Part of The Photographers’ Gallery extended programme includes a new digital display named The Wall, an exhibition space for screen media. The Wall consists of a 2.7 x 3m Sharp video wall, situated on the ground floor and visible to everyone visiting the building and those passing by on the street.
The Wall forms part of a research programme which aims to explore issues concerning the digital image, its dissemination and display on-screen. The Wall's programme will include experimental commissions, collaborations and participation.
For the opening show, The Wall addressed a unique form of image which is best experienced via a screen: the animated gif. The GIF is an image file format created in 1987 by CompuServe as a portable, low bandwidth image file easily rendered by a web browser. Restricted to only 256 colours, and able to store multiple frames in a single image, the GIF brought animated movement to the static webpages of the 1990s in an era before YouTube and Flash.
Although there is a long history of creative experimentation with the GIF, there has been a renewed interest in its form due to activity on sites such as Tumblr, dump.fm, 4chan and ffffound. An array of apps for smartphones, such as giffer, gif shop, gif boom, cinemagram, gif me!, have also made it even easier to casually create and disseminate home-spun designs.
For this show the Photographers' Gallery asked a range of photographers, writers and other practitioners, many of whom had never created a GIF, for their responses to the form. From the graphic to the photographic, the subtle to the psychedelic, the invited contributions reflect a diversity of approaches to the GIF, and make reference to the history of these animated images online..
To start the conversation, The Photographers' invited contributions and then opened it up with an invitation for GIFs to be submit to the exhibition microsite. An edited selection were shown on The Wall during the final weeks of the show..
Marie-Josiane Agossou, Kim Asendorf, Michele Barker and Anna Munster, David Bate, Nicolas Boillot, Laura Brothers ,Susan Collins, Andrew Dewdney ,Jessica Eaton, Nooshin Farhid, Paul Flannery, Emilio Gomariz ,Dryden Goodwin, Sean Hillen, JocJonJosch, Roshini Kempadoo, Olia Lialina, Rollin Leonard, Eileen Little, Victoria Blitz via Mute Magazine, Ohio Magazine, Jamie Martinez, Simone Massera, Sally McKay, Wendy McMurdo, Marcel Meyer, Lorna Mills, Kennard Phillips, Colin Raff_Ryder Ripps, Paula Roush, Andreas Schmidt, Rick Silva, Yoshi Sodeoka, Phillip Stearns, Eva Stenram, Katja Stuke, Spirit Surfers, David Szakaly, Jordan Tate, Penelope Umbrico, Giulietta Verdon-Roe, Alexa Wright.