Vis Comm: Gif and Animation Video Experiment


For the final GIF, I made two groups of contents that the background is designed to be the moving graphic patterns in green to show my tribe’s identity. And the front layers of a girl moving to give intensity of the GIF. I used photoshop to digitally trace my video and added filters on the layers. For the background, I drew in Illustrator and adjusted positions to create a moving forest.

During the process of making my final GIF, I had experimented some other gifs and exported them out as the source of my animation video. My primer sources of the gif are illustrated still pictures that were mostly done in Photoshop and Illustrator. By using the Timeline of Animated Frames, I created gifs and export them out to both gifs and rendered videos. Then I dragged my short clips into Premiere to edit my animation.

Editing key frames are crucial to my experiment animation. At the beginning of the process, while I was drawing the storyboard, I didn’t think of all the layers and interactions of each track and the clipping points of variety in motions would create unexpected effects of the animation. At the end of my video, I gave out a conceptual ritual activity of my peafowl tribe.


Intro to Fashion Studies: What is Fashion?

When I thought of Fashion, I thought of Prada’s campaign that were printed in the magazine and getting switched seasonally; I thought of street style pictures that I saw online with celebrities wearing their stylish clothes and Hermes Birkin, holding a cup of coffee and proudly waling on the street; I thought of myself dressing up in the latest trend and going out with my girlfriends and getting drunk in the city lights. There were lot of images flashing into my mind when I thought about the word “Fashion”, concluded as the concept of “visual and material interpretations”. (Kaiser 2012: 1)

Earlier in this week, a neighbor who shared an elevator with me asked me about the Canada Goose coat that I was wearing. He asked me “I’ve heard about this coat, and what do you think of it?”

“Well, you know, it’s a nice coat, and a nice brand. Actually, I’m just trying to fit in as well as to stand out in my school. Because everyone there has nice coats, you know, expensive coats, and I thought winter is coming, so I got this. And frankly I was enjoying when my classmate gave compliments on my coat. But you know, it’s just a coat. I don’t think it worth $1000. $500 could be more reasonable.”

“Umm, I was just wondering that does it really keep you warm as it said?”

“Ahh, yes, it does. Sorry I misunderstood.”

I felt so awkward when I realized I literally quoted a sentence from Kaiser’s book to answer my neighbor’s casual question on my coat. But at that moment, I realized that I did have more perceptions on fashion and my “fashionable behaviors”.

Take this coat case as an example of what I think of fashion. I realize that the reason I buy this coat is very complicated. Because I do only buy an object and its warmth, I buy, according to Susan Kaiser (2012) mentioned in her book about Robert Williams theory, people also buy social respect, discrimination, health, beauty, success, power to control your environment. (Williams 1980: 47). And this buying behavior is absolutely the consumption part in fashion industry. But as we were told not to use binary thinking to analyze fashion, we can see that this behavior is also entangled with psychological and cultural influence of the brand as well as my subject formation- “who I am and who I am becoming” (Kaiser 2012: 21). It can be related to the habitus (Bourdieu 1984), and it also can be the historical, cultural, and economical influences. And now, when I think of fashion, images, and theories come to my mind like an overwhelming flood.

Kaiser, Suan.B. 2012. Fashion and Cultural Studies. London and New York: Bloomsberry.

Sustainable System: Me and Anthropocene

Many scientists insist that recent human activity, beginning about 250 years ago, is having such a significant environmental impact on the Earth’s climate, geography, and biological composition that we have actually entered into a new period of geologic time — the “Anthropocene”. It means that human activities have shaped the geological shapes with the rise use of fossil fuels, industrialization of agriculture and inevitably, the urbanization.

Started from industrial revolution, we made ourselves aware of the improvement in transportation, medical research, artificial fertilization, markets, tourism, globalization, health, wealth, security and longevity. But with all the progress we have made, we are polluting the environment in many ways.

From the rise of the first urban settlements until the emergence of mega cities in the 20th century, the scale and intensity of urban pollution has increased. As where we have lived and we have been exposed, about 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. We use it, and we dispose it. Because plastic is inexpensive, lightweight and durable, virtually every industry (retailing, manufacturing or logistics) loves it. However only about 10 percent of that is recycled.

To me, cities can be regarded as artificial environments created for the benefit of humans, and yet none of this liberates people from nature. Cities have to be fed and provided with energy and water in order to exist and sustain its human population. The bigger the city, the more resources and energy must be extracted from the surrounding areas to sustain it. But what we have done is that of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea each year. Others has become pollutions in soil, and landfills. Plastic accumulated over half a century is now out there.

Plastic pollution is a major global phenomenon that has crept up on us over the decades, and it really requires a global and comprehensive solution that includes systemic rethinks about usage and production. My final project for sustainable system, the urban plastic sculpture is hoping to raise awareness of the problem and the potential savings that can be made. Like transferring perishable plastic trash into art, or decorative use, and to prompt organizations to change the consumption patterns.

Adopting the Anthropocene name, the concept, and my initial approach to this project, both want to raise the awareness of the fact that humans are having enduring effect on the plant, and find ways to solve what we did wrong.

Me and Anthropocene Process

I recycled plastic bags for my project to make a city landscape sculpture to illustrate the anthropocene. Before heat fuse the plastic bags, I cut off the handles and saved them for further use.

Each building is made of an individual plastic bag. The heat of flat iron fused the layers together to make the plastic stick stronger and thicker.

By putting the fused plastic building on the recycled foam board, I started to structure the plastic city landscape. And for the cut of plastic bag handles, I tied them together to reduce wastes, and knitted them together and see what I can do with the outcome.