Important updates from the Professor and/or ITF

Who He Was/She Was Who He Is/She Is

I know that you are all under great pressure so I am pushing back the deadline for the

Who He Was Project  from Tuesday, December 11th to Thursday, December 13th!

Prof. B.

| Leave a comment

More on Prezi: embedding long text in a Prezi

Another follow-up to previous posts on Prezi. Rishi had asked if there was a way to embed his essay on photography within the Prezi holding his photographs. You can!

The trick is to first save your Word document or blog post as a .pdf file. In MS Word for Mac, this option is available under File > Save As… > Format.

Then just insert the .pdf using the Media button (from file), just as you would a picture or video. And enjoy!

Note that you can also crop the pdf image, zoom in on particular lines using hidden frames, or even highlight particular passages. If you don’t want the pages to take up a lot of space, just shrink them way down — e.g. you could hide the whole thing within the vertical bar of the “h” in “click here to read my essay.”

Feel free to leave a comment here with any questions, or just letting us know how it works!

| Leave a comment

More on Prezi: embedding your presentation on the blog

Hi, all! Earlier in the semester, I posted a Prezi about using Prezi, and embedded it directly on our blog. If you want to do the same, e.g. for your Street Photography projects, it’s pretty simple:

  1. While logged into the Prezi website, view (but don’t edit) your presentation. Underneath the viewing frame, you should see a Share button. Click it.
  2. You’ll get three tabs, one of which is Embed. Go there and click the blue button to “Copy code to clipboard.”
  3. Head back to our blog, and edit the post where you’ll embed the Prezi.
  4. Click on the HTML tab, and paste in the code.

That’s it!

| Leave a comment

photography files not posting?

Hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend! I’ve noticed that a few of you are using PowerPoint to present your street photography projects, but in at least a couple of places the files aren’t displaying properly. In this email (which I’ll also post to the ITF corner on the site), I want to share a few options and optimizations.

1. Save as ppt instead of pptx.

By default, MS Office files will be displayed by the Google Doc Embedder plugin. (That’s what generates the little “gview” shortcode you see in your post.) Unfortunately, that plugin can’t handle the default filetypes produced by the most recent versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, all of which end in x. The first line of defense is to instead save your file as one of the older types. Use the menus to find File > Save As… > PowerPoint 97-2004 Presentation (.ppt). Upload again, and see if that fixes the problem.

2. Shrink the sizes of your images.

In this day and age, megapixels are so easy to come by that even your phone probably makes huge files, far bigger than you’ll need for web display. You can shrink down the size of jpeg files using a program called JPEGmini Lite, available in the iTunes store.

3. Don’t use Google Doc Embedder.

You can also use other options to post your images: for PowerPoint presentations, one option is SlideShare (, which allows you to upload and embed presentations in the same way you’d embed youtube videos. To see what it’ll look like, check out the ITF corner; it’s what I used to post the Podcasting presentation. Just make sure that you’re happy with your default sharing and permissions options, which could authorize others to use your photos… or not. SlideShare does give you control over this.

Alternately, you can just upload and insert the images the same way you’ve always done for Cultural Encounters posts. Nothin wrong with that.

There are also more advanced gallery tools, such as NextGen, but they can be a little tricksy, so ask me if you’re interested!

Hope this helps,

| Leave a comment


In-class presentation, Tuesday, November 20, 2012. Includes the following sections: What is a podcast? Why podcast and not blog? How do I make a podcast? How do I post a podcast to our course site?

| Leave a comment

Background Reading and Viewing: Who He/She Was/Is Projects

Dear Arts in New York City Students:

For our discussion of the Who He Was/Who She Was/ Who He is/Who She Is project

please read through past stories. They can be found at:


See you on Tuesday, November 20th!


Prof. B.

| Leave a comment

For Tuesday, November 6th

Dear Arts Class,

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow in 1404–23rd Street for our session with photographer, Max Flatow.

I am adding a new, extra-credit assignment: a personal post of your Hurricane Sandy experience, if possible with photos and video. Do upload it to our blog. I will add a new category: Hurricane Sandy!

Prof. Bernstein

| Leave a comment

Tuesday, November 6th Class Meets in Room 1404–23rd Street Building

Right now, we are set to meet in room 1404–23rd Street on Tuesday, November 6th for a session with our guest photographer, Max Flatow. If anything changes, I will let you all know. Keep checking our blog site.

| Leave a comment

Photography Links

We begin our study of photography on Thursday, October 25th. Do check out the links listed below:

video: http://vimeo.com25857940

| Leave a comment

Notes for Thursday, October 11th

Be prepared to talk about Carmen.  Try to find a surprising detail about the libretto, the music, the opera’s history.

Final reviews of The Train Driver should be uploaded before class tomorrow  (make sure they are properly tagged in Critic’s Corner).

In the Spotlight post on Jody Sperling is due October 18th. Let me remind you that it is often good to take notes when a guest visits so that you can weave in direct quotes into your story. Add photos, too.

| Leave a comment

Notes on Visual Composition

In my webtravels, I stumbled across a link to this

image from

instructional comic:

Essentially, it’s a short slide show dealing with positioning, shapes and lines, cropping, and proportions, with quick-sketch illustrations of each point. It’s designed for drawing, not photography, but I think a number of the rules apply, so you might find it useful in thinking about your street photography, collage projects, and maybe even Snapshot Day, which is Thursday 10/11. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

| Tagged | Leave a comment

Dear Arts in NYC students:

A couple of reminders about next week and a comment on the Collage Themes. First, the Collage Themes. Your ideas were lively. I encourage you to aim for originality and creativity. Although I did say that the collage did not have to be on a cultural encounter theme, do consider weaving in a theme since it might strengthen the work. There are two creative arts projects this semester, the collage and the street photography project –which can be on any subject. The collage is based on the notion that the sum is greater than its parts, that the mixture/tension/friction of parts creates a greater, more meaningful whole. The street photography project is a series of photos on a given theme. But the collage is a chance to turn things inside out!

For Tuesday, October 2nd, please bring in a dance performance review and be prepared to discuss the challenges faced by a dance critic.  Remember that we are scheduled to see Fall for Dance on Tuesday evening at 8 PM at City Center at 131 West  55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues).

On Thursday, October 4th, we will have a class visit from Jody Sperling. I also asked that you upload your reviews of The Train Driver by October 4th.

| Leave a comment

Prezi Build a layout that captures the global concept you want to present, then highlight local frames and set a path through them. Here’s a meta-Prezi, a Prezi about how to use Prezi:

| Tagged | 1 Comment

About Faces

Looking forward to reading/sharing your About Faces posts in class tomorrow. Do upload images, too. Feel free to relate an anecdote, a moment in your life that is funny, serious, moving, surprising.

| Leave a comment

Embedding a YouTube video in your blog post

You’ve probably all seen this on magazine sites and Facebook posts: a video directly included within the body of the page, rather than a link. Embedding like this helps readers follow up on the video without disrupting their reading of your post or taking them on a distracting journey away from the site. If you’ve wondered how people do this, wonder no more:

  1. On any YouTube or Vimeo page you want to embed, click the Share button; a link should appear, and next to that a button labeled Embed.
  2. Click Embed and some html code will appear. Copy that to the clipboard.
  3. Now comes the one tricky step: come back to where you’re editing your blog post, scroll down to wherever you want the video to appear, and paste in that YouTube code you copied. Then convert the html code you get from YouTube or Vimeo into wordpress “shortcode,” mostly by converting angle brackets to square brackets. It will start out looking something like this:

    <iframe height=”315″ width=”420″ src=”” frameborder=”0″></iframe>

    But we want it to look like this:

    [iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ ]

    Note that the final close-tag (angle brackets and a slash) is also removed.

  4. Publish (or Update) the blog post, and enjoy your spiffy video!
| Tagged | Leave a comment

Teams for Keynote Photography Presentations

Dear Arts in NYC students,

Please review the ten photographers listed on our syllabus (see November 13th). Team up with a classmate and select four photographers who interest you (prioritize your list). We will discuss this in class on Thursday, September 13th and make assignments.

On Thursday, we will continue our discussion of political theater, Fugard, and Apartheid. Try to find a link that we can look at to enrich our class discussion.


| Leave a comment

Welcome to the ITF Corner!

Hi, all! Ben here. This is a page on which I’ll post links, tips, and news about tech tools for learning and research. New posts will be announced in the sidebar.

| Leave a comment

Zotero A bibliographic manager that lives in your web browser. What does that mean? With a single click, you can grab all the relevant citation information from a newspaper article, academic database, google book, or just plain website — and for many databases, you can have Zotero automatically download a local pdf, too, so you’ll no longer need an internet connection to read it. Then, when you’re ready to cite, it’s as simple as drag-and-drop into any program or field that accepts text entry. There’s more to say, about tags and searching and in-text citations, but I’ll stop here to conclude as follows: this program will change your life. Watch the short demo video at You won’t regret it.

| Tagged | Leave a comment

Review of “Fighting to Have the Last Word “by Ben Brantley

Please read and analyze the following theater review for this week:




| Tagged , | Leave a comment

Starting Tuesday, September 4th, Class Meets in 8-190 (Feit Seminar Room)

| Leave a comment

For Tuesday: Critical Terms for Theater

Dear Arts in NYC students, For Tuesday, I asked you to bring in at least five critical terms that you think would be useful in writing about the theater. Try to include basic terms like cast and set as well as terms such as protagonist, backdrop, denouement, etc. Please upload the terms to our class blog. Our ITF Ben Miller is adding another sub-category, critical terms under the category Critic’s Corner.  Once you have uploaded your terms, please read through the other terms and add your comments/suggestions for sharpening and/or refining the definitions. We will look at these in class.

Here is the information on The Train Driver

Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center

480 West 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenue)

The performance is at 7:30 PM but we will meet at 7:00 PM so that I can distribute tickets.


| Leave a comment