ANIMATE, AIGA Space Philadelphia, Interactive Design and Web Animation
“Featuring interactive design and web animation. Animated GIFs, old-school flash work, after effects creations and interactive artwork…Geeks en masse will see the displayed work since our exhibition will coincide with Philly Tech Week and continue through April. Alongside projections of the work, lenticular prints by Silicon Fine Art Prints, we will be covering SPACE with QR codes (gasp!) for a new kind of gallery experience!
Selected Work by:
Andron, Sabina; Beiersdorfer, Crystal L; Bellomy, Ian; Blassey, Valerie; Bluecadet; Decker, Theresa; Dietrich, Kevin; Gaidula, Danniel; Holby, Duncan; Jones, David;Kaszuba, Nathan; Kline, Tyler; Koenitzer, Gary; Lawrence, Sarah; Lee, Youmee;Luis, Ramon; Macinsky, Michelle; Marcus, Ellen; Moma Design Studio;Montenegro, Jon; Morgan, Wade; Naghshbandi, Ghazaal; Nykamp, Michael;Plankton Art Co.; Potts, Nichole; Rhodes, Megan; Roewer, Joel; Safarzadeh, Sara;Sazhin, Denis; Schmidt, Andrew; Seslow, Ryan; Shanks, Christine; Shao, Vivienne;Simpson, Jimmy; Sok, Simon; Whimsy, Lord; Windsor, Ben; Wolfe, Hazlett;Zazenski, Kathryn” – AIGA Space Philadelphia website
Gaby Heit, AIGA Space Director, and I go way back together. For a while she managed Prelude Art Gallery on 20th Street that featured artwork by aspiring art students – from under-grads to masters level. Her efforts helped launch art careers by giving young artists real gallery shows including receptions, publicity and sales support. I posted an interview with Gaby on DoNArTNeWs in September 2011 about her use of the emerging technology of QR codes. Now she has created an event that is all about QR codes and has filled the gallery in Old City with stickers, animation, motion sensitive monitors and even old school lenticular images.
The space has been transformed into an interactive environment where the use of smart phones and iPads are encouraged because the squiggly squares link to websites featuring animated gifs, YouTube movies, graphic design portfolios, design business websites and surprises. The gallery is always packed on First Friday since AIGA Space is virtually the only gallery in town dedicated to graphic design. With all of the art schools in Philadelphia graduating students with graphic design degrees, it’s an exciting and vibrant destination to learn about the state of the art for graphic design. Today graphic design is more about creating experience through narrative and interaction than static images for print. ANIMATE provides access to the new world of graphic design through technology and code.
You may think the installation gives people the excuse to just look at their phones but the immersive design actually encourages people to share their discoveries or help each other with the apps required to access the information. The QR codes themselves create an experience of discovery and exploration while being decorative and interesting. The show runs through the end of April so make sure your smart phone is charged and spend some time investigating where the enigmatic patterns will take you.
Gaby Heit and I talked about the art show at the jam packed opening on April 4th, First Friday.
“I think it’s an experience installation. It’s not just looking at art that’s hanging, it’s experience. Part of what you’re seeing here is seeing something new every time you go through it. It’s got reveals, you see things for the first time and when you come back the second time you see things for the first time.”
You could come back 100 times and see new stuff.
“Totally! And we try to do a different kind of medium every time we have a show. We do a lot of print shows, we’ve done maps, neon signs, you name it, and now we’re doing interactive. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and now we’re doing it and it’s part of Philly Tech Week! The whole thing together is an installation artwork. Every little tiny segment, every cell like an organism is an artwork.”
Who are the artists?
“Well, we sent requests to our membership locally and nationally. We have national and international submissions. Even I don’t know all that’s here, you’ve got to go through it and find it. I have friends asking me, ‘How am I going to find my work?’ and I say you’ve got to go through everything. As will everyone else and they’ll find your work. So, it’s a different experience every time you come here, that’s part of the art, part of the installation.
And we have these great lenticular images that are animated from Silicon Fine Art Prints on 3rd Street. We’re also featuring animation on the projection and we have a few on iPads. Even those are all different, some are touch sensitive, some are Flash interactive, some are web based – it’s all over the place.”
And it makes people interact with each other, too.
“Definitely! Remember our old conversation about QR codes? Now it’s kind of like a black and white icon, so, you can see this on so many different levels. It’s a real graphic design thing, it’s a graphic. Also. we have our original Space branding over there on the TV from when we opened two years ago. It’s motion sensitive, all the icons change as you move. You see the icons changing because people are moving in front of them. That’s adding another dimension on top of the interactive layer. There’s so much going on. I love it!”
“It’s so experiential. You know what I mean? I think it’s a new way of experiencing art. I think that’s the way things are going in the interactive digital age. It’s really the interactive age, it’s beyond digital.”
So, how did you come up with this idea?
“I really wanted to do something interactive with motion graphics for quite some time because in the whole area of graphic design it’s cool and different. We’ve done a lot of poster shows and such but this is a different media, it’s something we haven’t already done.And a lot of galleries in this area don’t do this, so we’re one of the few who would. And the woman in charge of the interactive committee, Nicole Koenitzer, she wanted to do an event that was similar to this and when we put our two heads together I realized I wanted to do a month long exhibit that has to do with this, so, it just worked out perfectly.”
The stickers have a graffiti quality in that they can be stuck anywhere, almost like tagging. But in order to uncover the secret behind the code you need an app that can read the design and lead you to the message.
“The concept is like what’s happening on the street and how one is affecting the other. It’s very interesting.”
Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.
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