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This month's topic: The Gif


Ironic, subtle, absurd, synthetic, amusing, political, direct, critical. We are aware that the GIF can no longer really be considered a “new” form of expression. However, we felt it was increasingly urgent to dedicate a month to this format. Attracted by its agile and compressed, transferrable and viral condition; and the horizontal treatment of the image with the intervention and anonymous modification of exceptional reach, we invited some experts on the subject to dedicate an article to different aspects of it.

We began the month with Rafa Ruiz, a specialist in film and audio-visual production as well as co-founder of Arts Coming, a platform that has already in their time curated the gif. Rafa, himself a creator of gifs, wrote Think Gif an excellent introduction to the format and its elements and codes, that can often be read from a perspective closer to contemporary art than to mere distraction.

On her part, Manuela Padrón Nicolau, with Gif Telepathy: Uncreative writing in poor images authored a text oriented towards the theoretical and semiotic analysis of what can be considered a contemporary socio-cultural phenomenon, without forgetting humour or irony, passing (very close to, almost touching upon) some specific cases.

With Eloi Puig (Flying over the debris of GIFs we addressed the celebration of error or the glitch as an ingredient or actor in the function of the Gif phenomenon. Puig dedicated his text to an element that has become key in the reproduction of this format, error, valuing the positive side of its “paucity” and the ultimate imperfection of this language.

Finally, we invited Pau Cuyàs to write in this edition because we are familiar with his facet as a gamer, he’s a consumer expert in contemporary technology. We loved his revision of the loop as an intrinsic reality in current technologies and graphic languages, based on this –virtual or otherwise- infinite repetition.

And because it’s July, we take advantage to say we’re taking a break until September, but not without promising you first a unique August: a revision of the A*DESK archive, as we’ve been doing in the month of August for the last few years. But, on this occasion, some very special guests have made the selection. Watch this space!

This month's topic

A*DESK is a critical platform focused on publishing, training, experimentation, communication and dissemination in relation to contemporary culture and art, which is defined by transversality. The starting point is contemporary art, because that is where we come from and this awareness allows us to go much further, to incorporate other disciplines and forms of thought in order debate issues that are relevant and urgent for understanding our present.

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"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)