French multimedia artist Anne Horel loves the Internet. Though a highly active Tumblr user, videographer, and recording artist, it was her frequent output of original, absurdist Vines that caught our attention over the past few weeks.
Combining the images, viral videos, and other oddities she collects during swan dives into the World Wide Web, these looping collages are revolutionary hybrids between GIFs and Vines, and dynamic re-renderings of an aesthetic as at home in the 90's as it is today.
Her most recent project, GIF & Vine, currently viewable at Gallery Online, demonstrates her near-surgical ability to décollage with web content. As starting points for her image-remixing and remodelling work, Anne combines her own pre-existing videos with content that she “borrows” from Vine. The result is a hybridized audiovisual loop that keeps us zoning in.
The perpetual loop offered by the GIF, and the audiovisual capabilities of Vines allow Horel's emphases to be placed on temporality and on infinite reproduceability, beyond the rigid confines of both mediums. Plus, the shareability enabled by the creative communities that surround both online platforms make them favorable for Horel’s particular kind of image-work.
“Vine is not only a new medium that might be used the same way as we use softwares, it is also and mostly a spontaneous and immediate exposure platform,” she says in an interview with The Creators Project. “A place where pieces of art are generated and exposed every second. A cyber gallery of the every day life not submitted to any art institution. Marcel Duchamp would be really excited about that!”
While GIF & Vine questions the formats and the characteristics of both tools, it's also something of a tribute to Vine, a medium Horel she describes as “addictive," and one she particularly enjoys.“Something that I find really impressive about Vine is that, in only a year, it already has its own myths and legends.” she said. “This is a sort of Twilight Zone of the Internet, a body-double and therefore a breeding tank of memes.”
While her work is on display at the Facebook-based gallery until April 17th, we asked the artist a few questions to better understand her processes and her relationships with the Vine community.
The Creators Project: Tell us more about your first steps with Vine. How did you discover this platform, and why did you decide to use it?
Anne Horel: I spend an irrational time on my phone an on the Internet in general. I download lots of applications, try them, and delete them if I don’t find them interesting in a creative way. You might probably faint if I’d show you the amount of applications I have on my phone.
I downloaded Vine when it came out and immediately felt that this would change something in social networking and in social networking creativity.
My work is based in social medias. I’ve been a lot on Facebook, doing Facebook art. The thing that is different with Vine is that it’s not a social media that has to be twisted into a creative tool: it already is, unlike Facebook. This is what interested me in the first place, and still is. The second reason I feel related to Vine is that I’m a GIF maker. The looping relationship between Vine & GIFs makes sense to me. Vine gives me the opportunity to give my GIFs another dimension by adding sounds and displaying them somewhere else than Tumblr. I’m also a huge music collector, and Vine is also a place where I can share samples.
Do you consider Vine a modernization or update to the GIF?
It already is. This is what blew my mind when Vine came out. I thought, "Man… This is IRL GIF…"
Today we are constantly swamped by images and information. The magic of a GIF is that it shrinks images and information. That’s the same for Vine. It only holds your attention for 6 seconds (or gives you the choice to stay longer). This is so clever. I think that every media source should use Vine to display information.
I imagine that a lot of people have difficulty making the connection between the images of bananas, dolphins, Miley Cyrus and Ryan Gosling in your work. Can you describe the universe that you create? What are your criteria like for the images you select and use?
The link is the Internet iconography. Memetic iconography. It’s digital culture, referenced, for sure. So if you don’t spend time on the Internet, you might not understand my work at all. I glean my iconographic material mostly on Tumblr, which is, for me, the cradle of the Internet culture.
What messages are you trying to project through your work?
I’m a very optimistic and enthusiastic person. My message is made of colors, humour and absurdity. It is in opposition to the world we live in. This has been my position ever since I started doing what I do: the world is sad enough, let’s not cry about it.
That’s the first dimension. The second one is that we live in a deeply interesting period of history. I was born in the 80s and grew up in the 90s with the heritage of my parents' and grandparents' lifestyles. They are incompatible. All the codes I was raised under are not legitimate anymore. Everything has to be rebuilt, reimagined and recreated, mostly because of the Internet.
Also, the Internet is f***ing important. I mean, really. We should start re-thinking the world by giving it a consistent place in our reflection.
I’m so in love with this community. I’ve been in love with other social medias before. But this time, it’s different.
I spend a lot of time watching what people offer and I discover amazing stuff everyday. There are people I follow, people I like to see in my newsfeed, people that stimulate me and give me faith in humanity. Those are virtual relationships, but they echo real in my heart & in my mind.
How do you see this artistic movement evolving and, more specifically, how will your work follow?
Vine is going to expand more and more. I have this intuition that it opens a new dimension in social networking, but also, pieces of art are displayed there every day. I hope Vine will be recognized as a new art movement because I think it’s that big. And with my work, I just want to keep experimenting and creating all the time. All. The. Time. That’s my air, that’s what keeps me alive.