Steph D.’s Marvelous GIFs

Published May 29, 2009 by Graham


In the past few years, there’s been a popular trend in the art world towards appropriating the aesthetic of the Internet’s early days– deriving nostalgia from the quaint visual follies of a once-fledgling network that has now become predictably slick and refined. On the cutting edge of cyberspace homage, artist Stephanie Davidson works in collage, painting and video (check out her awesomely abstract SNL recap)– but some of her best work is in the unlikely medium of the animated GIF. GIF, perhaps the lowest-tech of motion graphics formats, was once thought to be limited to the realm of trifling novelty, like 19th century steroscopy.


Indeed, the format is probably most widely known for powering The Hampster Dance and slow-mo analysis of Tyra Banks’ face. But the GIFs Davidson makes are unique: landing somewhere in between living collages and microscopic films, Davidson uses found photographs and neon patterns to create eye candy with substance. Her GIFs each have a unique sense of place and mood, often contradicting or obscuring the intentions of the source material. And, well, they’re kind of hilarious.


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3 comments so far

  1. Tom says:

    I’ve been lucky enough to be familiar with some of Steph D.’s art for a while now due to appearances on a message board frequented by both of us. I would swear she was some kind of GIF-savant were she not so personable IRL (in real life).

  2. Justin says:

    This one time I was at Steph’s house and we totally freaked out these Portuguese guys at the sports bar across the street with a laser pointer.

  3. Mike says:

    Much of the power to Stephanie’s gif wizardry stems from her actual wizardry (wicca) and the use of various spells/manuals garnered via access to other dimensions, primarily through portals located at various points in the city of Toronto (huff).