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A Museum Let 6 Awesome GIF Artists Decorate Their Elevators

The Museum of the Moving Image and GIPHY Arts commissioned six animators to spice up the floor-hopping experience. It's like being inside a GIF!

by Beckett Mufson
May 19 2017, 3:15pm

Screencaps via GIPHY

GIFs could become the new elevator music, thanks to an experimental installation at the Museum of the Moving Image. The GIF Elevator offers six top-tier animators and media artists the chance to install their work in the enclosed spaces between floors.

New four-panel works by Lorna Mills, Mr. Div (Matt DiVito), Dain Fagerholm, Render Fruit (Clara Luzian), Paul Robertson, and Rafia Santana will plunge visitors into the worlds they've built over the years of GIF experimentation. Mill's Yellowwhirlaway will inaugurate the series, running in the Astoria, Queens art museum from June 1 through July 30. Below we're teasing one of her elevator walls, a pair of disembodied legs cut-and-pasted onto a bright yellow void.

Lorna Mills, Yellowwhirlaway, June 1–July 30, 2017

This isn't The Museum of the Moving Image's first foray into GIF art. In 2012 they exhibited We Tripped El Hadji Diouf: The Story of a Photoshop Thread, which preserved, "One of the Web's most 'epic' Photoshop threads," depicting a Senegalese soccer player's wipeout as if caused by Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat. They've also exhibited work by Evan Roth and had shows devoted to reaction GIFs and cat GIFs.

"Since the GIF was introduced in 1987 as a data format, it has become the subject of an unlikely series of reinventions," says Museum of the Moving Image curator Jason Eppink. "The GIF is now an important site of cultural and artistic expression; an established and pervasive form defined in part by silence, brevity, shareability, and most importantly, the loop. The participating artists in this series of installations represent some of the most important and influential GIF makers today."

Below is a sampling of the five other artists' oeuvres, and a sense of what to expect at The GIF Elevator over the next 12 months.

Mr. Div, August 2–October 1, 2017

RAFiA, October 4–December 3, 2017

Render Fruit, December 6, 2017–February 4, 2018

DAiN8), February 7–April 1, 2018

Paul Robertson, April 4–June 3, 2018

Learn more about The GIF Elevator on the Museum of the Moving Image website.

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