Analog Gifs


As a museum situated within a school of art and design, we’re enthusiastic proponents of investigating techniques and breaking down processes. On any given day, you can find staff explaining their photographic practice or scholars finding out what went into creating a medieval manuscript. But it’s rare to find us turning the same investigative lens on the processes used to create the digital images that saturate our daily experience.

Enter RISD students. On September 18, we invited RISD Quickies to lead workshops at Design the Night: Down the Rabbit Hole, a student-centered evening of hands-on programming. One of the three workshops produced and taught by students focused on the making of one of the lowliest and most ubiquitous mediums of the digital age: the animated gif. Participants were invited to draw a series of sketches onto a template which was then scanned and run through a Photoshop script to create an “analog” gif animation. The final results feature creative transformations, imaginative narratives, mesmerizing abstractions. And, of course, cats.

Thanks to Elizabeth Goodspeed for spearheading RISD Quickies’s collaboration with the RISD Museum, and to Suzie Shin and Kevin Cadena for making the Analog Gifs workshop possible.

Alexandra Poterack
Associate Educator, Academic and Public Programs