Selfie ­Portraits and 4K Videos Explode Modern Identity

Digital artist Carla Gannis makes herself into an infinite loop.

by Benoit Palop
Jan 4 2016, 10:40pm

All images courtesy the artist

Merging the ever-classical “woman-as-subject” with a creative self-­psychoanalysis, the New York-­based visual artist Carla Gannis' latest solo show A Subject Self-­Defined turns her unique selfie series into 15 GIF-style videos.

The exhibit is the continum of her 52-week self-promotional drawing experiment, The Selfie Drawings. For TRANSFER Gallery she manuevers the selfies into 4K videos with rhythmicly looped soundtracks by Christopher Knollmeyer and Christopher Rutledge. Gannis tells The Creators Project, “Particularly with this project, looped motion heightens the narrative impact and moves from a graphic novel­like aesthetic into a more cinematic one.”

The videos maintain the cultural practices specific to social media platforms. She says, “Each video is less than a minute, I am staying true to the origins of the work—networked culture—where we’re attuned to thoughts expressed in 140 characters and moving images lasting six seconds.”

Starting from digital or analog drawings, Gannis’ creations are then manipulated into digital paintings, video, 3D prints, or interactive applications. “It has been a less intimate and much bigger production than shooting iPhone pics of myself in my studio or bedroom and then turning them into digital drawings,” she explains. “All of the videos are 4K, and they entailed shooting a lot of green screen footage of myself acting out scenes inspired by the drawings.”

Assisted by Tess Adams in the video shoots, and Ray Tee and Clyde Cabanban for the post­-production, Gannis succeeds in enhancing the project through meticulous compositing and rendering work. “Some of the challenges have included transposing a still image into a video performance, and there has been a huge amount of digital compositing and animation required to stay faithful to the content in the drawings,” she says.

The ongoing project is also becoming an interactive book comprised of the whole series of Selfie Drawings, a critical essay by Dorothy R. Santos, and augmented reality GIFs unveiled on a monthly basis to strengthen the social and networked dimension of the body of work.

The show will be on view from January 23rd through March 12th with a book release party and reception on March 5th. For more information on Carla Gannis' work, click here.

The Augmented Reality part is a collaboration with UNBOX and their #BehindTheFace project using BLIPPAR technology. You can see one Gannis’ augmented piece with UNBOX here. You will need the BLIPPAR app to activate the animation.


How to Draw Your Selfie-Portrait

[Visual Dictionary] The Year of the Selfie Art

Step Inside 'The Garden of Emoji Delights'

.gif art
carla gannis
Transfer Gallery
selfie art
A Subject Self-­Defined