by tom moodyComments Off on "Graphics Interchange Format" opening at Denison U.
Exhibition of animated GIFs curated by Paddy Johnson. Johnson's essay limns an intriguing parallel universe to the now-familiar net art history posted by her former intern Karen Archey. (Funny how the grand timelines lately seem to culminate in paintfx.biz and Jon Rafman.) Archey's essay is all about assimilation of the internet into institutional art world practice; whereas Johnson has chosen a medium that has proven particularly resistant to the museum/gallery Borg.
Alert readers may have noticed that this is the second show called "Graphics Interchange Format"--Laurel Ptak organized one three years ago in Brooklyn, which I missed but read about on Rhizome.org:
Some of the artists are among the net's gif stars and others made their first gifs for the show--they were all commissioned on three days' notice by Ptak and are being sold in unlimited editions (accompanied by a personalized note from the artist) for $20, instigating "gif shop" puns across the net art blogosphere.
Never really got the premise of that show--like, GIF slam? Three days' notice?
By contrast, the GIFs in Paddy Johnson's were years in the making, or at least, it took years for them to be recognized. Just BS-ing around here, can't really comment objectively because am in the latter show but wasn't in the former. Most documentation of Ptak's show has disappeared, so the only people we know were in both shows are Petra Cortright and M. River (who is in Johnson's show as one-half of MTAA). If you were in both, drop me a line and will add your name. At the time of Ptak's show, tumblr was just getting going and most of the GIF discussion centered around surf clubs. One such collective appears in Johnson's show (those "spirit" guys); of more recent vintage, and not a club exactly because anyone, even Brad Troemel, can join, dump.fm is represented by a "daily hall of fame" consisting of the day's most "fav"-ed posts. There you have the GIF world: the exalted platonic vs the vote-hungry mundane.