Cross CUNY Campus – BMCC & York College Zine Collaboration

Above: Individual pages submitted by BMCC MMA 100 Foundations of Graphic Design Students

(Click any image to activate the slideshows of individual works)

Below: Individual pages submitted by York College CT101 Digital Storytelling Students

Synopsis – Professor Ryan Seslow’s students at CUNY BMCC & York College have come together to create an experimental cross course and CUNY campus collaborative zine. The zine project synthesizes the two disciplines of graphic design foundation and digital storytelling courses. Both courses were given the same information and assignment below to complete the project from the perspective of their class content and personal experiences.

As individual courses, we were interested in knowing how traditional design principles relate and contrast to the medium of storytelling (and vice versa) through the use of integrated software applications and web tools when applied and presented in a public space? “Public space” has an interesting context both physically and virtually. We wanted to test both.

What will the results be both digitally and non-digitally?

How will the immediacy of publishing to the Internet and the contrast of using a public library (NYPL) to experience the same content effect the overall generating and receiving of the works?

What kind of dialog would this create? (This is the short list of questions, we have many more!)

This blog post displays several examples of the creative learning potential of what can be achieved between two different college courses on two different campuses. It shows the creative potential of how we as human beings see things from our own unique perspectives and how things can always be another way. Solutions are friendly and inspired by collaboration. This blog post also severs as a gallery and exhibition space for the project.

We jumped in. 

The process::

Part 1 – Design

Design Project Specifications & Simulation – You have been selected to contribute 1-2 pages to a collaborative cross discipline magazine that produces a quarterly publication in both a DIY – Do it Yourself printed edition for public access (NYPL Zine Collection) and an online digital version hosted on the CUNY Academic Commons BMCC MMA 100 Website.)

A downloadable pdf. version of the entire zine will also be available upon full completion of the project. (Anticipated publishing date 5/25/18)

Your submission to the publication will creatively communicate:

“How technology and creativity are powerful learning tools for inspiration, expression, digital storytelling and design.”

You have the creative freedom to produce and generate your contributions with full autonomy as to how you experience or define the description above. However, your final submissions should display an integrated composition of imagery (use of layers and opacity) along with descriptive verbiage typeset creatively.

***Size Requirements – 8.5 X 11 inches vertical, please, jpeg & pdf file formats.

Edition #1 of the printed version of the ZINE is now available at the NYPL on 5th Ave NYC.

Part 2 – Commenting & Dialog

In the comments section below: BMCC & York students will respond and react to both the project as a whole (in the space directly below) and individually to each other’s submissions (click on an individual piece that stands out to you and add your comments.)

The Academic Commons is a public platform and space for CUNY and beyond, the C.A.C commons community will also be invited to participate in commenting and creating dialog here.

Please consider addressing the following questions:

*What common threads or similarities do you see between the submitted work?

*What differences do you see?

*How does seeing all of the works organized into one space enhance or disrupt your interpretation of the project and its outcome?

*How do you think the general public will appreciate the project viewing it as a tangible object rather than an online experience? Do you prefer one over the other? Please explain and describe your answers.  The printed zine will be donated to the NYPL’s Zine collection at their 5th Avenue & 42nd Street location – DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 

The printed ZINES will also be available at the BMCC & York College Libraries as of fall 2018. 

Additional statements and questions can be generated by each student below as well.


A HUGE Thank You to all of the participating Students!!

*Featured image above by BMCC student Tugberk Ozpir

* Front and back cover Art by Marquis Gregory & Shaquille Edwards

* Special Thanks to Shannon Keller at the NYPL & The CUNY Academic Commons Committee

For additional queries contact me here – rseslow (at)

58 thoughts on “Cross CUNY Campus – BMCC & York College Zine Collaboration

  1. Michael Plamo

    This project as a whole was really fun to do! I personally really liked it a lot because I really do like technology a lot. So when we were asked to create a piece regarding the creativity of technology, I was really excited to work on this. I went with the technology of cameras and how creative you can be with them, since I am also very passionate about them!

  2. Mohammed Paracha

    WOW!!! Seeing others perspective on how they get their inspiration for creativity when it comes to designing something using technology is mind opening. Everyone using a different image to tell a story is phenomenal it puts the person viewing the image in the artist shoes as well as shows where and how they get their inspiration and where their creativity comes from.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      Well Said Mohammed! I really enjoy the energy of being transported into another person’s perspective! Especially with creativity and how infinite it is!

  3. amanda ambroise

    All the ZINES created in this project definitely displayed individual creativity. I love to see how everyone took their own direction. As far as similarities, i see that most people from York College compared past technology to present inventions and gave a glimpse of the future of technology. BMCC students created more artistic images that obviously have a deeper meaning behind them.

    Seeing all of everyone’s creations together as a whole is exciting and inspirational.
    I believe the general public will definitely appreciate viewing this project in person rather than online. there are still people out there that enjoy the simple, non mechanical things.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      Agreed, seeing all of the works come together is powerful and super inspiring! Im excited for the hand bound zine to make its NYPL appearance!

  4. Nikeeta English

    First I would like to say this project turned out amazing. One similarity that I noticed is the York and BMCC students Zine’s coordinated with each other. The students at York mostly displayed landscape, bridges, and buildings. The BMCC students displayed features such as eyes, hands, heads. I thought that was really cool as it was not planned to be so in sync but that became the end result.

    Collectively the zines make you want to explore, it looks like a collage. Once you start looking at each one individually, you get different perspectives and interpretations of what technology means to that person, through their lens. There was on in particular that was simple, it was a zine with just a display of an iphone. This simple post means so much in today’s society, yu can’t help but agree with the creators point of view. People form lines around the corner when a new phone is released. We use our phones for GPS, to order something to eat, to submit work, to pay bills.

    The zines looked amazing online, but personally I would have loved have viewed it as a tangible object. Sometimes viewing things online can ruin the feel of things, create more distraction, take away from the art.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      YES! Great point! “The students at York mostly displayed landscape, bridges, and buildings. The BMCC students displayed features such as eyes, hands, heads.” Just noticed this!

      “through their lens” – Yes!

  5. Tatiana

    Looking at all of the projects something that I have noticed from all of them is that most of them in some way is bringing together old and new from BMCCS projets. Which is really cool because it really shows how far technology has come in such a small time. For example my favorite piece is the one us allineedintheislifeofsin2 because the person use and old picture from roman time, and mixed in black and white picture of a couple dancing what I assume to be salsa and on top of the girls hand is a wifi symbol. That really stood out to me because it was kind of showing that technology has become a need in our lives for everything and it really looks like everyone is dying without it. Some differences I see in the work would be that some people used buildings in their piece and I would like to know why it’s something that not many people thought of. Seeing the project altogether from our class to theirs I think that one thing we really is a clear difference in the work all together is that the BMCC class they show more of the technology side of the project and how it has been consuming our lives. In our projects we really used more of the art aspect of the project and a lot of people from our class used scenery which is also really cool. Overall I enjoyed the project and its cool to see everyones interpretation of the project.

  6. anna

    I feel like this project was very interesting. BMCC students are very talented and shows me that they have a imaginative side. York students did great as well, this was not a simple and straight forward task. We had to do a lot of tweaking and blending to get it to our liking. In a week we were able to fuse images that meant something to us and what stood out to us when we picked those images. I see that most BMCC students mind was headed in the same route (the images of an eye). I love how the pictures are visible for everyone to see clearly with no problem and it’s organized neatly in a nice space. I feel like the public will enjoy seeing this creative side of people.

  7. Alisa

    The common threads and similarities of the submitted work seem to focus on a few of the same topics. I’ve seen a lot of zines based on technology and how it benefits the way we people function as a whole. This project has brought out a lot of creativity within both groups of students. This task wasn’t easy to do, it took a lot of planning and editing. The end results obviously show how much effort has been put in and what can happen when you actually put your mind to something. Seeing all of the works enhanced in one space basically just shows how even though people don’t think exactly the same, everything will eventually come together and look great as a whole. Both York and BMCC students did an amazing job.

  8. Keshawn

    The project as a whole is amazing. I like how creative everyone was with their personal projects. Some common similarities I see between the submitted work is that we both seem to view technology as a connection and a tool for users creativity. One difference I see between Bmcc and Ct101 is that in Bmcc they mostly focus on how technology helps them creatively while CT101 focus on how it helps us grow and evolve. See all these projects together makes me view technology in a more creative way. I see how others use it differently. I feel that the public will have the same experience viewing it as a tangible object as viewing it online. I don’t prefer one over the other because to me it’s still the same thing.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      “Seeing all these projects together makes me view technology in a more creative way. I see how others use it differently.” Variety variety, ah the ongoing energy of variation!

  9. Sumayyah Maximin

    I will have to start off by saying great job on the project from both colleges this project was so amazing. Just being able to look at all the designs on one page is just so awesome. It is like looking at a bunch of new upcoming wed designers all on one page with their great brand of creativity. The similarities that I have notice is that each class or student from each class, took what had to be done and added so much of their own self to it. Where it either is a picture or words or breaking pieces of a picture apart or adding to it. I mostly noticed everyone doing their own mix to their design, which was so lovely to see all together.

    When it comes to the differences, BMCC had more of a technology connection to something where it was personal or creative, but with York students, more used their work to connect to their personal life or something they are connected to or like. This is where they both had unique differences, which was really cool and creatively executed in each class’s way. The overall outcome of this project was so awesome. I loved seeing it all come together, that was the best part of all. Working on it was fun but seeing all the classes come together and all their work shown on one page was a breath taking moment of mine. I was not expecting for it to come together like this knowing that we all have a different mind set on creativity but based on how our professor explained what was needed and how it will be carried on for this project, I think everybody really understood the concept and it came out so wonderful. Great job everyone job wonderfully well done.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      Thanks so much! Im so happy to read how excited this project has made you! Great work and yes, lets keep inspiring each other through creativity and collaboration!

  10. Imani Perkins

    Overall, this was a great project thought up by our professor Ryan Seslow. I think asking the question, how does technology and creativity combine to create people’s perceptions within life has been very reflective. Our sight is probably one of the most used of our senses, and in today’s world we are constantly bombarded with visual stimulation. So, how do we process this stimulation and use it? Some may turn it into creativity, others may unplug from it, while other still may be unaffected by it. Everyones reaction to an event are different, even in cases where people have similar experiences that happen to them. In this project we all had the same assignment but our reaction it, our creative individual pieces are different and unique. With that said to see all the artwork everyone has done across CUNY campuses was a great experience. I think anyone who see it wll have a lot to think about and perhaps be inspired to take action like we did and add to this collective project.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      You are too kind! WE thought this up and followed through on our commitment to the project! :))) Yes, creative iterations induces that exact perspective – the awareness of variety, the awareness that things can always be another way!

  11. Telvin Poledore

    This was such a fun project to work on, it allows a person to think outside of the box and think hard about the world around them. What I see that is similar between the BMCC students and they York students that that we interpret technology to be innovative for creativity. A difference I see is that, the Graphic design students really incorporated technology more than the York students, which is quite interesting. My favorite contribution from the BMCC is the “Creativity is Light, that cant be burned put” because it really speaks volumes and it is such a true statement and I never really seen creativity in that way. The whole project came together really nice and it looks like it was very hard work to put it together.

    1. Ryan Seslow Post author

      “What I see that is similar between the BMCC students and they York students is that we interpret technology to be innovative for creativity.”

      How will this awareness transcend outside of the classroom?

  12. shayla scott

    Looking at all of these projects I see so much creativity and compassion to what they created. Some similarities I see between all of the submitted work are they all have a specific meaning to them, which is “technology”. Some differences are that each piece is created with different elements like shapes and colors. Also seeing all the work organized into one space enhanced the interpretation of the project and I got to see every project all at once, rather than all jumbled up into one big mess. Overall I feel like it was really accessible to have them placed in chronological order. I think the public will appreciate this project because it’s a way individuals create artwork with a meaning and a great purpose. I prefer it as an online experience because the topic is basically technology we are interpreting.

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    1. Petra

      I just shared my first thought which came into my mind when I had seen the work all together on a screen. Let me focus more on the details. I see as a common thread colors darker, bluish or beautiful glare colors. The difference is that the York College used many architecture to combine both topics, technology and creativity compare to BMCC who used often humans to expressed the same topic. It’s so inspirational to see all the images together. It shows how one topic can be shown in so many ways and challenge myself to get more out of my own box and world. I love both ways to see art digital on a screen or as a print like on paper. I think both ways are fantastic and enjoyable to experience art and either way is important. When I see something on a computer my world is focused on the screen and everything around me goes away. If I see something on a paper my world isn’t only focused on the print or whatever the surroundings gets more included and play a bigger role to me.

  14. jordan fender

    The class zine was a great project to get my creative juices flowing and also a nice opportunity for us gain constructive criticism from peers. I really liked all the submissions. I’d say my absolute favorite was the wifi signal bars- that seemed like such an awesome way to communicate and reach almost everyone! As for the differences between the two classes’ work – I feel most of the BMCC courses focused on media/electronic technology while the York College pieces appeared to focus more on cityscape backgrounds and general advancements in the world. From York College, I liked the spaceship integration into the city background, that was pretty cool!

  15. Junichi Ishii

    The range of creative expression from one page to the next is amazing. I very much enjoy how many people chose to use the head, mind and eyes as the connecting link for creativity. From a digital graphic design standpoint, out of the 5 senses, vision is the only thing we can use so it seems appropriate to focus on this part of the body. Creativity can come through dance, music, and even cooking but those focus on the remaining senses.

    Some of the most noticeable differences is how some chose to use modern architecture to portray the progress of technology as well as actual technological devices.

    For me it enhances my enjoyment of the project because we were given a simple premise to use as a guideline and from that alone spawned all these creative iterations of what that premise meant to each person.

    I do believe it will be much more appreciated as a tangible zine, which I would also prefer. Viewing it on a device can be convenient but it’s rather easy to get distracted by something else right away. A tangible zine will pull you in as you physically turn the page and hopefully find something that resonates with you that will make you keep turning the page. It’s simply not the same with just scrolling or swiping on a screen.

  16. Rubie Ulloa

    This project was a great chance at expressing the creative insight me and the other students have towards the ever growing technology of today. Both colleges made lovely pieces that display human kind’s advancement in the arts, through traditional and modern instruments. Working in this was an interesting experience that had me appreciate the work done in the past, while gratefully thinking of the convenience that science has achieved.

  17. Alexis Tambriz

    Looking at all of these projects was such a fun opportunity. I think how technology and creativity combine has been very thought provoking. This project brought the creativity out in all of those who made their work.

  18. Alexis Tambriz

    I really liked the “when technology and art collide” piece. I could really see all the effort that was put into making it. I think that the way they placed their layers in a chronological order shows just how much thought they put into organizing their piece so that it comes out correctly. Overall it is a really nice piece of art that I can appreciate.

  19. Sebastian

    Every part of class was really productive and fun. Creativity of technology meets with class. Thanks for the opportunity!

  20. Heriberto Mendez

    When we first started working on the Zine project I wondered what my other peer’s piece would look like rather than mine. Seeing all the pieces from my peers showed me how having one objective can result in multiple responses. As professor Ryan told us, throughout the years he has been working he never seen two of the same pieces and he was right! Everyone one’s piece shows their perspective on that design and technology means. This was a great learning experience and shows how it is to collaborate with other designers. There are similarities and differences but the objective is there.

  21. Marquis

    This collaborative project was a complete eye opener. The class at York touched on a lot of effects technology has made on us as humans. An example of this is the is the piece that shows us the old brooklyn bridge side to side with the newer version. It shows us how technology adapts to our surroundings and we just accept the change.

  22. Linda

    Both of the zine collection are amazing and very different from each other. the ones from BMCC looks retro and it kind of explodes with colors but it also has dark areas making the color stand out more which is really nice and it has a lot of technology and body parts involved. The zine collection from York College i like a lot, it has more buildings and items involved, it’s not just technology and it looks modern, things that i would see around the city or at least would like to.

  23. Anil Ramdin

    I feel grateful being apart of a project like this where we could collaborate with other student apart of our great city with such ease. I was pretty overwhelmed when I scrolled through these images, everyone took such different directions under the same guidelines, but yet there still a sense of unity with this common theme of technology. Not only do I feel proud to have my work featured with these other talented and creative artists, but I also feel inspired. Although some of these pieces are very technically advanced, many make use of very simple techniques in very effective ways. Bravo everyone.

  24. Christina McWilliams

    I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work on this CROSS CUNY ZINE (perhaps this could be a reoccurring project with multiple issues).

    It has opened me up to the different possibilities of how to obtain and display new works. I also look forward to my work being published and having something to look back on to see my progression in Multimedia Arts.

    If time permitted, I would have liked to do some finishing touches on my contributions. I think it would be interesting to see everyones work after 1 more draft. Furthermore, what our work would look like in 2/5/10 years from now given the same assignment when we have new advancements and new perspectives and become more proficient in web based art.


  25. Lily Janker

    I noticed that in my classes work (BMCC) , we majorly used lots of organic depictions in relation to technology such as eyes, hands, faces, bodies, brains, and nature, specifically in connection to abstract concepts like, our inner worlds, and love . Whereas, the students at York majorly used lots of conventional and figurative depictions, such as structures, buildings, trains, cars, and cameras, in relation to technology in motion with our outer world, and what is projected onto us, rather than what we project onto technology. Both depictions are deep and conceptual, just a matter of vision.

  26. MiQuel Rowell-Peterson

    This project as a whole was pretty challenging as our creative juices were jolted. I know for myself, being creative is more difficult than being given a straightforward assignment and accomplishing it. The BMCC students really all did an excellent job on their pieces. It seems very modern/futuristic. We here at York did an excellent job as well and it’s very interesting to see different people’s views on technology and the world around us. Overall, this was an amazing project presented by Professor Seslow.

  27. Folashade Olatunde

    Being apart of the Zine Project was a great experience. I feel like I learned a lot of how to put different pieces of art together. It is amazing how you can put different pieces of pictures together and make it into one whole picture. I did not even know that was possibly. It is outstanding what you can do with photoshop. When doing the Zine project I was new to all it. I had to try in push myself and believe that I can do it. Looking at all the pieces that all the students did I wish that I would have push myself a little harder to make all the pictures to come together more. Overall this project was fun and learnable.

  28. Tenelle

    I noticed that the pages submitted by York College students includes a longer explanation on their pages, compared to the BMCC pages which seem to focus on having a simple catch phrase or quote. Overall, I feel that every student did an amazing job on getting their point across of their views on creativity and technology. These unique pages of artwork displays how creatives use technology (in this case, photoshop) to inspire in their own way. I enjoy the fact that not one page is similar because it proves that everyone is different and uniqueness is needed to inspire the world!

  29. Jasmine Brown

    This Zine has come together so nicely. Both schools have created amazing pages for the zine and you can clearly see the theme in it. Everyone put there own personal touch on their page and thats what makes it even more incredible. Who knew that creating a zine would be this fun!

  30. Neli Buri

    This Zine project was very exciting to create. I am very passionate about technology, design and together you can just create so much. When creating my piece i wanted to show how technology is a tool that helps us create anything we can possibly imagine. Also it’s crazy how different people can create different concepts of the same topic. Everybody did such a great job and used many of the techniques that were taught in class.

  31. Tenzin Choyang

    This project allows people to show their own twist on the “How technology and creativity are powerful learning tools for inspiration, expression, digital storytelling and design” . Although we all had the same guideline, every one had different result which is fascinating. One similarities that I saw between the submitted works was the use of putting different images together to create a one image. Difference that I saw was that while BMCC students went for more of the lenses type meaning seeing technology through the eyes, mind, or VR. While York students connected the guideline to more of the life that we live. For example the subway we take, the buildings that we see and the apps that we use. It is amazing to see all of the works together and I think everyone did really good job in it. I think it general public will appreciate the project viewing it as a tangible object rather than an online experience because when you see it in front of you, it feels more real.

  32. tammy

    This was the first time i ever created something like this and i have to admit i really enjoyed being part of the project. Never did i ever think that something i created digitally would end up in a museum somewhere. it was so awesome learning the different techniques that were being used to create this masterpiece, techniques that i have never even used before. This project was probably my most favorite one done in class at York. Looking at all the various Zines created at York and at BMCC its interesting to view all of the different aspects people have on the outlook of technology today. its a valuable tool that we all got to be a part of and i’m grateful for that. The similarities that were shared throughout the Zines were that of the creative portion. All of the Zines were so inspiring and a pleasure to look at. All in all, the project was an amazing experience and i would definitely do it again!
    Thank you Professor Ryan Seslow!

  33. Freddy Chang

    It is amazing seeing all these works organized into one space as it demonstrates how everyone has a different way of thinking. One common similarity between the submitted work was the way students used their creativity to explain a quotes or title. One difference I noticed was that students from York used buildings in their submitted work and students from BMCC used humans or human body parts in their work.

    I believe the general public will appreciate the time and effort students have put into their Zines. As much as I like the convenience of viewing the Zines online, I prefer the Zines to be a tangible object. You can view it when you please without the need for a computer.

  34. Hastride

    I loved this project. It helped me realize how much technology influences the projects I do. I think for us designers, we get so used to just opening up photoshop and having every tool and color possible at our finger tip that we fail to see how lucky we are. I don’t know exactly how long ago, but there was a time were you really had to make every effect by hand. So after participating in this collaborative project, I’ve come to really appreciate the fact I have access to all those softwares that helps me express my creativity.

    I find it interesting that MMA 100 separated themselves from technology. The instead showed people using devices such as cellphones, laptops, and how technology helps them. Meanwhile, CT 101 shows an integration of Technology. In other words, technology and them has become one. I am guilty of it too. I just realized that I didn’t used any physical human features. It just so interesting how both schools interpreted the correlation of technology and creativity.

    A similarity I saw between both schools is the sense that Technology is welcomed in this world. No one viewed technology as a bad thing. Well two designs by the same author with the tittle “Poster” & “poster2”, pointed out a really important point, which is a statement I totally agree with, “don’t let it be your reality” and instead “live in reality”. Lastly, as quoted by three designs. “The Science of Today is the Technology of Tomorrow”. Ps, I think those three designers should get together.

  35. Victoria Leon

    This turned out amazing! Similarities I noticed are the use of images of architecture to represent technology. The differences are that students in BMCC focused on the creative side of technology and art while York college focused on the evolution of technology and art. Seeing all of the works organized into one space is amazing, and shows everyone’s creative view and perspective. By viewing this as a hard copy magazine, I feel like it can create a better experience for the viewer. They are able to look closely, hold, and inspect the beautiful designs created by each individual and truly admire the wonderful vibrant colors used.

  36. Massiel Perez

    Wow! How cool to see how people were so creative with this project. So many different ideas and so many different perspectives. It is amazing to see that creativity means different things to different people but a lot of us had the same idea of using buildings/ big cities to represent technology.
    As stated above, I also noticed that most of the people from BMCC used body parts to represent their ideas which made for pretty different projects.

    This was a great project and I very much enjoyed creating it but seeing all of the different images/ ideas is the best part.

  37. Hartley

    This was a good project to work on. I feel with each student working on what they feel like there’s a different feel to each and everyone of us. I feel like with both the works from BMCC and York it shows a greater image of how we interact with things differently. Like for example an image can be created yet two different students design it and edit it differently. but both results amaze the person looking at it. This project was fun to work on overall.

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