About this project
What if we could bring the magic of ANIMATED GIFs into the physical world? Well, now, using modern LASER TECHNOLOGY, we can. We specialize in transforming the finest in designer-crafted animated GIFs into physical zoetropes, bringing the animated glory of the old-timey web onto your actual desktop or COFFEE TABLE.
What Will We Do With Your Money?
The money we raise on Kickstarter will go towards ordering all the materials and tools we need to make Physical GIFs. We'll buy the plexi, strobes, and hardware that make up each GIF and acquire the laser time needed to fabricate them.
We'll also use some of the money to pay the artists who contributed their designs. We're hoping to launch Physical GIF as a medium that can help support animated GIF artists so much of whose work is distributed for free online. See the section below about the Artist Editions for more details.
All rewards at $50 or above come with everything you need to play your Physical GIF at home: a strobe light, a bearing, nuts and bolts, the GIF disc, and all of the GIF frames. Your Physical GIF will come as a kit for you to assemble.
At the $50 reward level, you get to choose from the following three Physical GIFs:
Elephant-Rabbit Costume Party
New York Fourth of July
At the $100 level you get all three of these Physical GIFs and a single player that can play them all.
We're still experimenting with materials so the colors and some of the other details may vary from what you see in the video. We're promise they'll be at least that awesome.
Artist Edition Physical GIFs
In addition to the Physical GIFs above, we've commissioned designs from four prominent animated GIF artists: Ryder Ripps, Nullsleep, Sara Ludy, and Sterling Crispin. Ryder Ripps is the founder of http://dump.fm and one of the pioneers of animated GIF art. Ripps has shown his work widely and collaborated with a number of prominent artists including M.I.A. Learn more about Ryder: http://ryder-ripps.com Nullsleep is a widely-reknowned chiptune musician and computer artist. He's one of the founders of 8bitpeoples and Blip Festival. He's performed all over the world. Learn more about Nullsleep: http://nullsleep.com. Sara Ludy is and new media artist and musician based in Los Angeles whose work has been shown around the country and internationally. She is a member of Computers Club and her work has been covered by Bad At Sports and Notes on a New Nature and published on Rhizome, VVORK, and Art Fag City. Learn more about Sara: http://www.saraludy.com. Sterling Crispin is a member of Computers Club Drawing Society. His work deals with the concept of emptiness in Buddhism and the singularity and has been shown all over the country. Learn more about Crispin: http://www.sterlingcrispin.com.
We've asked these artists to produce designs that push and expand the medium of the Physical GIF. We'll be working with them to explore a variety of different materials and processes that can be used to achieve surprising effects. The Physical GIFs they produce will only be available as a numbered limited edition of ten each. They will quickly become highly sought after collectors' items.
Half of the money from the sale of each Artist Edition GIF will go to the artist who designed it. We think that Physical GIFs are a great way to reward the incredible creativity and artistic achievement of animated GIF artists who give away so much of their work for free over the internet.
How Does it Work?
Like zoetropes, movies, and flip books, Physical GIFs work on the principle of persistence of vision. When you see a series of still frames in rapid succession, your eye and brain will turn them into a moving image.
Physical GIFs use a spinning disc and a strobe light to achieve this same effect. As the disc spins, the light from the strobe transforms the spinning pieces of plastic into discrete frames. Your eye takes it from there and animates the frames.
You Can Play This Game Too
We want Physical GIFs to become a widespread medium with contributions from artists around the world. To that end we're designing the Physical GIF discs to standard dimensions and as the project proceeds we'll publish laser cutter files that anyone can use to make their own.
To this same end, we've included a top pledge level where we'll work with you to create a custom animated GIF of your own design. We'll turn your GIF into something that we can cut on our laser, work with you to chose materials, and produce a final GIF that you'll love, giving you a head start into this new artistic medium
About the Video
Because of the way that Physical GIFs work they're very difficult to document on video. If you shoot a Physical GIF while its strobe is on, you get strange effects because of the mismatch in rate between the strobe and your camera. Sometimes it works perfectly, sometimes you see no light at all, sometimes, you see just a white bar across the image. For our Kickstarter video, we took advice from a commenter on one of our Vimeo videos http://vimeo.com/20542749 and simply shot the Physical GIFs with fixed lighting, letting the frame rate of the camera act like the strobe.
The takeaway from all of this technical mumbo-jumbo is that Physical GIFs look even more amazing in person than they do here.
We're glad to send your Physical GIF anywhere in the world with a working postal system. Please include an extra $20 in your pledge for international shipping. If it turns out to be radically less than that to send your reward, we'll send you a cool surprise to make up the difference.
Physical GIF was created by Greg Borenstein and Scott Wayne Indiana. Greg and Scott are recent graduates of NYU ITP where they originally developed the project in a class on Digital Fabrication taught by Danny Rosin.