I have some serious concerns about recommending the newly announced group show “Loop Dreams“. The IRL animated GIF exhibition will be presented by GIPHY, a corporation that poses as a GIF search engine, but is really just a community standards filter for Facebook. Nothing can be posted to GIPHY that violates these standards, so we’ll be looking at a show that contains zero nudity or violence. You can definitely forget about the tentacle porn GIFs.
I don’t like this, and I especially don’t like that GIPHY’s own website seems to exhibit little interest in the qualities that have made GIFs so appealing to users for decades—its sharable and democratic nature. Notably, none of the GIFs can be shared.
To be fair to all involved, though, the list of participating artists is strong and is curated in part by Rhizome, an organization I respect. Going to the show will mean looking at the work of 25 GIF artists through holographic posters, projections, VR, and interactive installations. It could be good.
So, let’s call this an extremely limited nod. Yay for GIFs and great artists. Boo to all the other bullshit that comes with this show, namely presenter that’s done far more to limit the expression of Animated GIF makers than it has support the field.
Opening: Saturday October 1st • 6pm-10pm, 201 Mulberry St
Participating artists: Jacob Ciocci, Yung Jake, Nicolas Sassoon, Ann Hirsch, Laura Brothers, Mattis Dovier, Stuart Wade, Eno Swinnen, Phyllis Ma, Scorpion Dagger, Zach Scott, Julian Glander, Sam Rolfes, Winston Duke, Karan Singh, Katri Tikkanen, LaTurbo Avedon, Dina Kelberman, David Berrebi, John Fogarty, Lauren Pelc McArthur, Jess Mac, Leon Denise, Nicole Ginelli, Martin Onassis, GIPHY Studios