GIFs That Keep On Giving:
An Intermediary Anthology of the Ever-Alive
The abbreviated and elided animated GIF stands for all that is aberrant and buoyant, humdrum and forfeited in the arrhythmia of the Internet’s utopian promise. From snapchat stenography and irritant ads to elegiac gallery installations, the loopy logic of this incidental digital format absurdly abides: in emot-iconic ubiquity, inchoate pre-cinematic nostalgia, and our lightly contused contemporary sublime.
The monolithic art-critical conundrums of historical periodization form the backdrop of this project, together with the institutional prerogatives of archival preservation and the lesser grandeur of the Graphics Interchange Format. As instances of ‘insuppressible still-life’, GIFs serve as the project’s methodological anchor and as irreverent catalysts to the ars electronica’s encroaching standstill. They are wild pictogrammatic translations of dispassionate technological turmoil within a theory of symptomatic agitation, in which surfaces of signification do not arise, but ripple, in an ever-undulating crisis of resources.
Rositza Alexandrova is an artist and curator, whose latest exhibition at Architekturforum Oberösterreich in Linz ran until June 17, 2017. She has previously taught at Humboldt Universität Berlin and was a visiting fellow at L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. Alexandrova is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge.
“Andy Holden: Chewy Cosmos, Thingly Time”, in: a-n Magazine, July 2011; “Things of Art: A Photographic Thumbing of the Nose”, in: Peter Collier, Anna Magdalena Elsner, Olga Smith, (eds.), Anamnesia: Private and Public Memory in Modern French Culture, Oxford 2009.
Currently installed in Linz at Herbert-Bayer Plaza 1 is a “glaze of verdant liquorice“ by Rositza Alexandrova and Anna Salamon. Untitled, which takes the place of a blinded window on the façade of the former Volksküche, is a wink and a tut to Zuckerbäcker architecture and flattened relief. Subjecting the finitude of traditional monotype to the open ends of lenticular printing, one abstraction seeks to animate itself into another but is foreshortened in the frustration of the technique’s purported purpose. Rustle, glimmer, and a prismatic ecology of plastics prevail in this static cinema of attractions.
“What Do Artists Do All Day” is a BBC Four documentary series prudently and pruriently devised to be reality TV’s answer to Giorgio Vasari’s “Vite”. Obliquely, it is a reinterpretation of Richard Scarry’s seminal critical enquiry (for ages 3 to 6) “What Do People Do All Day”, as it is also the pointedly pecuniary theme of the 2016 Manifesta art biennial: “What Do People Do for Money”.