GIF Reel

GIF Reel | 2016 | GIFs | 04:12


3D GIF | Chromaflex Loop | Confused Rain | Debbie Does ASCII Loop | Decay Loops | Self Improvement Loop | UFO. Made for GIF Reel: People of the Future as part of CAKFA.16 in Kitchener, Ontario on top of Kitchener City Hall from May 28 until June 26, 2016. Produced by Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound.

GIF Reel: People of the Future

Jennifer Chan, Clint Enns, Winston Hacking, Jodie Mack, Alison S. M. Kobayashi, Phillip David Stearns

Karie Liao

People of the Future is a curated series of GIFs inspired by synesthesia, a condition in which the response of one sense is met with the experience of another; “feeling” images, “smelling” sounds, or “tasting” colours. This GIF reel is comprised of recent and new works by Jennifer Chan (Toronto), Clint Enns (Toronto), Winston Hacking (Toronto), Alison S.M. Kobayashi (Toronto/New York), Jodie Mack (Chicago/Vermont), and Phillip David Stearns (New York).

 Although these artists have practices with distinct styles and processes, their work often incorporates found materials, animation, video, film, and new media, and shares the strong characteristic of heightened visual and visceral tactility. Winston Hacking and Jodie Mack employ handmade and analog animation techniques in their GIFs that mimic the characteristics of modern technology. Similarly, Alison S.M. Kobayashi’s GIFs incorporates retro technology but focuses on the hidden narratives found in these discarded objects. Like the other three artists, Jennifer Chan and Clint Enns are cultural scavengers. They appropriate found imagery and employ amateur aesthetics to create GIFs that critique media conventions and Internet culture, conjuring mixed feelings of suspended disbelief, nostalgia, humour, and discomfort. Phillip Stearns’ featured work is an investigation of computerized vision and behavior. His GIFs resonate with natural cyclical processes and anthropomorphic qualities that evoke a sense of familiarity and synchronized rhythm in the viewer. These visually affective and engaging GIFs will be exhibited on The Cube, an immense two-sided projected surface located high atop Kitchener City Hall. The Cube can be seen for miles. This GIF reel will provide much-needed creative visual excitement in the current day-to-day landscape of ubiquitous mundane commercial digital imagery.

In some sense those who experience synesthesia can be considered “people of the future” as they are able to experience reality in more forms than the average person. In our current digital age, saturated with sound and imagery, this series of GIFs may stimulate onlookers’ intuition and articulate a hypothetical future, in which we are all synesthetes experiencing our surroundings in an even more complete way.