We tend to post recent GIFs in our GIF of the Day series, but there’s actually no reason for that. So, just to prove that we are apt to dive into the past, here’s Michael Bell-Smith‘s “Faceted Sphere” from 2008. It’s deceptively simple, using a push-and-pull device to show flooring that recedes backwards, stairs that move upwards, and a sphere that moves forwards.
Rejoice, GIF-makers and lovers! Ello has arrived to let you gracefully view and publish large, scrollable GIFs uncluttered by extra doodads and ads.
GIFs have been posted, and posted, and posted this week. We’ve been wondering, though, what characteristics best describe GIFs typically posted on Ello? We know this is a question with no answer, so we made our own rules and focused on GIFs that best literalize Ello’s sleek design, tacit NSFW posting, and networked culture.
So, based on this criteria, what GIF is the Ello-ist? “Woven Network,” posted by Faith Holland and pictured above. Nothing says scary, sexy and networked culture like a wicket of wires getting covered in goo. You can find her on Ello as @sugarhigh.
In a very, very close second we have a gigantic noodle-n00d by Rollin Leonard. Why? Because it’s craze-balls long, slick as fuck, and impossible to share on Facebook. Praise be to Wordpress for letting us upload Leonard’s noodle without crashing our site!
The game developer who goes by the moniker Cedric has created a few GIFs of procedurally generated architecture. Cedric is a self-described “indie game dev focused on social AI, emergent narrative and procedural worlds.” Via: BLDGBLOG
This particular work takes a viewer on a tour of what exploding rocks and meteors, Tron-like imagined computer space, and rotating balls of goo. The more you move your cursor, the more responsive the piece appears to be. It’s pretty great, but the bit of genius here is the dash cam footage near the beginning of the tour. It’s the only bit of found material, it situates the user in the driving seat of car. It reminds me of abstract painters who decide to render one small part of their painting realistically. In those cases, it’s often a flourish used to indicate rendering skill, but the real trick is integrating two disparate elements seamlessly. Mckelvie has unified these two types of images perfectly.
The GIF shows just keep coming. Along with “Wallpapers” and “GIF Free For All”, we now can thank “The Limited Collection” for 33 new GIFS. Organized by the London/Berlin-based La Scatola Gallery, curators Rozsa Zita Farkas and Valentina Fois are rolling out one GIF a day, through the end of the month, on tumblr. The “limited” refers to the fact that come October, the GIFs will be taken down and archived in a limited edition version to be sold by the gallery. As Tom Moody (a participating artist) points out on his blog, “The GIFs will continue to circulate on the internet and elsewhere, depending on whim and circumstance, thus avoiding the public relations gaffe of ‘taking the GIF offline so the collector can have it locally’ (which one institution attempted a while back).” Good. It doesn’t answer the question of whether collector audiences have a sterilizing effect on the medium, though; Paddy Johnson suspects that art fair trends are seeping into the GIF world already.
Anyway, “The Limited Collection” has been running since the end of August, so naturally, this provides us with the basis for another awards ceremony!
This time, highlights are selected for upholding the special weirdness that’s native to the art form. Above, you’ll see Viktor Timofeev’s “Synergeticka”, virtual reality gloves with little hands that come out of the fingertips. As you can see, they seem to be designed for the sole purpose of tickling an orange. I personally find this horrifying.
And then there’s Lawrence Lek’s “Shiva’s Folly”, presumably named for the Hindu god of great benevolence and destruction. I am no expert on Hinduism, so I defer to the wiki description: “At the highest level Shiva is limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless”. I prefer to think of it as the moment in Ghostbusters when Gozer demands: “Choose the form of The Destructor!”
Tumblr star and recent SAIC grad Nick Kegeyan culls much of his inspiration from the GIFs of Geocities days. This makes me think that this dinosaur, titled “calargy”, takes a leaf from the “SpinningDancer“, the left brain-right brain optical illusion created in 2003 by Nobuyuki Kayahura at the Procreo Flash Design Laboratory. But based on Kegeyan’s own explanation of a similar pivoting chicken, this could have just as much to do with dinosaurs in Calgary, or frames. Either way, brains are fighting each other right now.
Golden deer sculptures, a trope of the art fair, has finally migrated to the animated GIF world. And I have the same head scratching response to Jonathan Monaghan‘s GIF of couch giving birth to a doe, as I do any of those sculptures. What is this saying about wealth? What did this couch have sex with to become pregnant? (Okay, that question is art work specific.) And why do people find deers so compelling?
I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I suspect there are few collectors and artists out there who do. Someone poll these people and figure this trend out.