The days of animated web site construction signs, flying email envelopes and blinking arrows may not be entirely gone, but they are certainly well buried beneath CNN news reports, Facebook profiles and Wikipedia entries. Net artist Olia Lialina finds interest in both incarnations, though the animated gifs above, and singular frames now in the Art Fag City masthead archive the latter. Of course, using yourself as animated GIF model may not have seen the kind of currency floating bears and rotating money signs had but in mimicing that movement and literalizing their purpose (the use of gifs is after all, a means of constructing on online identity), Lialina demonstrates their importance to web users of the past. In doing so, she also highlights the unique beauty of these images; an attribute that both informs the new look of the web, but also includes its simultaneous rejection.
Born, 1971 in Moscow, Olia Lialina finished Moscow State University in 1993 as journalist and film critic. In mid 90s she was one of the organizers of Moscow experimental film club CINE FANTOM, and went on to become one of the best known net.art pioneers. A Professor of Merz Akademie (Interface Design/New Media Pathway), Stuttgart since 1999, Lialina has authored Last Real Net Art Museum and First Real Net Art Gallery. For the last six years she has been collaborating with Dragan Espenschied. Notable works include Zombie&Mummy episodes, Frozen Niki blog, Online Newspapers, MIDNIGHT, Contemporary Home Computing. She also writes on new media, digital folklore and vernacular web. (Vernacular Web 1, Vernacular Web 2)