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The Morning GIF: Thursday, December 29

Artist Heiko Windish discusses story behind his animated, monochromatic GIF of a lone piece of luggage.  


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Dec 29, 2011   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 11:20 pm CDT

A days worth of non-stop traveling would get most people upset.

But it you’re artist Heiko Windisch, you get inspired.

That was the case a few months ago when Windisch and his wife Lilly Piri relocated from Germany to Australia.

“Security is always a long and boring procedure on international flights, and when landing in Australia you also have to follow additional customs protocols due to an import ban on perishables,” Windisch told the Daily Dot. “They have various luggage scanners, including x-ray machines and dogs that are trained to sniff out fruit and vegetables. As you stand there waiting to be processed your mind wanders, so I wondered what happened if one of the machine malfunctioned.”

That thought process led to “airport,” a stunning monochromatic GIF animation featuring a lonely piece of luggage traveling through an x-ray machine. Once through the machine, the luggage transforms into a bird that flies away while a faceless airport security guard stands nearby.

“I don’t know why I put a bird in the design, I just tried to think of a three-part process and I figured that a bird hatching would fit perfectly and I think it did,” Windisch said.

The five-month-old GIF has made regular appearances on Tumblr, where it has collected more than 200 reblogs, likes, and comments.

For more GIF’s by Windisch visit his Tumblr page and portfolio site.

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*First Published: Dec 29, 2011, 11:14 am CST