• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


UBI-X Ball

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago


Here are pictures taken with my phone of the UBI-X Ball.  I am not sure why the camera switched the text around... but if you can bend your mind to read it properly, it may look kinda cool.  I decided to take the picture within the globe on the Old Main lawn because Loadstool and I thought it would look cool :)


Thanks to all who stopped by to check out my project!!!




UBI-X Ball


Explanation/ Analysis


Rise of UBI-X


            Remixing Philip K. Dick’s novel, “UBIK,” was an inspiration, in addition to being really fun.  My combining of Ubik text with images from the infamous “X-Men” comic book series took my creative juices for a ride—for better or for worse.  I thought about making a comic book completely of Ubik and X-Men remixes, but that seemed too simple despite the complexity in actually putting together a work like that.  I started to think “outside-of-the-box” so to speak and imagined the remixes as three dimensional objects, physical beings that one can hold, flip upside down, and turn around.  I decided upon a ball because a sphere embraces a lot of themes discussed in this course.  I “bounced” a lot of ideas around with members of the class and intended to make multiple balls with the remixes on them.  I was hoping to utilize a reversal of the globe-to-map theory in creating an orange peel effect that would facilitate the creation of the caesuras and gaps in the sequence and rhetoric.  Unfortunately, I was not able to do the orange peel idea, so I just started cutting and pasting ridiculously.  I tried to follow the curvature of the ball sometimes to make it lay flat, other times I just took the whole piece and laid it down to crinkle and conform to the ball like paper maché.  What resulted was a collage of Ubik-X-Men Mergers, advertisements actually used in comic books I bought at Comic Swap and text I typed-up from the advertisements in Ubik. 


Invisible Art


Below you will find a listing of quotes and information about comics taken from the book, "Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art" by Scott McCloud that inspired the creation and interpretation of the UBI-X Ball.


Comics:  n. plural in form, used with a singular verb.  1.  Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response from the viewer.




Icon: any image used to represent a person, place, thing, or idea.


“Defining the cartoon would take up as much space as defining comics, but for now, I am going to examine cartooning as a form of amplification through simplification.”


“The cartoon is a vacuum into which our identity and awareness are pulled… an empty shell that we inhabit which enables us to travel in another realm.  We don’t just observe the cartoon, we become it!”


“All of us perceive the world as a whole through the experience of our senses.  Yet our senses can only reveal a world that is fragmented and incomplete.  Even the most widely traveled mind can only see so much of the world course of a life.  Our perception of ‘reality’ is an act of faith, based on mere fragments.”


“This phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole has a name.  It’s called closure.”


“Here in the limbo of the gutter, human imagination takes two separate forms and transforms them into a single idea.”


“Comics panels fracture both time and space, offering a jagged, staccato rhythm of unconnected moments.  But closure allows us to connect these moments and mentally construct a continuous, unified reality.”


Panel Transitions:

  1. Moment-to-Moment
  2. Action-to-Action
  3. Subject-to-Subject
  4. Scene-to-Scene
  5. Aspect-to-Aspect
  6. Non-sequitur


“Some artists can be deliberately ambiguous, of course, and offer us no strict interpretation to go on.”


“Within these panels, we can only convey information visually.  But between panels, none of our senses are required at all.  Which why all of our senses are engaged!”


UBI-X Magma


            What lies at the heart and soul of pasting pieces of paper on a cheap bouncing play ball?  What pleasure seeps out of cutting and pasting words into the mouths of X-Men?  What does the bubbling magma that creates the core of the UBI-X ball really consist of?  The majority of my non-liberal arts minded friends laugh and think I am crazy for having my final project as a college undergraduate student consist of paper, glue, and a rubber ball filled with air.  I hope that members of Mobius’s ENGL 473 course will see the intricacies of the rise of UBI-X. 

            First and foremost, UBI-X is a physical representation of the themes Dick presents in his novel, “UBIK.”  Being a sphere allows the final quote of the text, “This was just the beginning,” to take shape that there is not any real beginning or end to the story.  Understanding the story is difficult because with a turn of the ball we see a new bit of information and our understanding becomes completely different even if the viewer has already observed the piece several times.  I was please to see Loadstool respond to UBI-X as he did for that was precisely the experience I was hoping for; a rare occurrence according to McCloud.  The comic panels and characters, represent the images I generated while reading just the Ubik text.  In a sense, this ball represents my mind while reading the book.  Though, if one is to think of my project in that matter, I would probably need to be committed…

            Obviously, this project is an example of remixing as inspired by William Burroughs.  The structure of piece also is a representation of gaps and caesuras that we discussed in relation to Robert Aton Wilson’s “Cosmic Trigger.”  One can visually see gaps both within the images from being cut apart as well as between the all the pieces put together.  The gaps (or slivers of purple ball not covered) can also be deemed the “gutters” of my production as it is in sense, simply comics on a ball.  The defining of the gaps as gutters allows an understanding (in relation to McCloud’s theory) that active participation between the comics and the audience must occur and forces the audience to reach out with all their senses.  Does the observer of UBI-X simply see those purple spots as places where I was too lazy to cut out and glue something else, or examples of disconnect relating UBI-X to its inspiration—comics?

             UBI-X explores, or some may say, exploits, the discussion McCloud has about closure and panel transition in his book, “Understanding Comics.”  UBI-X combines western comics with the ambiguity, “fragmentation,” use of negative space, and “awareness of the picture plane” that is the essence of eastern cultures’ comics, especially the Japanese.  UBI-X allows the artistic and creative juices of both creator and observer to flourish as the mind must work with an enormous amount of information, but yet very little.  The ball is practically covered with text and imagery, but the immense amount of fragmentation and disruption from lack of information and insertions of advertisements, causes the interaction with the ball to not be straight forward or clear in any sense of the word.  Through this merger of cultural concepts of comics, UBI-X becomes a part of the future of comics.  Space, time, imagery, and text are all reborn in a new physical form unlike anyone’s previous understanding of comics.  Not to be corny or quote McCloud too much, but “Today, the possibilities for comics are – as they always have been – ENDLESS.”

            The relation of UBI-X to the theme of The Society of Control is first and foremost in the texts that I used.  Both Ubik and X-Men examine how society takes hold of individuals whether through technology or mind set or discrimination.  Another key point is the stigma that comics have received in years past.  Despite the complexity and feasibility of the medium of comics, the “society of control” has often labeled the genre either juvenile and simple or grotesque and uneducated.  According to McCloud, in 1845, Rudolphe Topffer said, “the picture-story appeals mainly to children and the lower classes.”  The unfortunate consequence of the ideas of individuals such as Topffer, is a lack of understanding and stifled utilization of the craft.  For whatever reason, pictures books, comic books, and the like have been deemed lowly and childish, yet such works of art hold potential for conflict and development of all the senses.  Why is it that we were given or developed, however you believe, multiple senses, but we force ourselves to isolate them and think we will become more intelligent and productive?  The intellectual, rhetorical, inspirational, developmental, and entertaining values of comics are things in which I hope more people invest.  My future field of archaeology may result in difficult route to do so myself, but hopefully if I am creative enough, I will figure out a way.

This was just the beginning.


ENGL 473 Final Project

AKA Rebecca (Becca) Simon

The Pennsylvania State University Class of 2007



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.