notes on the influence of gifs

in response to a call for context around this cool looking pixel stick project, and the influence of animated GIFs:

gifs and persistence experiments with LEDs are both super interesting.

streaks

I would riff on
– the longstanding resurgence of pixel art (eboy are my favourites in this category);
– the availability of simple microcontrollers to drive LEDs in projects like the pixel sticks (cf limor’s bike wheel persistence of vision animations for a good solid example);
– the pixel sticks look lovely, and seem to borrow / evolve from camera toss and that great wifi signal visualisation piece;
– it also makes me think of some of the aesthetic in GRL‘s stuff in particular night writer and laser tag.

but you could take the discussion in another direction and talk about the influence of the looping style of gifs (and more recently also vine) in animation (I have a folder of great gif examples I collected for a talk a couple of years ago if you need any). historically, I would include yourthemannowdog (ytmnd) in that evolution, and you can see the cross over to more mainstream works in examples like the recent music video from dizzee rascal or indeed this earlier wiley track.

I think the ‘near-stationary animation format’ that gifs have also encouraged is a different medium again (my favourite in this genre is ‘if we don’t, remember me‘ ), and I would expect this style to keep evolving for a while still as long-form screen artworks and ‘very slow animation’ in ambient visualisations and ‘animated wallpaper’ continue to become more possible with cheaper and more persistent screen technologies (LED screens and eink).

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