10 March 2012

GIFPUMPER by Slava Balasanov

Slava Balasanov is an electronic musician and artist who experiments with technology into the virtual field by connecting it with social media. After create The Digit (must to see). Slava launched few weeks ago a new project called Gifpumper, which consists in a real mix of the Internet, the perfect place to embed whatever you found online, such as GIFs, video, sound player, iframes... Gifpumper is a social network which lets user to create their own pages and to show and interact with them through several options such as the tridimensional view feature.
With this project Slava changes the concept of the bidimensional web into a tridimensional one, for users and viewers too. I love this tool because it may have many different uses, but also it's great and important to have these kind of free tools on the internet to create your own installations, compositions or whatever you want. You can get the feedback from other users and also you can chat with them in the own platform. Slava tells us more about which else you could do with Gifpumper, like projecting it in real live events or even to use it for Vj performances. See more;

▼ Read the interview ▼

Describe the project itself please.
Gifpumper is a platform for collaborative creation of 3d websites.

How did the project start?
I was interested in exploring ways to enable users to easily collage images online. The site started out as a single 2D page where anyone could add, move or remove images. From there I slowly added functionality, like the ability to create new pages, 3D transformations and social elements. I was also exited about the idea of being able to transmit all edits live. Its still endlessly fascinating for me to watch people edit pages - there is something very visceral about it.

Gifpumper's main page

How does it work? Which are the functions the user can do.
Users are able to create a page and add 2d content by embedding links to content - images, video, mp3s. You can position the 2d content in 3d space. You can ‘walk’ around the space using the WASD or arrow keys and toggle rotation with spacebar. Users are also able to set the privacy levels of their pages. By default all pages are public - editable by everyone. Other options include: semi-public - others can move images but can’t add or delete them; private - only you can edit the page, and hidden - the page will be hidden from the global list. Users can aloso comment or chat via a real-time chatbox, and ‘like’ pages. As you edit a page, all of the changes are transmitted live to all of the users viewing that page.

Spacer bar and mouse movement

What kind of content is it possible to upload? (jpgs, gifs, iframes, sound player, video... )
Yeah, all those : )
Pretty much anything. There is a url-based embed of youtube, vimeo and mp3s, special soundcloud embed and the rest can be added via custom embed codes.

You have converted the classical two-dimensional online space into a tridimensional one, even as you say in a physical environment, and few weeks ago you launched gifpumper at Eyebeam inviting 11 artists to show an online and a real physical exhibition, could you tell us more about the show? I really enjoyed to see the video about, the one made by FADER at Eyebeam, it'd be great to post it.  
Yeah, totally down to post the video!
I was pretty nervous about doing the show actually, since I’m fairly new to making visual art (I have primarily been a musician until recently) and especially curating shows. But everything came together very naturally. About half of the artists were friends and half I met online either on or because of gifpumper. I asked artists to contribute digital content along with a related physical object with the hope of creating a dialogue between the virtual and the physical spaces. I think everyone was very in tune with the idea and the result was a very cohesive installation.

Video made by FADER

Artists who participated in that show: Andrew Fenlon, Anthony Antonellis, Dora Budor & Maja Cule, Douglas Schatz, Dusty McDowell, Helen Adamidou, Jeremiah Johnson, Joshua Caleb Weibley, Jules Laplace, Slava Balasanov.

Do you have plans to do another kind of show at gifpumper in the future?
I’m really interested in the idea of other people setting up gifpumper pages and projecting them at real-life events and inviting users to contribute content online. Sort of like outsourced VJing : ) I did it once during a music show at Eyebeam and it worked out really well!

Have you been inspired by other online tools to create it?
I think dump.fm was a big influence because I discovered it when I was just starting to become more aware of internet-based art. Also http://communimage.ch/ is what got me thinking about lots of people contributing to a single canvas.

Please could you show us some of your favorite pages created by different users?
http://gifpumper.com/eyebeam-live/ is the page that I got to project live during Diplo’s show at Eyebeam and invited users to contribute online. You can see the evolution of the page as you go through the previous versions.

This one is really good: http://gifpumper.com/discontinuity and others by ryz: http://gifpumper.com/profile/ryz
This one was one of the earliest pages on the first incarnation of the site: http://gifpumper.com/forest (There is also a t-shirt version of this page, see here) by D_MAG.
This one is great, but might crash your browser and maybe even the gifpumper server... lol (there is an infinite loop of iframes in there)

many more amazing ones, so feel free to explore! : )

Future of the project?
I feel that Gifpumper is still not really a completed project... more of an exploration of what is possilbe. There are so many features that I still want to add. In general I am interested in refining the user experience, both through a more friendly user interface but more importantly by channeling the correct psychological mindset. At the same time I really relish the rawness of the site and the fact that the experience isn’t totally pleasant - like the feeling of being watched constantly and having every one of your clicks counted - it creates some counterpoint to an otherwise Utopian projection of Internet.