Grenfell Campus Intro Digital Imaging 2011

Class website for VART 2600/2601: Introductory Digital Imaging at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2011-2012

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Artists and Animated GIFs

Michael Bell-Smith - Faceted Sphere on an Escalator

Geeks in the Gallery is a three-part interview (1, 2, 3) with Tom Moody and Michael Bell-Smith, two artists who have worked extensively with animated GIFs and other ‘low tech’ digital art. Tom Moody is an artist, musician and art critic who often makes use of older digital imaging software such as MS Paint. Michael Bell-Smith draws on the aesthetics of old video games and cartoons in works such as Up and Away, Return To Forever, and Action Hack Series. He is also the creator of Subterranean House (

Tom Moody: “Animated GIFs have evolved over the last several years into a kind of ubiquitous “mini-cinema,” entirely native to the personal computer and the World Wide Web. Almost anyone can make one and almost every browser will read them. In other words, no YouTube compression, no wait time, no subscriptions or proprietary formats to view, and they can be made in the most elementary and cheap imaging programs (free if you search for open source). GIFs are the purest expression of the democratic web and along with JPEGs and PNGs comprise its most authentic visual language.” – from his article Psychotronic GIFs.

Michael Bell-Smith: “I don’t think I’m entirely anti-narrative. I like to play with gestures of narrative (change, conflict, progression) without necessarily engaging in its structure and the pleasure that comes from it. I like to think I’m working in a tension between something pictoral, something narrative and something atmospheric, trying to create work that a viewer engages a bit differently from most time based media art.” – from the Geeks in the Gallery interview