For artist Kyle Warfield, snapping a selfie and uploading it to Twitter and Facebook isn’t enough. To indulge his needs for self-expression, he’s got to see them—all of them—in one animated, permanent loop.
So in 2012, he took one selfie each and every day—and then compiled them into a GIF.
Warfield, who’s a graduate of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, completed the GIF in January 2013. It quickly saw a surge of interest across the Internet and mainstream media, even landing him spots on Good Morning America and the Today Show.
“I often make strange faces at myself in the mirror, sometimes for too long,” Warfield told the Daily Dot.
“Sometimes when people try to take my picture I quickly cycle through different expressions until they take the photo. I decided it was time for me to document some of my favorite faces and attempt to string them all together. It was a design experiment about identity and self-representation.”
For his project, Warfield wanted to abandon the traditional—and tired—elements of selfies that are posted to social media every day.
“[The project was partly motivated] by the banality of popular selfie memes, the omnipresence of the duckface, the ubiquity of Facebook users consistently applying the same gestures in every photo of themselves,” he said.
The GIF is animated with what appear to be pre-choreographed gestures, including a full rotation of his entire body and a gradual removal of his shirt. But Warfield revealed said nothing was mapped out beforehand He had some ideas going into the project, but fleshed out his actions as the year progressed, in order to produce something genuine. He used Photoshop to ensure that his eyes lined up in each photo.
“I intentionally began the year with my most neutral expression, the one that requires the least amount of effort to make,” he said. “I planned to quickly move to my common expressions of happiness, anger, sadness, etc. Then I started having fun.”
So, what does Warfield have in store for 2014? Currently, he’s working on a collaborative project with friend and fellow artist Lauren Mae called Mask-Chat, which will “take e a different picture each day with some sort of object obstructing the face.”
“Yet another new way to selfie,” he said.
Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to view Warfield’s GIF the (very) old-fashioned way. He plans to sell it as a $20 flipbook.
Photo via Marco Raaphorst/Flickr