Wednesday, 28 May 2008 - David Packer - Plenty of little anigifs, all in some way or another odd or entertaining, and often clever.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Notre Dame

When members of an online community get bored.

From (a collaborative effort from a silly thread).

Friday, 23 May 2008

An Advent Calendar - Marina Zurkow

An Advent Calendar - Apparently there is meant to be one animation for every day of the year, there may not be 365 animations, but there are still tonnes!! By Marina Zurkow.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Nifty Stuff - The Zoom Quilt

The Zoom Quilt is an internet application that allows you to infinitely zoom into an image that was illustrated by a small group of individuals. It does loop, but it takes a good while to get there, so it doesn't feel too repetitive. A lot of effort has gone into this, and it is wicked as hell.

It reminds me a lot of this "book" that I had as a kid that folded out like an accordion. There was a peep-hole at the front and you would look into what felt like a three dimensional pop-up type environment. It was very engrossing and to this day I think about how one could go about making a large-scale art project along those lines. One day ...

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Night Walking

This is a post I made a few months ago on Saltypirate, thought it would be fun to post it here too.

One thing that makes my job more than tolerable is our access to the internet. Working on a counter in the mid-day can be very quiet and therefore slow and tedious, but with access to the internet you can entertain yourself with not only games and Facebook but also cultural things! One article I found on the Guardian site was a small bit written by Kate Pullinger, an expat Canadian, in response to the recent statement made by the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that she doesn’t feel secure walking the streets of London (Hackney, to be precise) at night. Now, one of the most enjoyable pass-times that Mark and I have here in London is just that, walking around London at night (even Hackney, which we did less than a week ago), and for the exact same reasons as Pullinger.

I was young and broke and needed to save my money for pints, books and movies: walking was the cheapest way to get around and most nights out ended with a long walk home. The city was huge, and foreign to me, and I needed to map it out in my mind by stalking the twisty streets with their ever changing names: Eversholt Street becomes Upper Woburn Place becomes Tavistock Square becomes Woburn Place becomes Southampton Row becomes Kingsway all inside 15 minutes. It was only through walking that this would ever make sense …

Walking is efficient and it really is the best way to map out a city in one’s mind, especially in a city like this. I take pride in my sense of direction and my tendency to never feel lost, but in London I’m always ass backwards, that is, until I walk around and connect Holborn with Russel Square, then Faringdon with the City and, next thing you know, I’m home! But at night, there isn’t the hustle of street and foot traffic, it’s quiet, save the night-time song birds (!!??), and everything is well lit (and even appropriately to the style of architecture you happen to be looking at). It also helps that when you’re walking home at night you’re usually a little bit drunk, making the 45 minute journey feel a lot less painful.

One of my favorite parts of the editorial, though, is Pullinger’s “epiphany”:

At night it’s as though the city’s history comes alive, bubbling up from where it lies dormant beneath the tarmac: when the crowds are gone, modernity slips away, and the city feels ancient and unruly. How could anyone not love London late at night, or early in the morning?

This is so true! And I don’t know if it’s because of the layer of damp on the cobblestones, or the spotlights that cut St. Paul’s out of the dark, or what. It’s just so nice, enough to distract any thoughts of robbers and bogeymen. Mind you, I wouldn’t go walking around too late after midnight all by myself, at least not along the quiet back roads, all I’m trying to say is that a) walking around London at night is such a great experience that it shouldn’t be considered a death-sport, and b) I really enjoyed Pullinger’s story.

Friday, 16 May 2008

We Are Afraid - Heather Rasley

Warning! Flashing image!

We Are Afraid animated gif by Heather Rasley.

I wanted to post the image itself, but it was hurting my eyes too much (and I didn't want to be a liability).

Via Art Fag City.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Anigifs as Art

I haven't done much reading about it, but there are a growing number (I'm sure this isn't a new phenomena, I'm usually last in line to learn about these inter-tube thingies) of anigifs as art. One artist who's blog I've subscribed to on good ol' Google Reader is Tom Moody. He works primarily in the digital medium, producing (printed) digital drawings, digital music or sound art, and animated gifs. He also likes to share the work of others that he finds on the internet (among them a goose-stepping cheerleader from a site that made me laugh). A lot of the samples he takes from other sites are usually used for online advertising or just as extra junk for personal websites, but when viewed in this context they start to really take on a surreal character. As such an aesthetic begins to emerge and inform a lot of the more artistic-minded animations.

His own work seems to go for that bitmap and pixel-glitch aesthetic, while the imagery comes from those old representation of the atom or atomic power. His artist statement says it all:

I'm amused by the lingering rhetoric of futurism--the Buck Rogers, 'machines-will-change-our-lives' spieling--that continues to surround digital production in our society. The computer is a tool, not magic, and possesses its own tragicomic limitations as well as offering new means of expression and communication. I am intrigued by the idea of making some kind of advanced art with this apparatus--objects, images, and installations that hold up to prolonged scrutiny in real space. At the same time, I am drawn to 'cyber-kitsch' in all its forms, whether in old programs such as MSPaintbrush, the amateur imagery that abounds on the Web, or the unintended poetry of technical glitches. My work proudly inhabits the 'lo-fi' or 'abject' end of the digital spectrum.

Other bits of animation are for more humorous purposes. Such as this Ironmandalablast which is a rehashing of an anigif of Iron Man he found somewhere out there.

This perspective on anigifs has forced me to look at them a bit differently and with a lot more interest, to the point that I (sort of) seek them out. These fine examples are all from a Japanese site that I unfortunately can't read what it's called. But there are many MANY more where these came from.

Another artist I've found that works in the digital medium is Bill Murphy. Now, I haven't had much of a chance to read up on him yet, because I'm really not sure what his story is (his site isn't the easiest to navigate). There's a certain kitchy-ness to his work but I don't know if it's intended or not. Either way, it makes for some good anigif goodness, and for someone to look into for a later post.

My interest in animation isn't new, although my knowledge of it isn't very good. A few years ago for one of my integrated drawing classes at uni we had a flash animation project. I did a few small animations (and a flip book, which was fun), but I unfortunately can't share them because they still live in their flash format and I can't prep them for publication online since I haven't got flash (my cs3 demo died a week ago). I'll see what I can do about, and maybe post them at a later date. In the meantime, I will also share new animations or artists that I come across along the way.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Trying something ...

... new.

Mark and I have Saltyblog, where we post about our life and adventures (in London, in life in general), but I sometimes get the urge to write about things that wouldn't really fit in with the blog's theme, such as: musings, things that interest me, other blogs I like, photos of things, photo-montages of things — just junk in general that isn't interesting, but I need a soapbox to stand on, and this is what you get!

This is a test post for now. It will get better.