remix of a gif by design professionals
Thanks to Paddy Johnson for including some of my GIF-making and -collecting efforts from the 2000s in part one of her animated GIF art history on Artnet.
What the Walker tweeted is actually an mp4 video file, because Twitter, like Facebook, won't let you post a GIF without converting it to its preferred format. I can't complain about that, having shown the same GIF as an mpeg-2 (DVD) file, in a gallery setting.
Johnson mentions OptiDisc as an early-ish "GIF shown in gallery" example. The version above was, in fact, created because I'd been invited, in 2005, to submit one of my web animations to a show and had to do some thinking about how to present it in "real space." The earliest version of OptiDisc was a smaller one posted in Feb. 2004 (so it's ten years old!).
I posted a series of DVD-format-friendly "sketches," still in GIF form and prior to any conversion, got some comments (back when my blog had comments), and then I picked "Number 5A" -- which was the one that got the most internet circulation and I still consider the definitive version.
OptiDisc's first gallery appearance was a 2005 group show curated by Christine Vassalo and Matthew Fisher under the name MatCH-Art, which showed at SICA (Shore Institute for the Contemporary Arts) in Long Branch, NJ and then traveled to one other venue. At SICA the animation was projected in a theatre-like space; for the second leg of the exhibition run I asked that it be shown on a small-ish CRT screen (I think they used an LCD monitor).
For the show at And/Or Gallery in 2006, mentioned by Johnson in her article, Paul Slocum showed it on a vintage CRT computer monitor. At artMoving Projects, later that year, it was shown projected.
In a 2007 show in Perth, Scotland, the GIF file was converted to a Quicktime (.mov) file, a cousin of the mp4 above.
OptiDisc's life as a GIF has mainly been on the internet, where it has been shared around (hotlinked or otherwise), with and without regard to context.
Rene Abythe made a video, reposted here, depicting the OptiDisc gif as a portal to time and space, which you can have on the dashboard of your car, along with your connections to Twitter and Facebook. In states where it's illegal to text while driving, you can journey into a wormhole to other universes. At least, your mind can, as your body flies through the windshield and your car mows down innocent pedestrians. No different than what would happen, really, if you were checking your friends' statuses at 60 per.
hat tip andrej for the gif from the .edu arena waiting to be perfected
woodfloors made this version of the venerable OptiDisc gif
Don't break it on my account, wf, but if you're going to mess with it might as well go all the way. (Looks great.)
Wf has a web app he's working on that enables you to jack with the disc in many other ways but until it's Windows-friendly it doesn't exist -- just kidding! Meaning I haven't played with it yet.
File under: anti-contemplative
from this page - anticipating the moving version will change in the next 24 hours
"internet unaware art"
Thanks to Paddy Johnson for the plug on her page and for using my artwork in her masthead. Just to be totally "meta," I added a couple of notes to her text.
"The piece is meant to be big, dumb, and iconic, a moving, pulsing symbol of both the promise and failure of technology," said Tom Moody of OptiDisc* during Geeks in the Gallery, a detail of which now resides in my masthead. Aesthetically the gif looks just as Moody describes it, the rings klutzy yet mildly hypnotic; though past this, its life as a meme underscores the artist’s excitement and reservations about the web as a medium. Referencing artists such as Kenneth Noland and Jasper Johns, without reiterating color field painting or Minimalism, Optidisc speaks as clearly to a tradition of Fine Art painting, as it does regular surfers looking for something "different" for their myspace page.**
* The wall-sized projected version.
** This version of the GIF has "gone viral," meaning it has been used on scores of MySpace, YouTube, and LiveJournal pages, and as a web graphic and avatar. (example) I have been collecting screen shots wherever it appears and I have 60 so far (the ones that hotlink the image from my server). I'm saving them out of simple boredom/vanity but also for a work in progress--more "meta" web stuff. Here's a group of thirty screen shots on my studio floor.
Am continuing to document, with screenshots, the appearances of my OptiDisc GIF on the world wild web (as wallpaper, avatars, etc), as sort of a meta-meta-bored at home project.
This may not be up long, but please check out pol.iceman's handiwork for his Yahoo! profile--he has enlarged the GIF like a gazillion times. He might be amused to know that's how it was also displayed in a gallery context--although not limited by browser size and viewed in pieces via scrolling. (I'm assuming this is someone I don't know.)
Update: It's gone, so I removed the link and added the screenshot above. It's quite possible it was a mistake and that the user sized the image incorrectly. Oh, well, good while it lasted (less than a day?).
The 2-D fractal images came from Tim Hodkinson's blog. The 3-D image came from somewhere on the wide Internet (sorry).