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GIF Shows

The solo show I'm doing next month is titled "Room Sized Animated GIFs." The ArtCal listing is here (thanks to ArtCal--the listing is in RSS now will go "live" a week before the opening). The choice to use, in the title, a banal everyday computer "file extension" (.GIF) that hasn't quite risen to the level of a household word was deliberate. The point is not to be tech-elitist but rather that there is nothing more un-elite than an animated GIF, your grandmother has several of them on her homepage, but the word "GIF" is nevertheless seldom bandied about in the medieval, still-painting-centric artworld.

Another show I'm in taking the humble GIF as its theme is described on Marisa Olson's blog:
Hi, there. I've unashamedly followed the masses to Myspace, and there I've erected a page for an upcoming exhibit I'm curating. Please check it out and become our friend:

http://www.myspace.com/gifshow

The show is called The Gif Show (I briefly considered Meet the Giffords, Meet the Giffordz, Gif Starz, and Choosy Moms Choose GIF). It opens May 3, at San Francisco's beloved RX Gallery, and is co-presented by Rhizome. The artists are Cory Arcangel, Peter Baldes, Michael Bell-Smith, Jimpunk, Olia Lialina, Abe Linkoln, Guthrie Lonergan, Lovid, Tom Moody, Paper Rad, Paul Slocum, and Matt Smear (aka 893/umeancompetitor). Everyone's showing GIFs, and some are also showing videos, works on paper, sound, and other cool related stuff. Together, their work shows the diversity of forms to be found in GIFs, and many of them comment on the broader social life of these image files.

Hence the Myspace page... GIFs grow, breed, and comingle sparklingly on Myspace. Please come be our neighbor, there, and help us spread the word about the show. (More curatorial & opening party details to come, here, in a bit.)

posted by Marisa S. Olson at 12:01
Why GIFs? They're a relatively "open source" way to get ideas, in the form of moving images, out to broad audience. They are low or no cost to make, consume very little bandwidth, no one has to buy or download a proprietary player to play them. They have their own special charm, minimal in the way garage rock is minimal. Scaling them up to room size, showing them on TV screens as opposed to computer monitors, exhibiting individual frames in a grid, are ways to inject this aesthetic into physical space, which has its own demands, limitations, and pleasures.

- tom moody 4-19-2006 7:23 pm [link]