It was inevitable: a polaroid that spits out GIFs. Meet the Instagif NextStep, a handheld camera designed by creative coder Abhishek Singh that snaps three-second GIFs and pops them out in an instant to hold in your hand.
The images loop infinitely on a screen that’s part of a custom-built cartridge, giving you a frame that’s a tad too thick to slip into your wallet, but one that still holds a nice and very unique memento. It’s powered by a lithium polymer battery, so your internet-era polaroid can theoretically last forever — unless you want another GIF, in which case you simply pop the cartridge back in and take another short video, which will replace the former GIF. You could also use another cartridge, although that’s easier said than done.
Singh — whose previous projects include a daily hydration tracker and a personal desktop robot that expresses itself through GIFs — built the camera entirely from scratch. He recently shared the results on Imgur, complete with a generous and detailed DIY guide to build one and that is illustrated, of course, with GIFs. The process involves altering a Raspberry Pi, building circuits, and 3D-printing parts for the camera’s body, so it’s not a project for everyone. But Singh has made it as accessible as possible, providing everything you’d need, from a list of materials (and links to find them) to all the coding files.
Named to reference the classic Polaroid OneStep, the Instagif NextStep runs on two Raspberry Pi computers — one built into the cartridge and another into the camera body — that communicate with each other via an ad-hoc WiFi network they form upon bootup. After you record a GIF by pressing a “shutter button,” the faster device compresses and converts the file for download by the one in the cartridge. The camera then pops out the cartridge for your viewing pleasure. As an extra nice touch, Singh has programmed the digital images to slowly materialize just like a polaroid develops when ejected, by first playing a copy of the original GIF with a fade-in from black, before playing a regular version on loop.
Sure, it’s not the most practical camera out there, nor is it one we necessarily need, but it’s fun and sure as hell captures the cultural zeitgeist. Plus, Singh notes that if you place a sheet of acrylic mirror on the camera’s front, it helps you take selfies.
This year’s show is the first since a tumultuous 2019 edition rocked by protests over former trustee Warren B. Kanders’s connections to tear gas manufacturing.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
Featuring underwater recordings from around the world, this immersive, site-specific installation is on view at the Lenfest Center for the Arts in NYC from February 3 to 13.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
BRIC’s multidisciplinary program in Brooklyn has cohorts in Contemporary Art, Film & TV, Performing Arts, and Video Art. Applications are due March 10.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.