January 24th, 2011
Those who know me know I’m a huge fiend for mid 90s net ephemera: scrolling marquees, angelfire and geocities, inefficient and overloaded site design (great example here), the astonishingly sparse & unsophisticated web design of the world’s most dominant brands and companies (check out Pepsi’s & McDonald’s first sites here), & of course, loads and loads of silly-ass animated GIFs.
Which is why I was most pleased to bump into Pam Tietze’s art, which includes not only great video ads, photography and jewelry design, but several artworks featuring animated GIFs superimposed on static real-world photos. This creates an odd tension between the sort of pixellated childlike spirit world of these mid-90s critters & smiley faces and the occasionally disturbing shots against which they float, dance & spin.
In the gifscape above, I find it fun to get lost in the little gif-denizens scattered around the alley they’ve overrun, each of them locked in their tiny cycle of movements: the sleeping baby near the dumpster, the shark happily chomping garbage, the magic cherub hovering near the dude, maybe one of his drunken hallucinations. Or the streetfighter ground & pound happening in the background, the platinum-blonde assassin’s hip-swinging gait. And my favorite, the happy canopy-dwelling critters peacefully hammock-swinging & cockatoo-pecking above the filth.
I think what I love most about primitive animated GIFs is their defiant sunny routines, their tiny little colorful locksteps, all happening while the world of their creators fractally explodes in choice, anxiety, wild climate oscillations, & global sensory overload. & I find in the purity of their graphical clumsiness — their failure to exactly reproduce the world — I find in this their claim as citizens of a completely different world, unconcerned with representing ours, a world where a little chunky-graphicked hamster or hot dog or tongue-poking smileyface dances the aeons away in wee 2-D spin.
More of Tietze’s art at her site, www.wix.com/iampam
All writing © copyright C. Way / Snailcrow.com 2011