Reception: Friday, March 23, 6 – 8 PM
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM & Sunday 12 – 6 PM
bitforms gallery is pleased to present Make Pictures, featuring four web-based drawing and animation tools commissioned by GIPHY Arts and curated by artist Jeffrey Alan Scudder. Works on view and available to use include Boopy by Andrew Benson, Sketch Machine by Casey Reas, Extinctr by Harm van den Dorpel, and Eyemall by Withering Systems. Pictures created by gallery visitors using the tools will be displayed in the gallery for the duration of the show.
Boopy is a drawing tool by Andrew Benson developed in response to the question “What would it be like if, as you are drawing, the canvas was looping?” Boopy allows the user to build complex, layered, repeating patterns from different textured brushes. It also includes a webcam feature that allows a user to reveal their image by erasing a layer with animated strokes.
Sketch Machine by Casey Reas is an open source software for creating freehand animations in real time or frame by frame. The user can draw with different colored points, lines, and planes and modify qualities of the animation such as jitter, speed, and playback. Animations can be exported as GIFs and circulated online. Sketch Machine is created within the tradition of direct animation works by Len Lye and Stan Brakhage and exploratory drawing software like Kid Pix and TURUX.
Extinctr is a pixel sorting algorithm and web tool by Harm van den Dorpel that accepts any image as input, and outputs an animated vertical decomposition of that image into a pixelated mound. The user can control the speed of the dismantling procedure (scatter) and record any duration of the process to export as a GIF.
The Eyemall is a toy by Withering Systems for creating an exquisite corpse from a curated, tagged selection of human body-part GIFs in GIPHY’s database. Hands, eyes, noses, sweaters, shorts, knees, lips, and other body parts come together to form an interactive marionette-like figure; a single body made from disparate GIF parts.
Andrew Benson lives in Los Angeles, formerly San Francisco, and works primarily in timebased (often realtime) digital media. His practice incorporates 3D animation, experimental and process-driven video, software development, interactive technologies, web programming. He comes from a painting and music background and started working with experimental graphics and video as an outgrowth of performing at noise shows.
Casey Reas writes software to explore emergent systems. His work brings together conceptualism, systems theory, experimental film and animation, and drawing. While software is at the core of his practice, his work spans installation, works on paper, and live performance. Reas has been featured in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, SF; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Eyebeam, New York, NY; Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, and others. Reas is the co-creator, with Ben Fry, of Processing, an open source programming language and environment. The project was initiated in 2001.
Harm van den Dorpel lives and works in Berlin. Selected (group) exhibitions include the New Museum in New York, MoMa PS1 in New York, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, ZKM Karlsruhe, and the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. In 2015, Van den Dorpel started Left Gallery, an online gallery that commissions, produces, and sells downloadable files. Withering Systems is a small software label and umbrella for the collaborative projects of Katie Rose Pipkin and Loren Schmidt, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They aim to bring quiet and unusual digital experiences to the public in unlikely places, such as on social media, in printed material, or on the street. Past work includes inflorescence.city, the moth generator, luminous corridor, as well as many other small games, print projects, and plant-growth simulations.
Jeffrey Alan Scudder, born in 1989, lives and works in Berkeley, CA where he spends his time programming and making pictures. Since 2017 he has presented 18 Radical Digital Painting lectures often in collaboration with other artists, at various venues including ZKM Karlsruhe, RISD, Harvard, Yale, Temple University, Rutgers, and UMASS. He has taught at UCLA and Parsons School for Design and worked at the design studio Linked by Air. Scudder received an MFA in sculpture from Yale University School of Art in 2013.
GIPHY Arts is a subsidiary of GIPHY, the GIF search engine. GIPHY Arts expands the prominence of the GIF as an artistic medium and format by directly engaging and commissioning artists, creating new distribution possibilities, and pioneering new technology. You can learn more by following @giphyarts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.