gif morphologies of a copyleft tale

“GIF: Morphologies of a copyleft tale – Patterns & techniques of silent looping images” was a digital exhibition realised as part of the activities of Moving Silence in Thessaloniki, the Berlin based network for contemporary silent film and live sound.

Visit the online exhibition version here.

Curatorial Statement

GIFs can be seen as a contemporary form of super short silent films born in the cyberspace. The exhibition is an exploration of the creativity and design potential of GIFs in internet remix culture.

The underlying concept is based on Vladimir Propp’s book ‘Morphology of the folktale’ (late 20’s), where Propp studies the structures of anonymous traditional tales and introduces recurring patterns that come along a story formation.

GIFs reflect a contemporary analogous of collective narrative creations from a visual perspective, forming patterns when an initial scene or technique propagates through multiple derivative GIFs. The exhibition is about this particular feature of GIFs to visually express a short story in manifold ways, relating to an initial pattern or element.

‘GIF: Morphologies of a copyleft tale’ explores the viral mashup practices of GIFs based on their open-ended interpretations, highlighting its creative and distributive qualities. The exhibition itself reflects on the copyleft practices of GIF culture, drawing on the #GIFilter study project of HMKW University of Applied Sciences and the DER FILTER Team, by assigning the #GIFilter categories to the selected GIFs. The concept is framed by the accompanying #GIFilter poster wall where each GIF category is represented with its own poster.

‘GIF: Morphologies of a copyleft tale’ is non-material, realized as a pop-up digital exhibition in virtual format which exists only locally, within the physical space of CACT during the Moving Silence events. The exhibition infrastructure is coded and hosted on the open source file distribution tool Librarybox. The audience can easily enter the opened up local network (no internet access) and explore the exhibition in their personal devices (smartphones, tablets).

gif morphologies of a copyleft tale

gif morphologies of a copyleft tale


Artistic direction and curation of international film program by Matthias Fritsch (co-founder of Moving Silence) Music program editing & coordination in Thessaloniki by Eirini Papakonstantinou (curator at SMCA) Technical support for audio and video by MSpirit GIF Exhibition by Mariana Ziku

The exhibition is a collaboration with the HMKW University of Applied Sciences and the DER FILTER Team in Berlin. The digital infrastructure is put together and hosted on the open source software Librarybox.

A production with the financial and organizational support of Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki. Co-organized with the State Museum of Contemporary Art (SMCA) & the Contemporary Art Center in Thessaloniki (CACT).