. Student interests range from interactive media design to photojournalism to studio and event photography. Here are some of my favorite works created by students in the Photocommunications classes I taught during the academic year 2013-14:

COMM 317 Digital Foundations

Digital Foundations is an introduction to design principles class blended with an “introductory laboratory skills” protocol. Students learn to use Illustrator from Bauhaus-inspired lessons and Photoshop with collage and montage in mind (using the book I authored, of course). I used to follow the basics with a few weeks on multi-page design concepts (a good place to insert some InDesign lessons) but these days I find myself preparing students for screen-related applications (the web, apps, mobile devices, etc.). The projects reflect the class (full of primary lessons) and the many students who tell me this is the first time they’ve ever done anything “artsy.”

I taught this class both face-to-face and online in the fall.

Poster with Type (students created an illustration for this Los Angeles-based article):


Amber Browne

amber browne

Brent Spaulding

brent spaulding

Mckenzie Snelson

mckenzie snelson

Elizabeth McHenry



Sarah Biggers




COMM 380 Interactive Media Design

This is a basic web design course. I co-authored Visual Communication on the Web with Paul Martin Lester for my students, and we follow the book pretty closely throughout the course. By the end of the semester, it’s hard to believe it but my COMM students all know what a container div is and how to create unity on a web page without relying on a giant JPEG.

Here are some of my favorites—the project was to create a photo gallery based on edits the students made to a curated set of images they found in the Library of Congress.

Gloria Oh: View Her Women Portraits in Color Web Page

gloria-oh-proj4Nansir Sok: View His Product Placement in the LOC Project Here

nansir sok

COMM 481 Advanced Interactive Media Design

This course is a projects-based interactive media design class. Students develop projects based on their interests and a series of readings from my edited anthology, Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design, that stimulate discussion and learning about issues central to new media art and design.

Angelica Perez: Dog Breed Personality Quiz


Torie Foley: Alt-J Band Web Page using Parallax Scroll

Alt-j by torie foley

COMM 444 Capstone for Visual Communication

In the Capstone class, students mainly focus on their individual portfolios. There are group projects and papers, but mostly students develop their own visual identities.

Ebony Avery: I Survived


i survived

Montana Ortega: Zodiactive, A Tweet-based View of Your Astrological Sign


Christopher van Doesburg: Aerial Photography




Robert Husky: LED Photography

NCAA Basketball: UC Davis vs Cal State Fullerton MAR 2

LED lighting


Tally Project: Mark Your Calendar

Tally Project poster

24 by 36 inch poster created for Micol Hebron’s Tally Project

I just sent my poster to Micol for inclusion in her Tally Project exhibit opening on March 29th at For Your Art on Wilshire Blvd here in Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to a fun night of posters and female artists. Read more about Micol’s project on the Huffington Post or visit the Tumblr page to view more posters.