The Emperor’s New Aesthetic is an Emmanuel Gallery digital art show that I was invited to join. I have four flip boxes installed in the gallery balcony. Three are battery-powered while the fourth flip box allows viewers to use the hand crank and take a closer look.
FlipBooKits with manipulated web animation
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) animations fill valuable web page real estate to advertise, document, and entertain. An animated GIF (according to inventers, pronounced JIF) file is small enough to load quickly, while saving crucial computer bandwidth for higher resolution videos and images.
Image frames connect GIFs to past forms of animation, including paper flip books that were patented in 1882 and more popular in the 1940s and 1960s. A contemporary version of the vintage flipbook is the motorized flip box. With its cards that create a sound reminiscent of playing cards on bicycle spokes, 24-page animation spindles transport animated GIFs from cyberspace into the tactile world. In CyberFlip, The Gif Connoisseur‘s online virtuality (#30, #208, and #238) intersects flipbook nostalgia.
The art connoisseur, whose back is featured in each of the flip sequences, is a figure created by Norman Rockwell. The Connoisseur, a 37¼” x 31½” oil painting, became the cover illustration for January 13, 1962’s The Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell created the painting in two separate parts that parallel the GIF process. The Jackson Pollock-styled painting was first, and then Rockwell attached the oil-painted cut-out of the connoisseur. The Connoisseur was intended to incite debate about relationships between conventional and modern art. CyberFlip inspires similar dialog about relationships between vintage and cyberart.