GIF it Up: The Year of the Animated Still

A Wall of Digital Art Showcases Award-Winning Ventures into the Ever Booming File Format

A grid of GIFs provides a perpetual-motion montage for today’s Art Basel Miami Beach exclusive, specially curated by NOWNESS from responses to an open call from virtual auction house Paddle8 and microblogging giant Tumblr. The images are among a selection that will be displayed at Moving the Still, an exhibition taking place this week in the Floridian paradise, devoted to fresh examples of the digital art form and the first effort of its kind. This follows Oxford Dictionaries USA’s recent decision to name “GIF” their Word of the Year, and for many observers 2012 has seen the quirky, now 25-year-old file type transform itself from the preserve of dancing baby animations into a nuanced, serious creative tool. “GIFs are now becoming huge because this is officially the Share Generation,” says Moving the Still’s Chief Council Member and The New York TimesT Magazine columnist Johnny Misheff. The open call's 3,500 submissions were whittled down by luminary judges including Roselee Goldberg, Michael Stipe and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Misheff predicts a healthy future for the cross-disciplinary GIF, chiming with our quest for ever-faster returns: “They have got to be amazing in the first 1.5 seconds, or people are going to keep moving on to the next thing.” 

Our selection of GIF masters from the open call:

Top row (from left): “Tape Loop” by Cristine Brache; “Too Much Noise by Promoz Zorko; “Untitled” by Monté Patterson

Second row: “Moving a Picture” by DoBeDo; “Gushers” by Brantley Now & Eddie The Wheel; “Ferris Wheel” by Gretta Louw

Final row: “Jessica” by Francesca Tallone; “Karaoke Glitch” by Nellie Van Dyke; “O” by Philip W Patton

To view the artworks chosen by Selection Council members as well as the online Moving the Still exhibition, click hereAccess a vast selection of GIFs submitted via the open call here. The exhibition is open for viewing December 5 - 8, 12pm - 7pm daily at 318 NW 23rd Street, near the Rubell Collection and Wynwood Walls. 
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Conversations (2)

  • Ellvis
    <a href="" target="_blank"></a> my own contribution
    • Posted By Ellvis
    • January 04, 2013 at 10:39AM
    • Share Comment:
  • lanats
    I saw so many amazing, beautiful and well elaborated gifs on the Moving The Still tumblr that I'm amazed that the selection does not represent at all the amazing talent of gif artists... I wish people could see all the other gifs and watch all those animated concepts, ideas and feelings that are moving the tumblr community. :)
    • Posted By lanats
    • December 04, 2012 at 10:35AM
    • Share Comment:

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    Art Basel Miami: KAWS

    Directors Jauretsi and Crystal Moselle Ask Artists at the 2010 Art Fair About Life

    A graffiti kid who started out climbing New York's billboards in the middle of the night, Brian Donnelly, a.k.a. KAWS, now garners comparisons to Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring, and his collectors include Lance Armstrong and Pharrell Williams. The artist's often candy-colored paintings and sculptures wink at pop culture, appropriating characters such as The Simpsons, The Smurfs, the Michelin Man and SpongeBob into a fantastical, offbeat world. Original Fake, the company founded by KAWS in the 90s and based out of Tokyo’s Aoyama district, releases his vinyl toys and clothing line, securing an avid fan base in Asia; recently a 16-foot sculpture featuring a pirate skull on the body of Mickey Mouse was erected in Hong Kong's Harbour City. The new career-spanning monograph KAWSwhich he will be signing in the OHWOW bookstore at Miami's Standard Hotel on Friday December 3—brings the elements of his one-man empire together: "Seeing the book has given me perspective on everything I've done until now," he says. "I can now mentally move on to the next thing.” Directors Jauretsi and Crystal Moselle caught up with the 35-year-old in his Brooklyn studio as he was shipping paintings to Miami's Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin for this year’s Art Basel Miami 2010. His current shows at Galerie Perrotin, Paris, and the Aldrich Museum in Connecticut, run through December 23 and January 2, 2011, respectively. 

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    Rainbow Warrior: Delfine Bafort

    The Belgian Model Turns Chameleon Under the Tropical Palette of Francelle Daly

    KT Auleta conjures equatorial extremes in her latest beauty film for NOWNESS, transforming model Delfine Bafort from dewy jungle innocent to fierce tribal warrior with the aid of celebrated NARS makeup artist Francelle Daly. Auleta’s vision was for the cosmetics to mimic the differing qualities of light in a day: soft and misty morning sunshine turning to hyper-real bright colors at noon, and a fade out to black when night falls. “I wanted it to feel organic, but with a fantastical edge,” explains the photographer and filmmaker, whose work has appeared in Vogue, Elle and The New York Times’ T Magazine. Referencing real-life body-painting traditions, Daly turned to Phyllis Galembo's Maske, a book on African and Caribbean carnival costumes, as well as to the work of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock for their color blocking and brush strokes.


    The Givenchy menswear Spring 2012 collection, which features tropical prints in fresh, bright colors printed kaleidoscopically onto crisp white and army green fabrics.

    Mise en scene
    A tropical jungle construct in studio C at Fast Ashleys, Brooklyn. Ferns, ginger lilies, heliconias and Bird of Paradise flowers were brought in from American Foliage in the Manhattan's plant district. 

    Shoot time
    10am to 2am—mirroring the morning, noon and night concept of the film.

    Belgian model Delfine Bafort of Ford models—chosen for her bright blue eyes, dancer’s fluidity and acting credentials (last year she starred in Vincent Gallo’s Promises Written in Water). 

    War paint 
    Multicolored NARS eyeshadow pigments mixed with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. For the last look, Shiseido Black Mask and Clay all over the body, red pigment mixed with clay on the hair and NARS Black Moon Eyeliner for the eyes.  

    One nude thong from American Apparel.

    Special effects
    Misters, smoke machines and coconut oil.

    Crisis averted
    It was 100 degrees on the day of the shoot. Combined with all the HMI lighting, this caused one of the breakers to melt. The fire department was called and all lighting had to be rerouted.

    “Jomo” by Hector and Nate, remixed with samples of tropical bird song.

    Mineral water, Diet Coke and, eventually, beer.

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