CT101 Final Blog Post / Charles Johnson

My experience during CT101 with Professor Ryan Seslow has been a positive learning experience with an emphasis on creativity, expressing yourself, and learning to work at an optimal pace. I have learned some valuable lessons from the disciplines of CT101 that I can use in all areas of my life. The class of CT101 has helped me navigate the online world in a positive way by showing me that my presence and ability to create makes me a significant influence on our future. CT101 is a good guide for harnessing our technology to create gifs, blog posts, participate in online learning spaces, communicate and discuss opinions, create a domain to build your own website, and other extremely important skills that give you the ability to make great change. I believe everyone’s participation in the online environment is an important mass interaction that holds the connection of humanity together. There is still a large portion of the world that does not participate in online interaction but with the advancement of “thousands of small satellites orbiting the earth to provide broadband internet service.”(C. Knight) the world of online interactions will grow exponentially. 




Throughout the course we participated in lessons that showed us how to do many different things. This course has shown me how to register for a CUNY Academic Commons account. Creating this account was the first step that brought us all together to collaborate and learn together. Initially I didn’t like the website when I first joined the CT101 class. After realizing how accessible and chronologically organized the website was, I began enjoying picking up where I left my work later into the semester.  



Another skill this class has shown me is how to create, edit, and publish our own posts. Creating our first post resembled the feeling of a first impression. This is because having the freedom to apply any gif, image, and video creates a unique personal connection with what you post. Your post reflects all of us in different ways by showing our values, interests, and preferences. 



Although participation may have been lacking, this class has changed my outlook on responding and presenting your opinions to others. Sharing and discussing opinions is an important interaction because it gives us multiple perspectives. Having verbal interaction with experienced people is an advantage of online spaces. Commenting and replying in genuine conversation is an important advantage of online spaces. 


Creating and sharing gif images was one of the highlights of CT101. It was a fun and relaxing project that made us find the fun in our assignments.  This set the tone for the rest of the semester because we realized that this class was a fun environment where we could express ourselves. 

Storytelling assignments and projects that required detailed online research gave us the knowledge necessary in creating our own website domain and building a personal website. These assignments assisted in my website building through growing important habits such as adding hyperlinks, following video tutorials, and other important skills. These habits allowed me to illustrate my own website with the new program WordPress. Being introduced to WordPress was a confusing experience because there was so much information to consider when learning how to add new things into your website. 



Helpful video tutorials and online explanations of the WordPress interface creates an efficient way of understanding how to customize your own website. Without the ease of online research, I would not be able to figure out how to function a WordPress website as easily as I did this semester. 



I appreciate the encouragement to create that professor Seslow provided throughout CT101. Towards the end of the semester, I realized that we had the freedom to create anything we wanted by connecting it to our assignments. This encouragement inspired me to create my own Vaporwave banner for CT101 in one of our final assignments. This type of creative development and initiative to act on creative impulse is one of the most important purposes of the CT101 class. I believe creating throughout your career no matter what path, maintains innovative progress in all areas of development. 



I believe I have participated in all areas of CT101 to receive an A- grade. Over the course of this semester, I have struggled with investing the ideal amount of time into all parts of my life. Finding a balance for living life in a fulfilling and progressive way is the most important aspect of our lives. This class has allowed us to learn our preferred working patterns. Analyzing the amount of time spent doing a task is a good implication of how proficient you are in that task. This analysis allows me to predict my work ethic for the following semesters. I think this class has shown me how much time I require to succeed in an area of study. Building my own website at my pace and learning how much work I can get done in an amount of time is very important during a pandemic. I was able to complete most of the given assignments while maintaining other areas of my life. These other areas include being a part of a functional family, having a reliable schedule, maintaining physical health, and staying mentally flexible. I believe I deserve an A- grade because this class has taught me that humans are very conscious beings that are capable of influencing the future in powerful ways. Having the ability to harness your true intuition is especially important for our future. Understanding yourself and where your creativity originates from can help you make a big impact. I believe being able to balance both areas of your life are significantly important when succeeding in class. 


I am very happy with the outcome of my website “CreativesStayCurious”. The opportunity to create my own website has never presented itself to me and I am grateful enough to continue the development on my project. Creating visual representation is one of my greatest passions and being able to share that knowledge with other people is one of the advantages of online spaces. Overall, I have had a pleasant experience in CT101 I have been exposed to a lot of new digital skills and I plan to take more classes in this area of study. 

Copyright Issues.

Copyright can be used in many different scenarios varying in severity depending on the situation. For example, highly sensitive creations such as patented products and ideas are subject to copyright because they require protection from replication. There are many forms of copyright such as Public Performance License, Reproduction right, and Non Derivative.

Focusing on copyright of digital content, I believe it will always be a gray area due to our nature of translating ideas in our own personal ways. Human creativity gravitates towards other inspirational ideas and creations. Without this inspiration from other sources we would be extremely limited to creating “NEW” ideas and new creations.


I don’t believe copyright is a good influence in areas of creativity. It is extremely limiting and restrictive to our inspiration for creation. Copyright can be discouraging for aspiring creators because the danger of dealing with legal repercussion is definitely not worth the risk when establishing yourself as a creative.



The case of Andy Baio the software developer highlights the major issue in copyright existing throughout areas of creativity. Andy Baio received a lawsuit from a photographer claiming infringement on his intellectual property in the form of a digital image. Unfortunately it can be difficult to differentiate the ownership of an arrangement of pixels, and the ownership of intellectual property.



In the words of Andy Baio, “We learn to make great art by copying”. I believe this is completely true, and the reason there is a ‘gray area’ when discussing copyright throughout creative environments. Andy Baio believes that everything at it’s core is a remix, he states, “The idea of the lone artist and inventor struck by an idea is a myth” when discussing a video inspired by videos from a song that samples another song made by a game that is inspired by another game. This complexity of origination shows the reason human interpretation is a contradiction to copyright.



Richard Prince who encountered a unique incident of copyright, experienced having the court rule in favor of his creative interpretation as non infringing on the intellectual property of another. The idea that the supreme court can order a creative to destroy their creation is clearly discouraging of creative creation, ” the court ordered all unsold Canal Zone artworks and catalogs sent to Cariou so that they could be destroyed”. The idea that, “Prince makes fair use of Cariou’s photographs, often altering them very slightly with painting and collage” should be more than enough to exempt Prince from any legal reparations.



Personally I do not always abide by copyright standards. I would assume the majority of us infringe on copyright standards in our daily lives. The fact that we are not publishing these works does not mean we should be going under the radar, and aspiring creatives showing their work to the world should be punished. There are tight restrictions on where music can be played and shared, what arrangement of pixels are considered intellectual infringement, and more. I understand the importance and significance copyright but I believe it is a barrier that limits the true potential of human creativity. In conclusion the negative impact on creative work outweigh’s the positive protection and uniqueness copyright provides.



The Versatile Genre of Vapor wave

Being introduced to vaporwave at an early stage of it’s progression I am very happy to see how much the genre and aesthetic has evolved to today. I believe vaporwave represents our attraction to tranquility, bliss, and smooth, moody, intriguing aura. Vaporwave embodies all of these adjectives through classical sculpture, web design, surrealism, low-poly computer renderings, glitch art, VHS recordings, cassette tapes, Japanese art and cyberpunk tropes.



Vaporwave has become such a rigidly defined genre that it can be relicated in many different ways and translated for different purposes. The genre of “vapor wave” can be applied to almost everything and allows for many redefinition throughout the rest of it’s existence. I expect the genre to undergo many more changes as our values, society, and beliefs shift over time.

Vapor wave is defined as a microgenre of electronic music, a visual art style, and an internet meme. Clearly it is a very dynamic genre. I can appreciate the nostalgia vapor wave evokes because a lot of 80’s and 90’s influence is applied to the genre. KIDMOGRAPH and other motion graphics artists use these representations of nostalgia in creating very creative pieces of art.


Here is an image I created using the aspects of Vapor wave. I created this vapor wave image specifically for our CT101 class using 13 layers of different PNG images and FX editors. Adding glow, chroma blur, and high contrast are very helpful when attempting to achieve the signature “vapor wave” aesthetic. I really enjoyed creating it and adding my own spin to each element I added to the image. Vapor wave is a genre I can see existing for a long time, it is a very interesting aesthetic to follow and the creative minds behind it always manage to reiterate it’s best qualities in a new way.

Exploring a Classmate’s Website

Throughout exploring my classmate’s websites I came across one that attracted me particularly. This website is “StraightTalkwithKysa.com”.  This website conveys a blog like style that has multiple calming sunset backgrounds when scrolling through the different sections.



Upon first inspection the website seems bare and empty with content. Further scrolling unveils the true intent behind the website where Shanae uses an episodic formatting for her blog. Personally I like this formatting for her blog website because it seems like a modern twist on blogging by forming it into episodic discussion. Basically I was drawn to this idea because bloggers are more likely to tune into the latest topic and even deciding the topic they want to discuss.



Personally I believe a website with this type of formatting and style could gain a significant following. With the right promotion, advertising, and publicity this could be a really enjoyable community to check in on. Humans are very social beings, having a community to join in the conversation with is a great idea that anyone could participate in. I really enjoyed looking over this website.

Costumizing my Website

Adding content to my website was definitely the most entertaining part for me because I was able to discuss information that I am very familiar with. I used the opportunity to share my experience in video editing and visual representation to teach others. When first approaching my website I was fairly confused on how to begin customizing my theme.


This confusion required me to do additional research on configuring my WordPress website.  For example, Kinsta is a blogging website that created a helpful post on how to customize your WordPress themes. kinsta.com/blog/how-to-customize-wordpress-theme.

Using this information I was able to navigate through the WordPress administrative settings and begin customizing my website. When learning new interface it is very common to run into confusion and frustration. This is why research is important when learning any type of interface from website creation, to video editing, to audio design, and more. 



After modeling my website to my desire I began by deleting all the default information added.  I gave my website the header, “Visual Creations” with a sub-header ‘online space for sharing visual creation’. This helps me focus on the goal I have in mind for building my website.



 For a few days I was confused on how to customize the “Home” page section because there was no information. This is when I required the assistance from another website. The following website https://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-tutorials/how-to-edit-a-wordpress-homepage-easily-effectively. This website was helpful because I was able to navigate back to the administrative settings above and create a new “PAGE” for my home screen. This was confusing for me because editing the home section of my website required leaving the website page view. This information allowed me to jump into adding the content my website needed.



Throughout building my website I ran into many more confusions while learning how to format, space, add media. Creating a new “Block” allows you to use the side panel for adding bullet point lists, adding pictures, adding video, adding files, new headers and tables.

This allowed me to format my website how I wanted and space things appropriately.




Adding media to my project required me to use the internet to find relevant images to represent my ideas and illustrate what I was discussing. I used google images to find the majority of my pictures. I used these pictures to display what equipment is required for creating visual representations using footage, and how to navigate editing software interfaces.



Different aspects of developing my website required work away from the website editor. For example, creating visual representation as an example for aspiring creators, learning how to use multiple editing software, and understanding audio design are all important factors in creating significant creative visual work.



This opportunity to build my own website has changed my perspective on website creation and added a new skill to my arsenal in online marketing. I think I have come away from this assignment more knowledgeable on the digital world as a whole. The majority of our online activity exists in online browsers where we interact with websites at all times. I am glad this assignment has tied into many of my other passions because it allows me to discuss information I am familiar with while learning new skills at the same time.


Building a website is a work in progress so I do not consider my work finished. I am allowed to own this domain for a year so I will be changing it in many ways during my ownership.

Creating my Website


Getting started with my website was fairly simple with the help of professor Seslow. I was able to install WordPress and choose my theme within 30 minutes and this got me started in exploring the interface of creating my website. I chose the name “CreativesStayCurious.com” as my domain name. The purpose of my website is to guide aspiring creators in creating their own visual representations of what they wish to convey through footage and video editing.


The theme I chose for this project was Singlepress. I chose this theme because it did not have any large distracting images and allows for simple step by step instructional assistance. Upon my first few visits to the administrative editor I learned how to edit side panels, change the color of my website, change menu titles, and add widgets.


This was a good introduction to beginning my website because I understood the basis for customizing your website to your personal taste.

How I chose my Domain Name

Hello CT101 Class,

When I discovered we were creating a fully functional website for this class I came to the realization that we will be using this website to reflect our own lives and experiences. This means we can take our websites in any path we want. Having this freedom means you can market yourself, create a social hub, voice your opinion.

Growing up I’ve had a growing interest in making videos and putting images, film, or music together. Something involving the creation of visually appealing things connected with me. When thinking of a domain name for my website I began imagining how I would brand myself as a creator for product videos, footage editing, or cinematography.

Instead of creating a name to brand myself I decided to create an online space where aspiring creators can share their work. The domain name I chose is “CreativesStayCurious”. This domain name was adequate for me because I am advocating the curiosity of creating things that are visually enticing. I stray from putting an emphasis on having experience because when I began I was unfamiliar with all editing interfaces that existed.

Having an online portfolio from the beginning of your creation is a privilege that many creators miss out on. This is why the starting point of making anything is so crucial. You never know how far you will go with something, looking back on your journey can help you grow as a creator and understand your attachment to your passion.

Midterm Assesment

Throughout the class of CT101 we have studied many useful techniques in navigating online spaces. Some of these techniques include, setting up and using a Zoom account, creating CUNY Academic Commons posts, completing digital story telling projects on the DS106 Assignment bank, creating and uploading moving images in .gif format, registering a domain for a functional website, adding widgets, installing plug-ins, and embedding things into our website. All of these skills can be applied in many aspects of our lives from productivity to entertainment. Personally, I believe understanding how to create and change your own domain website is one of the most useful skills. Before beginning this class, I did not know there was so much back-end work that goes into coding and designing a website. Although I know they can be complicated, on the surface websites give a simplistic impression on the user. 

I believe to make improvements in this class I need to become more familiar with editing and updating previous work. This class has taught me that you work is never truly complete when creating a project. Without editing and updating previous work things are left half complete with no room for growth. For example, in my first post to the CUNY Academic Commons “Assignment #1 – What Makes You Happy on the Internet?” there was a lack of content in my post. Professor Seslow suggested adding extra hyperlinks and GIFS. “Good Stuff! Lets add a few GIFS and hyperlinks into this post to expand it a bit!”. This shows that failing to refer back to my previously complete work led to low quality completion. 

These assignments on the CUNY Academic Commons have helped me as a communicator because it has shown me that communicating requires active effort. Without applying active effort, connections and communication is less likely to occur. This is shown in the form of comments. Without actively seeking posts to comment on you will receive no replies. 

I believe my current status in this class would resemble a B grade student. This is because not enough focus has been spent staying up to date with posts, comments, and replies 

The domain name I have chosen for my website is http://creativesstaycurious.com. I have chosen this domain name because I have an attraction to the vast ideas’ humans come up with. Initially I was interested in making it a hub-like area to share your most recent creative works. On the other hand, if I’m interested in marketing myself, I would use it as a portfolio for any videography, and editing work I have created. This would bring me closer to my ambition of working in this field. 

Digital Storytelling Project Flexibility

While searching for my first project I was pleased to see the diversity provided throughout the DS106 catalog of assignments. I scouted the page for anything that caught my eye and I came across a “Create a commercial” assignment.


Although it seemed daunting and time consuming I decided to dedicate my  time into making something unique that I consider important.  My commercial is a retro take on a revolutionary piece of technology being developed by Elon Musk. This technology is called Neural link and it is involved in brain mapping and implantable brain–machine interfaces. This technology truly has the ability to change our world which drew me to making a satirical video for it.


The process of rendering a video was very frustrating because I ran into many crashes in my program and had to do a lot of trouble shooting for it to finally create the final product.


My second project I chose from the daily create was the “What’s in your toast” image creation.

I decided to choose this project because I had a spark of inspiration to make a “stress” toast. I think it’s very symbolic of where we are in life right now. It’s a form of coping that you can insert any issues you’re dealing with into. Here’s my toast…

Are Internet Memes ART??

A meme is defined as a cultural item spread via the internet in the form of image, video, phrase, etc. Meme’s are often altered in a creative or humorous way, although some instances involve serious matters such as political affairs. There are many types of memes and they have even predated the internet. The word meme was created when figuring out if there was a measurable unit describing how ideas spread and evolve through generations. This shows that memes are more than just a funny image in our age of internet culture, they exist as ideas and element of culture passed from one individual to another. Here is an example of a “meme” that has been discovered in different cultures all over the world, such as France, England, Syria, and Italy.

Art is defined as the expression of human creative skill and imagination, memes are a clear display of human creativity and imagination in a visual form. They are a documentation of our modern lifestyle, our values, and our struggles. They encapsulate so much emotion and ideology that they can undoubtedly be considered art.

Without memes a large portion of our internet culture would go without documentation. They do a unique job of connecting people from all types of culture which is why they are so often shared. Humans are extraordinarily social beings, this makes memes very significant in our development as humans understanding the world around us.

A prime example of memes connecting our understanding of everything around us has been shown when the first picture of a black hole on April 10th, 2019 was taken. This was a breakthrough in our technology that was spread throughout the world through not only media but memes.

This meme shows the magnitude of influence memes has on our social interaction and distribution of information. Without these memes made on the phenomenon of capturing a black hole on camera many people around the world would have not known this revolutionary information.

Assignment #2-Gifs

The first day of CT101 I was happy with the communication and understanding of the professor it was refreshing to see.

Hearing about the course was fun because it provided a break from grueling memory-intensive classes. No equations, real life experience, count me in.


Although work is required, CT101 is a good relief compared to other classes because being creative and having fun is an essential part in making your work the best it can be.

I find this class very useful in navigating the future of our online lives. This is one of the most important times to be taking a class like this because it prepares us for expressing ourselves more directly and eloquently online.

Assignment #1 – What Makes You Happy on the Internet?

Happiness is something that can mean a lot of different things for our species. We derive satisfaction and pleasure from many abstract things that help us express ourselves. Something that I’ve always found satisfaction, freedom, and excitement in is skateboarding. Although it sounds simple, skating is something that teaches you many lessons in life. Ever since I was a child I viewed a skateboard as just wheels and a piece of wood. This can be said for many other innovative inventions that have changed the world for the better. I believe skating is one of those inventions. Skateboarding has such a passionate and devoted community that understand how life changing skateboarding can be. Throughout my life skateboarding has always been something I can do to free my mind, let out frustration, or socialize with people of the same interest.
One aspect of my life skateboarding has directly enhanced is my ability to persevere even when something seems impossible. Learning tricks on a skateboard is one of the most grueling and tedious feat. This allows skaters to learn the importance of perseverance even when something seems impossible. This leads to another lesson skateboarding teaches. Controlling your emotions is something everyone needs to practice to become better at in life. If everyone was having emotional outbursts our lives would be very different. The following video Discusses the topic of controlling your frustration when learning to skateboard.:
Skateboarding becomes something so emotionally attached to who you are as a person that you couldn’t imagine your entire personality without it. This is why skateboarding is something that brings me high amounts of happiness in my life. It is something that can bring me back to difficult times in my life, emotional pain I’ve overcome, and allows me to imagine my progression through skating and my progression through life as a person in general.