events & invited talks.


3.03.16. nathan fox: black & White and character flawed. 

When: Thursday, March 3, 2016 | Where: MLC B111 (The Library) | Time: 12:30-1:30pm

Press Release, February 26, 2016:

Nathan Fox, an award-winning professional comic book illustrator and program chair of the MFA in Visual Narrative at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, will give a presentation about the power and importance of visual narratives on Thursday, March 3.

The event is hosted by Motion Light Lab, a resource hub of the NSF Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning, VL2. It is from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at Merrill Learning Center, B111.

During his presentation, Fox will share his personal experiences in the field, describe his visual narrative journey, and discuss what makes a good story. He will speak about how his early childhood addiction to cartoons, blockbuster films, pop culture commercials, and video games led to a lifelong curiosity about extreme color palettes and narrative art. During his studies at the Kansas City Art Institute, he discovered anime and manga, Japanese woodblock prints, independent film, and narrative design.

These discoveries led him down a happily twisted path he still follows to this day, with work published in multiple media outlets, including the New York Times, New Yorker, MTV, Rolling Stone, DC Comics, Marvel, and Vertigo. He also has exhibited his work in multiple galleries, judged the first Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, and was a jury member for the Society of Illustrators and American Illustration.

He now explores new narrative directions in graphic novels, character and logo design, art direction, animation, and visual development. These artistic explorations culminated in designing and launching SVA’s MFA in Visual Narrative program, an evolutionary, interdisciplinary graduate program in visual storytelling that places equal emphasis on creative writing and visual expression.

The presentation is free and open to all, especially anyone interested in storytelling, illustrations, design, art, visual narratives, filmmaking, interactive experiences, culture, languages, word play, and typography.

By Tara Congdon, VL2 Communications Manager


2.19.2015: erik loyer on storytelling in the age of divided screens.

Hosted by Motion Light Lab, this talk looks at comics, cinema, and games to discover design principles for a split-screen media landscape.

Erik Loyer’s interactive artworks have been exhibited online and in festivals and museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Prix Ars Electronica; and Transmediale. His website “The Lair of the Marrow Monkey” (http://www.marrowmonkey.com/lair) was one of the first to be added to the permanent collection of a major art museum, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. As Creative Director for “Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular,” (http://www.vectorsjournal.org) an experimental online academic journal, Loyer has created numerous interactive essays in collaboration with leading humanities scholars including N. Katherine Hayles and David Theo Goldberg. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, and his works have been honored in the Webby Awards, the Montreal International Festival of New Cinema and New Media, and the California Design Biennial. Erik Loyer was born in San Francisco in 1972, and received a B.A. in Cinema/Television Production from the University of Southern California.


update: storytelling symposium photos

Many thanks to our special guest: Morten Lundahl from Norway (Storyteller for The Baobab, Norwegian) for joining us! Huge thanks to Lauren Benedict for helping organize the symposium, and hats off to our creatives who participated: Ben Bahan, Yiqiao Wang, Joe Murray, Robert Sirvage, Lauren Benedict, Morten Lundahl and Zilvinas Paludenivicus.

Hosted by Melissa Malzkuhn with Motion Light Lab


5.08.2014 - AMANDA EVERITT on connecting mainstreamed youth.


4.14.2014 - storytelling symposium


3.1.2012. kristin snoddon on asl  and early intervention.

This presentation reports findings from two research studies of Deaf and hearing parents and young children participating in family American Sign Language (ASL) and literacy programs in Ontario. The presentation also discusses the context for participation in family ASL and literacy programs, in an environment where restrictions have been placed on young Deaf and hard of hearing children’s learning of ASL. The Ontario Infant Hearing Program has frequently not provided ASL services to children who receive cochlear implants or auditory-verbal therapy. This operational language policy of Ontario government-funded infant hearing screening and early intervention services has been maintained despite evidence for the benefits that learning ASL confers on spoken and written language development in Deaf children (Snoddon, 2008).

Through semi-structured interviews and observations of six parent-child dyads, the first study, an ethnographic action research study, documents participants’ encounters with professionals who regulate Deaf children and their families’ access to ASL. At the same time, the setting of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program is presented as a Deaf cultural space and thereby a counter-discourse to clinical discourses regarding Deaf identity and bilingualism. This space features the Deaf mother participants’ ASL literacy practices and improvisations of ASL rhymes and stories. The practices of the ASL Parent-Child Mother Goose Program leader also serve to define and support emergent ASL literacy.

The second, mixed-methods study evaluates the content and effects of a series of workshops for teaching hearing parents how to read books with their young Deaf children using ASL. These workshops feature bilingual Deaf adult instructors reading a broad range of children’s picture books and providing instruction that supports parents with ASL storytelling and book sharing strategies, and translating English texts to ASL. This study evaluates the perceived impact of book sharing workshops on parent and children’s literacy interactions, language learning, and community involvement. Collectively, the findings from these studies highlight the benefits of emergent ASL and literacy in Deaf children and their families, and provide an evidence-based rationale for governments and government agencies to better support this development through partnerships with the Deaf ASL community.


9.29.2011 - barbara tversky on tools for thought

Made possible by Visual Language and Visual Learning Presentation Series, 2011-2012. 

Made possible by Visual Language and Visual Learning Presentation Series, 2011-2012. 


11.12.2012. bleeva by benjamin bahan.

Motion Lab presents "Bleeva: The Conspiracy Behind the Existence of Deaf People" by Benjamin Bahan, PhD "Bleeva" is a presentation performance by Dr. Benjamin Bahan which introduces his interviews with a deaf conspiracy theorist, uncovering connections between literature and cultural ideas on the purpose of deaf people on earth. This is a Motion Lab project taking place on the first floor lobby of the new dorm, LLHR6, on November 15th, at 12:45pm - 1:45pm. Motion Lab is a space where creative literature meets experimental media to create new knowledge. Projects aim to explore visual narratives within a bilingual interface, converging digital and physical spaces.

Motion Lab presents "Bleeva: The Conspiracy Behind the Existence of Deaf People" by Benjamin Bahan, PhD

"Bleeva" is a presentation performance by Dr. Benjamin Bahan which introduces his interviews with a deaf conspiracy theorist, uncovering connections between literature and cultural ideas on the purpose of deaf people on earth. This is a Motion Lab project taking place on the first floor lobby of the new dorm, LLHR6, on November 15th, at 12:45pm - 1:45pm. Motion Lab is a space where creative literature meets experimental media to create new knowledge. Projects aim to explore visual narratives within a bilingual interface, converging digital and physical spaces.


11.04.2012 - tali krakowsky on spaces in between

Our digital world is entirely transforming our physical architecture and how we inhabit it. The seamless integration of emerging media, interactive content, cinematic storytelling, performance, graphic design and architecture can engage culture in new conversations. These smart, artful, meaningful, useful and playful spaces could potentially change the way we think and behave.

Innovations in design, culture and technology are empowering us to explore the spaces in between words, things, objects and thoughts.

This is a lecture that wonders about the emerging field of interactive architecture, what it is, and what it could be.

Made possible by Visual Language and Visual Learning Presentation Series, 2011-2012. 

Made possible by Visual Language and Visual Learning Presentation Series, 2011-2012.