Photo from New Hive

Gray Area Foundation For the Arts (GAFFTA), and the website creation company New Hive are partnering to bring UPLOAD.gif to Mission Dispatch this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival features gifs, the short-looped animations that have become increasingly popular on the web in recent years.

Gray Area conceived of the event as a way to lower the barrier to entry for digital art. The organization specializes in technology-based art, but the complexity and expense of learning programming or 3D-software can discourage many artists. By contrast, gifs have broad appeal, and are easy to produce.

“We received more than 650 submissions, from over 125 artists,” said Josette Melchor, founder of GAFFTA. “There was great enthusiasm. Everyone is familiar with gifs. I must see at least five a day from social media and the web, and they’re such an easy way to create cultural memes or small personal expressions.”

This week a team of judges selected a set of 120 gifs that will receive a more prominent showing at the exhibition this Saturday.  Thirty-two of those were picked as judge favorites, based on technical difficulty, aesthetics and humor or charm.

The event kicks off with a series of gif-based lectures from artists this Friday, and the gifs themselves will be exhibited at Mission Dispatch this Saturday at an open event with music, dancing and drinks. Stop in earlier in the day to learn simple gif creation from the free drop-in classes, or register to learn more complex D3.JS software that can make shapes and animations from data. Your creations may even become part of the show.

More information can be found HERE.

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Chris Schodt built a running motor before turning 10. By 26, he pivoted — just slightly — from a career in science to writing about it as a journalist. The St. Paul, Minn., transplant hopes to uncover the “upstarts and weirdos” of the Mission’s burgeoning tech/science scene.

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