on gifs [ storifying the latent content of film/television narrative media ]

Gifs do so many things, I’m not even going to list all of those things! Right now I’m thinking about gifs as amplifiers of particular moments from narrative media. In these pieces, they strip moments from narrative, expanding the gesture used to tell a story while erasing the original context.

a moment from Tarkovsky’s “Ivan’s Childhood”

This eternal moment, stripped from narrative, reminds me of tween frames in the animation process. As an artist who has learned how to make in many kinds of media, I often think of the making process while looking at an art object (or other thing). Tweening is the frame-by-frame drawing that carries the image from moment a to moment b. Its where animation really happens. Skilled animators’ tweens inform how the story is told.

But-and-also – gifs operate with a more cinematic set of visual references, thanks to copy/remix culture. They often inhabit the vocabulary of filler moments.  The embellishments in a televised or film-presented narrative used to allow time to pass, allow the viewer to update their story, create rhythm or pace for the narrative. These moments, over time, become the vocabulary of unconscious narrative of a film/television-presented story.

unconscious narrative the consistant (or inconsistant, depending on the skill of the filmmaker) backdrop woven of actors’ gestures, filler shots, setting, shot framing, color, mood, tone. The assemblage of choices related to non-verbal or not-plot content that provides a consistant ground for the ‘plot’ / cause-and-effect narrative / story, which is spoken or explicit. The language of film that operates outside of verbal story, the elements that make film/television an art form discrete from other storytelling media.

The gif can particularize moments from this unconscious language. The elements which we recognize as part of the assembly of a particular story.

Ryan Seslow has been developing discrete elements in gif form for quite some time. His characters and repeated making-gestures arrive on the screen-canvas of his website & other internet feeds. Recently he assembled several into a sequence.

 

Telling Stories : a gif by Ryan Seslow

Ryan steps into the space of a story. Its liminal – it is not yet a story – it is a projection field for a story of my invention. It invites me to create relationships between jump-cut moments. We automatically work to create relationships, as storifying machines, as viewers. Like we discover the Virgin Mary’s face in a waterstain or a fried tortilla.

Looking, looking back. The screen looking back at us – the portraited pretty lady winks (usually she’s the object in the gallery) its the gaze of the inhabited object – and then the gaze of others looking back –

new work [ oldschool : newmedia ]

selfie [ oldschool / newmedia ]

The negatives I’m using for this process were shot & processed long before computers became part of my process – –

When I met animation processes, it was, at first, printmaking and scanning and hand-manipulation. Then hand-altered 16mm film. I’ve particularly missed that, the bleach and salt and razorblades and rubber gloves and stamps, glue, glitter and tape.

I figured out how to do that again, recently.

[ evidence ] y’all ready for .gifs // 2.1.2014

y'all ready for .gifs

y’all ready for .gifs

THREADS storefront installation

THREADS storefront installation

 

gif : but i can still remember those lips

gif : but i can still remember those lips

milwaukee avenue in logan square, 2.1.2014

milwaukee avenue in logan square, 2.1.2014

Exhibition of .gifs as storefront projection // Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Square, Chicago // storefront show of .gif art curated by Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, Kyle Riley, and Brett Swinney for AnySquared // part of the 2d floor rear 24hours of art in Chicago // featuring work by Skip Hursh, Eric Fleischauer, Mathew Lucas, Scorpion Dagger, Laurene Boglio, Jessica Fenlon, and more . . .

I collected .gifs by other artists in the show at my tumblr.

exhibitionist : Y’all Ready for GIFs?

yall-ready-for-gifs

From the event invite over here ~

Short and concise, the GIF is able to convey complex narratives, unique points of view, and expand creativities through the summarization of large ideas in mere seconds.

This exhibition presents animated GIF works by talented artists from Europe and the US. Featuring works by Scorpion Dagger, Laurene Boglio, Mathew Lucas, Jessica Fenlon, Eric Fleischauer, Skip Hursh, and Samuel Adam Swope, among others.

Curated by Catalina Acosta-Carrizosa, Kyle Riley, and Brett Swinney

Part of 2nd Floor Rear, a 24 Hour Festival of Art in Alternative and Temporary Spaces in Chicago. For the full schedule visit http://2ndfloorrear.org/more-about-2014-participants-and-events/

2327 N Milwaukee Ave, THREADS Storefront