Mind Candy: The Surreal Looped GIFs of Erdal Inci

Posted on August 05, 2014, 4:27 pm
4 mins

Digital and video art are still emerging art forms, and art GIFs are brand new, but artists like Erdal Inci are clearly having a blast exploring their potential. Based in Turkey, Inci layers short captures of video into seamless, endless loops. Historic and ancient locations come alive with ghostly flows of light, and streets are filled with men endlessly stumbling.

I have a soft spot for artists that examine digital media. (Cait Willis is a prime example.) I also love visual echoes, from M.C. Escher to chronophotography to Michael Langan’s “Choros” (which you must see if you have not yet), because such echoes break down movement, performance and time itself in a more apprehensible way. Inci’s beautiful work does all of this in bite-sized, infinite loops that last a minute but can hold your attention and induce meditation as time itself seems to disappear.

A medium is often used to its best effect when it accomplishes what only that medium can do. In the case of looped imagery, it is to capture cyclical time and repetition without tedium setting in. In Inci’s more abstract works, the flow of time itself seems to be visualized. And where there are identifiable human figures stumbling and prancing in and endless parade, there needn’t be commentary—but my mind can’t help turning to ideas of simultaneity, self and the serial folly of human history, generation by generation.

GIFS are the visual lingua franca for online interactions, now. From now on, when I find myself in one of those political debates wherein misunderstandings of tone and unassailable dogma have created an endless loop of butt-hurt and frustration, happening all over the world, all the time—I think I might rely on one of Inci’s GIFs instead. There are plenty to choose from below and from his Tumblr.

Painter OzlemI Unlu in a GIF by Erdal Inci

Inci capturing painter Ozlem Unlu frolicking in The Findikli Park, Istanbul

Theyarecoming by Erdal Inci

Theyarecoming! captured in rural Ankara, 2013, by Erdal Inci

Black Dome at the Tophane Fountain by Erdal Inci

Black Dome at the Tophane Fountain by Erdal Inci

Seagulls at Ortakoy in Instanbul

Seagulls at Ortakoy in Instanbul, by Erdal Inci.

Stumbling by Erdal Inci

Stumbling by Erdal Inci, in Istanbul

The Fence GIF by Erdal Inci

The Fence, 2013, by Erdal Inci

A GIF by Erdal Inci at St Pierre Han

A GIF by Erdal Inci at St Pierre Han, built in 1770

Light performance GIF in Tunnel Square by Erdal Inci

Light performance GIF in Tunnel Square by Erdal Inci, 2013

Seagulls over Galata Tower captured by Erdal Inci

Seagulls over Galata Tower captured by Erdal Inci

Spiral in Taksim Square by Erdal Inci

Spiral in Taksim Square by Erdal Inci

 

Light show by Erdal Inci in Hierapolis Amphitheatre

Light show by Erdal Inci in Hierapolis Amphitheatre, Pamukkale

Rats GIF by Erdal Inci

Rats by Erdal Inci, 2013

Light Dome GIF at Tophane Fountain by Erdal Inci

Light Dome, 2014, at Tophane Fountain with Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque in the background

Repetition GIF by Erdal Inci

Repetition by Erdal Inci, 2013

T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.

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