Gif and Take

Anigif_bipedal-horse-23954-1291318339-0 ( is a chatroom in which images, primarily in jpeg, png, bmp, and gif formats, text, and animated gifs are posted in real time by registered users. It was created by Ryder Ripps, Tim Baker and Scott Ostler and became available to the general public in 2010. Users range in age from their teens to their forties with a majority being in their twenties. They use pseudonyms like hypothete, noisia, timb, mirroring and frakbuddy. These and such dumpers as tommoody, frankhats, mrkor, ryder, jeanette, minty and zoesaldano, among many others, produce images and animated gifs that are worthy of the imprimatur of Art. The problem is that for all the radical, chic talk about it since the 1960s, the art establishment does not know how to deal with the actual dematerialization of the art object represented by this unfetishizable medium. is a digital version of the old Surrealist genre of the exquisite corpse, a “show and tell” for the polymorphously perverse. The art of is genuinely interactive. Social relations are inherent to the entire art making process for these artists, rather than just getting tagged on when a conventional, art world artist begrudgingly begins the promotional stage for their work. The creators of have allowed users to post images by pasting URLs into a box or uploading them from users’ computers. There is a convenient interface that allows users to post stills from webcams that users often modify. The text is usually chatty and has an insider feel to it. Long time users appear to have developed genuine friendships. However, as long as you can keep up and communicate something using the visual grammar and syntax that lies behind the at times seemingly random flow of images you can join the fun.

more from Eric Gelber at artcritical here.