Left to my own devices, I’d probably always seek out the most ornate complicated GIFs I could find. It’s my taste. But after having spent most of the day writing up a soul crushing shopping guide for the rich, (I may never be rid of my anti-corporate teenage angst) Tom Moody’s modest set of GIFs serves as a well-needed palette cleanser. The mini-band above has all of zero relationship to art market, and can be evaluated for what they are; short animated loops of squirrels playing music. One plays an electric guitar, the other a banjo, with what appears to be the back of a player piano and a sheet holder in between the two. Banjo squirrel not withstanding, the movement of each GIF has been sped up or exaggerated in some, creating a bizarre caricature of the action. It’s cute, and perhaps a little naive, in exactly the right way.
“See money raining down on me” from http://imgarcade.com
“GIF of the Day” fans, artists, readers: a gift to you. Giphy is holding a $10,000 contest to make a digital sticker. The sticker doesn’t even have to be animated, and it can just be something you made that’s lying around from years past. By sticker, I’m pretty sure they just mean an animated GIF or a picture. It will not stick to things. This is likely the largest sum of money any individual will stand to make off a GIF in 2014.
Artnet published part two of Paddy’s A Brief History of Animated GIF Art series. This installment covers the golden age of social media GIFs. [artnet News]
In “How a Palestinian Artist Turned Detainment Into a Creative Opportunity,” the fact that Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar could not legally come into the United States for his exhibition gave him a chance to ship new work. (Yay?) And then this supposedly happened: “In addition, Jarrar organized a satellite project at art space Undercurrent Projects, which consisted of informal panel discussions about the current situation in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as talks about Jarrar’s works and the state of art in Palestine.” Yes, that series was organized, but it never got off the ground. It never took place. [GOOD]
Today in India: Former Louise Blouin staffers will begin a 5-day protest regarding “delayed wages and erratic firings.” [Gallerist]
Statue selfies. (Kind of “blah,” kind of “hah.”) [Reddit]
In need of a $5,600 skateboard with a whimsical skull drawn on it, or maybe a $4,300 high-gloss nude of Pamela Anderson? Then go down to Damien Hirst’s gift shop in Soho. Some of this stuff actually looks pretty great. [The New York Times]
Paddy Johnson writes about an animated GIF exhibition shown online and in Iran that has some real highs and lows. [Artnet]
In today’s edition of word vomit, Vladimir Putin ends up making sexist remarks about Hillary Clinton. [Daily Intelligencer]
Google Glass releases a $1,620 designer line by Diane von Fürstenburg. Yet again we are reminded that “Glass is a class divide on your face.” [Motherboard]
This roundtable seeks to debunk the stereotype that contemporary Latin American art is all about geometric abstraction. [Collecion Cisneros]
Job change! Curator Robin Nicholson leaves the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to direct the Pittsburgh Frick. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
How do we create a market for digital artworks? We’d like to have a constructive discussion about this with the author of “From Mail Art to Tumblr.” The article supposes that online works are abstract manifestations: “What does it mean to own an artwork if the piece is not a self-contained object but rather an abstract manifestation?” writes author Willa Koerner. But what about the many websites, files, and code that are physically there? [Art21]
At the ZMK Media Museum in Germany, visitors can now whisper into the disembodied, 3-D printed “ear” of Van Gogh. This strange artifact is partially replicated from the painter’s genome. [The New York Times]
Manhattan art dealer Helly Nahmad is being charged with hiding a $13 million Modigliani stolen during World War II. The story has all the makings of a solid scandal: Money, an enigmatic, villainous corporation, and the Nazis. [The New York Post]
A whirlwind trip through the art loot collected by the world’s richest financiers: “Bernie Madoff’s prized piece of office art was a four-foot sculpture of a screw that he frequently dusted off himself…A defense lawyer pleaded for the valued object to be photoshopped out of court documents.” [The Baffler]
After two of his works were barred from being displayed in two separate Chinese cities this month, artist and dissonant Ai Weiwei writes an appeal to the Chinese government in Bloomberg: “Censorship has in effect neutered society, transforming it into a damaged, irrational and purposeless creature.” [Bloomberg View]
Damn, Jennifer Chan has made one fantastically Zen GIF. Spirituality and GIFs go hand in hand—for some additional evidence, see Kevin Bewersdorf’s entire series of GIF “pearls“—as a slowed-down alternative to the speedy, blinky GIFs you’ll find all over Reddit or Tumblr.
Adding to that slowness, Chan’s GIF isn’t made for easy re-blogging. Her GIF has a Spice Girls soundtrack, but you can only hear it simultaneous with the GIF when viewed on a loop on the GIFbite exhibition website.
Eunsong Kim and Maya Isabella Mackrandilal call out the Whitney Biennial’s whiteness and political grey areas. They’re particularly pissed about Donelle Woolford, the fake black female persona created by Joe Scanlan, who went as far as trying to get his avatar into the Studio Museum. They’ve written a manifesto, which opens:
1. Diversity is not the inclusion of those not from New York. Diversity isn’t more white women. Diversity isn’t safe art. Diversity isn’t black bodies put on display by white artists. [The New Inquiry, h/t @PDRVelez]
If you use the Internet, beware. A bug has made it easy for people to hack sites which use OpenSSL. Here’s a list. [github.com]
Five reasons not to raise venture capital. (Artsy, are you listening?) [Model View Culture]
Jean Georges: Still four stars. A glowing review, but I like Pete Wells’s tiny acknowledgement near the end of the piece, that as good as any restaurant is, “the game can always be played at a higher level”. True, for all fields. [The New York Times]
A trove of Nazi-looted art has been released back to its current owner, the now very suspicious-looking Cornelius Gurlitt. The collection’s provenance remains under scrutiny. Oh, art news. [The New York Times]
Basically, the best Animated GIF Site ever. [Qil.me]
Anyone else remember Kate Mulgrew, the only female starfleet captain in the Star Trek TV series franchise? This enlightened actor is now narrating a documentary called “The Principle”, which claims that the sun revolves around the earth. The film is in part bankrolled by ultra-conservative and anti-Semitic Robert Sungenis. Mulgrew has already released a statement saying she’s not a geocentrist and was misled by the filmmakers. [The Superficial]
Sounds like art gyms are sweeping the nation; there’s one now in Houston with memberships starting at $150/month. [Glasstire]
United States Artists, a major arts funding group, is relocating from L.A. to Chicago. It’s unclear how much of a coup this is for the city of Los Angeles—do their 50 artist awards of 50K slant towards artists in the city? Whatever the case, Hyperallergic seems to think the loss is significant. [Hyperallergic]