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Nicopanda GIF riot – Akihiko Taniguchi

Nicola Formichetti's GIF countdown continues with the artist who put his GIFs in a gallery

When Nicola first began his Dazed takeover, he emailed us about five innovative GIF designers from around the world. Now, we've asked these Tumblr-ers to make their own adaptation of Nicola's panda illustration, the symbol at the heart of Nicola's new concept fashion line Nicopanda.

We've already had contributions from GIF makers German Lavrovskiy and Mr-GIF, and now we're introducing Akihiko Taniguchi. Having already experimented with the presentation of GIFs in his project, GIF 3D Gallery,where he created an interactive space to display the GIFs as work's of art in a gallery, we asked Taniguchi a few questions about his custom Nico-panda-GIF and the future of GIF-making.

Tell me about the panda GIF you made.

Sometimes I make the visual sketch using processing.  And again this time, I made the sketch using processing before converting it into a GIF.

Tell me about your practice and style.

I don't always make GIFs. I'm interested in modeling and composition - how objects overlap - and producing another meaning from there.  

What do you do when you’re not making GIFs?

Surf the web. Make art work in other forms. 

How did you start making GIFs?

I was seldom making GIFs until now. But I was happy researching internet art and making my own artwork for several years. From those activities, I noticed the importance and peculiarity of the GIF. Then I made GIF 3D Gallery this summer. This is an internet artwork, which can put GIFs onto a pedestal in a 3D gallery, and be viewed online. I made the pedestal for the GIFs at first. Then, I came to make GIFs for the pedestal.

What’s your all time favourite GIF and GIF designer?

Anthony Antonellis, Francoise Gamma and Matt Goerzen. He is mainly a painter, but I think his GIFs are also the concept and statement of his work.

Recent months have seen a return of the GIF as an item of popular discourse and funny thing to drop into an email. What do you put this down to?

1. The decline of the flash and the spread of Tumblr.
2. Increased susceptibility to the internet in daily life.

A GIF format is a very old graphics format. However, compared with other graphics formats, the GIF is special. GIF can use a transparent background and it is always related to a background where it's placed. GIF resembles three-dimensional sculpture rather than pictures and photographs which always cut off the world squarely. GIF exists like a substance with mass. 

Where do you think the art of the GIF maker is going?

It is not only a question for GIFs. Some internet artists feel that the relation between actual space and the internet is sensitive. I think that two trials exist there. The first is the trial which tries to place GIFs (internet artwork) in a gallery on the internet, and the second trial which tries to put GIFs in an actual space. It will have to do with the materiality of the aforementioned GIF. I think GIF became a media independent from other image formats. Although it is not applied to all GIF makers, I think how actual space and the internet are mediated/connected is something important to consider.