gif by sstage

- L.M. 4-08-2011 1:58 pm

Stage is great and I've been reblogging him for about a year now. I like this but he went a little off track here, as the GIF suggests the continued relevance of determining where the art happens
- tom moody 4-08-2011 3:06 pm

I think this GIF suggests the continued relevance of "aaaaaaaaaugghhhh! gnarrr."
- sally mckay 4-08-2011 3:16 pm

Right, but please see my other comment.
- tom moody 4-08-2011 3:54 pm

I think there is a continued relevance to determining where the art happens. If my students, for example, read that thread, they would probably come away with the impression that there is a GIF art movement (like, the kind with a manifesto maybe in the works) and the argument is about whether or not GIFs comprise an avant-guard art world revolution. But this is a post-medium art environment - artists use whatever tools make the most aesthetic sense in the moment. To adopt a polemic attachment to any medium feels like climbing into a restrictive, rule-bound box. "Where does the art happen?" is a much more interesting question than, say, "are GIFs the next big thing?" Personally I prefer "How does the art happen?" but that's an exploratory, speculative, aesthetic question that there's no room for in the tit-for-tat thread on AFC.
- sally mckay 4-08-2011 4:20 pm

But you did comment on that thread. I wasn't arguing for a GIF revolution, I was saying as someone who uses them (among other things) what I think their most salient properties were. "Interchange" or "please remix me" is not the main reason I made OptiDisc, to give an example. Will found this unacceptable and went nuclear. You stepped in in support of the "art happens here" GIF as an at least adequate statement of the show. Arguing why a GIF might be better than say, YouTube, is not the same as "adopting a polemic attachment to a medium." Reminder: Greenberg I ain't.
- tom moody 4-09-2011 7:13 pm

I know your Gif theories have more scope and nuance - that's why the pitched battle approach is detrimental. I like the clarifications you make in your blog post today.
- sally mckay 4-10-2011 5:14 pm

Belatedly returning to this...

I wish there was a forum where theories could be tested without having buckets of slime hurled at you. Unfortunately the friendly debating society hasn't taken up this topic. You did write a manifesto on this subject, Sally, an essay called "The Affect of Animated GIFs," where you said "The discourse [about art on the internet] tends to revolve around debates (often heated) about the appropriate use of various technologies in relation to both formal concerns and political issues inherent to open source ideology. There has been very little critical discussion about the affective qualities of various digital media." I'm not sure who is elevating the "formal" above other aspects of the discussion--who is Net Art's Michael Fried?--but in any case Will made a strong, ugly case that open sourceness trumps other aspects of GIFness. The design of the website reflects his views. You suggested I was making too much of the design aspect, and then "mostly stay[ed] out of [the discussion] on purpose" while Will shot up various aspects of my character. And then L.M. suggested the argument was just some dumb internet fight. Again, thanks a lot, friends.

But, Sally, from this thread it sounds like maybe your views are changing? Looking forward to the essay "Where the Art Happens: The Affect of Animated GIFs."
- tom moody 4-26-2011 2:00 pm

"...the redefinition of "critic" as "a troll who inspires" maybe isn't so bad." (1)
- bill 4-28-2011 1:58 pm

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