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Old architecture and retro graphics blend in new ANI GIF exhibition

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Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Imagine you discovered a stockpile of old floppy disks sitting next to a gray computer buried deep inside your closet. After dusting off the disks and plugging in the boxy machine, you push a floppy inside. The disk drive whirs to life as a slight hum emanates from the computer.

What appears on the screen are a series of pixelated GIF animations that are jarring, beautiful, and strangely familiar. They contain moving walls and shapes that resemble a forever changing home that belongs to Malgosia Woznica, the latest artist to have her work displayed on the online art gallery known as ANI GIF.

Woznica's exhibition is called ARXITEKTON I and II.

"I was inspired by architecture, browsing old architecture, interior and design magazines, architecture photo blogs, 80s furniture design and sculpture," Woznica told the Daily Dot. "Another major inspiration here was old school computer games. I wanted to mix together the two opposing styles I love: 8-bit graphics aesthetic with 3D design, and retro computer graphics with contemporary techniques and trends (like 'glitching')."

The result was a collection of colorful GIFs with moving squares which look like staircases, walls, and floors. As the shapes slide in and out, each GIF can resemble an architectural blueprint or completed home, depending on how you look at it. And like a blueprint, Woznica's GIFs were large and needed special handling, said Sarah Caluag, founder and co-curator of ANI GIF.

"Malgosia is the first to truly push the file-size boundary," Caluag said. "ARXITEKTON I and II combined are a whopping 139MB. This posed a challenge for us to exhibit the work while maintaining the integrity of the GIFs and allowing users to easily view them.  Ultimately, the work itself (and the era it references) led to our solution: slow/fast connection buttons and a loading bar reminiscent of modem dialers."

ANI GIF was founded in 2009 as a place for artists to explore the artistic possibilities of the GIF. To date Caluag and co-curator Daniel Rehn have featured GIFs from eight artists who have pushed the 25-year-old file format to its limit, including Woznica.

"A lot of experimenting was involved and some effects just came out in the making," she added. "I also wanted the gifs to work with the background, having some of the objects coming out of it or 'installed' in it (like the windows). I really love how the gallery turned out."

Images by Malgosia Woznica