In Lily Jue Sheng’s new series Avant-GIF, Sheng transforms the works of experimental film makers Alice Guy-Blaché, Marry Ellen Bute, and Marie Menken into three GIFs that pay thoughtful homage to their legacy in the digital landscape. Sheng creates these works by tracing digitized film stills from YouTube with the Adobe Photoshop magic wand tool, and then erasing the film entirely. What remains are the remnants of motion emphasized by Sheng’s inclusion of the blinking selection tool. Traced in white on a black background, the animations take on the ghostly presence of the original film in its most reductive translation to the digital world. The result is a compelling and elegant abstract image that finds a new afterlife in a strange, unmoored online environment.
-Linnea West, Curator