For 25 years the Internet has seen the GIF file format veiled in a multitude of crazy, and most often, humorous guises. Moving the Still, as the world’s first large-scale GIF art festival, both celebrates the medium’s history and officially recognizes it as a facet of new media art.
The unprecedented popularity of GIF traffic online over the past few years has seen a number of established artists taking to the simple format and utilising its limitations in dynamic and innovative ways. In an open call facilitated by art collection website Paddle8 and sponsored by Tumblr, submissions from the far reaches of the World Wide Web came from cult GIF creators and also newcomers experimenting with the medium.
A few names taking part in the festival’s selection council include R.E.M lead vocalist Michael Stipe, Richard Phillips, Ryan Trecartin, RoseLee Goldberg, Inez & Vinoodh and the Rodarte sisters. The submission period has closed and the winning creators from each category will be announced on November 26th. Each of them will have their animated GIFS projected together in the Wynwood District of Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach. A rolling display of GIF submissions is also on display on Moving the Still’s Tumblr page here.
In conjunction with the competition, Paddle8 will release an editorial project featuring GIFS created by the selection council members and an assortment of invited artists including Nick Knight, Casey Spooner and Spencer Sweeney.
The launch of a platform dedicated to art-oriented interpretations of the GIF looks toward the future of what can be achieved within the medium and also holds some nostalgia for those who can still remember the earliest examples (dancing baby, anyone?).
GIF by LAVAR_LAMAR – “Kate_Gucci_Mane_Face_Tat”
Moving the Still – GIF FESTIVAL
Exhibition: To take place during Miami Art Week, Dec. 2012
Online Gallery: movingthestill.tumblr.com
More information about Moving the Still: movingthestill.paddle8.com
Blog entry by Melissa King in Berlin; Tuesday, November 13, 2012.