Riding into Loopy Depths on a GIF Elevator

The Argentine artist Render Fruit discuses her GIF installation for the elevator of the Museum of the Moving Image.

Render Fruit (Clara Luzian), "Akua" (detail) (courtesy the artist)
Render Fruit (Clara Luzian), “Akua” (detail) (courtesy the artist)

Visitors to the Museum of the Moving Image who happen to hop into the elevator will find themselves submerged in a world of wavy, purple pixels and nude figures diving effortlessly like seals. The installation, a set of four GIFs commissioned specifically by the museum as part of its GIF Elevator series curated by Jason Eppink, is the work of Render Fruit (real name Clara Luzian), a new media artist based in Argentina.

Titled “Akua,” the installation builds on Render Fruit’s repertoire of retro-futurist, neon- and pastel-hued science-fiction imagery, which spans animated GIFs and short video loops. Hyperallergic spoke to the artist about her distinctive approach to GIFs and the challenges of adapting it for display in an elevator.

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Benjamin Sutton: What is the appeal of the GIF format for your practice?

Render Fruit: For the last two years I’ve been feeling more comfortable doing short loops I export as .mov files to share in Instagram because it maintains the image quality. I started using the GIF format originally and posting them on Tumblr, but it compresses the quality very much and sometimes I find myself shortening the loop, which I find really annoying because I usually need 7 to 10 seconds to get to the concept before looping. I love to take the viewer to a certain state of hypnotic and immersive moment.

BS: How would you describe your aesthetic and the world you depict in your GIFs?

RF: The world I depict in my GIFs is as eclectic as me. Sometimes I feel glitchy and colorful and sometimes contemplative and monochrome. All I try to do is to accept every moment and let them show through my art. I really try to be honest and faithful to my own way to feel and connect with my own center when I’m working on a new idea.

BS: How has the process of creating GIFs for the Museum of the Moving Images’s elevator differed from creating them for viewing on a computer or mobile device?

RF: The thing I loved most about the exhibition is thinking that there are a maximum three floors to see the loops. I tried to picture this measured moment. I imagined myself entering the elevator, maybe with some friends, and being immersed into a different time and experience inside this ephemerally closed cabin.

Render Fruit’s installation in the elevator at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens) is on long-term view.

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