Monthly Archives: September 2007

Project Identity @ Carver Magnet High School, Houston, TX

In the heart of Texas...

The Carver Magnet High School of Applied Technology, Engineering and the Arts mission statement might be obvious from their title, but they animate like thriving professionals from the film industry! I am still in awe of how many students participated and the enthusiasm they brought with them as Project Identity got wings this week and visited CMHS in Houston, Texas.
Visual Arts Chair Ms. McEntire (a Cooper Union alumna) followed through by organizing a fine group of animators and helping to quickly convert several makeshift animating stations for these eager participants, as nothing was going to stop these Texans from animating.
Carvers magnet program is nestled into the metro Houston area, pulling students in from all surrounding communities and passionately assisting them to reach their individual potential and become part of a larger global community – much like Project Identity. I loved the open-air hallways that were surrounded by native palms which joined each of the analogous art studios and truly became a campus within a campus.
Dia de los muertos imagery heavily populates this dynamic environment with a multitude of powerful murals, all of which are heavily influenced by the regional culture, and even a few created by Carver alumni that now attend MIAD.
You can stroll from Carver’s sculpture area past their drawing, painting and digital studios right into a lecture on ancient Greece within a few short steps. It was evident from my residency that diversification, connectivity and integration abound at Carver.
MIAD has a good history with this institution and have had several Carver alumni become MIAD alumni. It is very fitting that Project Identity was able to share some of MIAD’s technology and integrated philosophy with these future artists from Houston, but in all actuality, Carver High School and their fine supporting visual art educators are already doing this. Ms. McEntire and her wonderful team of artists will be sorely missed, thanks for all the hard work and your wonderful hospitality!

Adios from CMHS,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ Kettle Moraine High School, Wales, WI

Let it come down…



Project Identity got a rolling start this week as we moved from MIAD to Kettle Moraine High School in Wales, Wisconsin. Mr. Barder and his supportive staff of visual educators delivered a fine group of driven animators to work with me upon my arrival to KMHS. All of these young men not only submitted videos for the project, but they feverishly rotoscoped during my residency.


We also got to test-drive Joseph Wagner’s (MIAD alumni) fantastic portable animation table that Project Identity commissioned him to make for the adventure. The whole thing folds up neatly and fits into a standard carry-on piece of luggage as Joe knew from the start that we’d be doing a good amount of traveling for this project; into the thousands of miles.



KMHS, Mr. Barder and their Administration should be proud of not only their completely functional facility for the arts, but also, the diversity of art that is explored there. In 25 paces I could walk from the animation lab, through a figure drawing class past the kiln and sculpture areas and land right in-between choir and orchestra! Proximity and diversity empower this fine performing and visual arts curriculum in Wales, Wisconsin.


In continuum,

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations

Project Identity @ MIAD Pre-College 2007

June/July 2007

Phenomenal beginnings!


What a way to begin our adventure as we engaged the profound amount of work that this project will require. Students from numerous states and school districts participated in what promises to be a wonderful collaborative experience. This MIAD pre-college animation course and the animation that they created will serve as the foundation for Project Identity, as next summers class will appropriately become its’ capstone. All of the fieldwork for this collaboration that occurs between these two summer classes will become the body, the matter and the substance of the entire investigation.

The students embraced David Martin’s writing prompts, and from the writing became directed as they began to translate their ideas into personal videos. With the help of my Teaching Assistants (Anne & Ilana) we quickly transposed the files and got the students immerged into the wonderful world of rotoscoping.


Through the duration of our month together this intense group of animators created over 4,500 drawings for the final animation. We also had them independently doing their own work, shooting and editing their own files – encouraging them to become responsible and devoted to their research.Guest artist Jim Cogan blew their minds away with the importance of audio, giving them invaluable techniques in capturing, manipulating and creating supportive music files for the final work.


Finally, on a global level the group made an internet ‘shout-out’ to the collaborative Japanese animation troop known as RinpaEshidan. We broadcast our exquisite corpse animation to them via youtube, and within the week they economically responded back to us: respect.



Bringing it to life,

James B.

James Barany
Associate Professor of Foundations