GIF Collider

no time for parties 980


———————- EVENT REVISITED POSTED ONLINE 11/1 ———————-

On a rainy weekend, the BAMPFA screen lit up Berkeley with art as animated GIF (Graphic Interchange File) images from the now defunct Geocities collided, faded, and reformed, in a testament to the ephemeral and ever-developing world of internet culture. GIF Collider is a Javascript program created by artists Greg Niemeyer, Olya Dubatova, and Brewster Kahle, that explores a trove of visual culture preserved by the Internet Archive, in celebration of the Archive’s 20th anniversary. The endlessly looping program features 4.5 million GIFs created between 1996 to 2007 by users of Geocities. Considered one of the precursors of social media, Geocities is now defunct but remains a major milestone in the history of the Internet. It was the first to give millions of users the ability to create their own personal websites, a form of digital folk art. GIF Collider shows how radically the aesthetics and the very way of producing and organizing information online has evolved in just twenty years, and reminds us that Internet culture is still in the process of dynamic formation. Refreshments and music composed especially for the program by Paz Lenchantin and Starpause accompanied the viewing on October 28th.


You can view the program at gifcollider.com.


———————- ORIGINAL POST ———————-

In celebration of the internet archive’s 20th anniversary, the Berkeley Center for New Media and BAMPFA are presenting a Javascript program by artists Greg Niemeyer, Olya Dubatova, and Brewster Kahle, that explores a trove of visual culture preserved by the archive, accompanied live by Starpause.


GIF Collider is an endlessly looping program featuring 4.5 million GIF (Graphic Interchange File) image animations created between 1996 to 2007 by users of Geocities, a free web hosting service. The program randomly selects six GIF images and displays them dancing onscreen until they collide in a melee; only one of the six images survives and the others fade away. The image most likely to survive is the one that was reused the least number of times in the Geocities domain.


Considered one of the precursors of social media, Geocities is now defunct but remains a major milestone in the history of the Internet. It was the first to give millions of users the ability to create their own personal websites, a form of digital folk art. GIF Collider shows how radically the aesthetics and the very way of producing and organizing information online has evolved in just twenty years, and reminds us that Internet culture is still in the process of dynamic formation.


GIF Collider will run on the BAMPFA outdoor screen on the hour over four days. You can view the program at gifcollider.com.