15Folds presents augmented reality
exhibition of animated gif art

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Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios

A London exhibition of animated gifs allowed visitors to view artworks via a custom-designed app on a smart phone or tablet using augmented reality.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
This image: China Will Save the World With a Female Army by Kim Asendorfs. Main image: Gif by Natalia Stuyk

Lyst Space in east London's Hoxton Square was filled with large format QR codes for the Everything All At Once exhibition.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
Wish You Were here by Quentin Jones

Visitors held their smart phones or tablets up to the codes, having downloaded a custom-made app designed by developers Plague Projects, in order to see the gifs by 20 contemporary artists hover in front of the walls on their screens.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
Seasons by Tyler Spangler

"Gif" stands for graphics interchange format: an image file format used to create simple moving pictures – often programmed to loop – that can be viewed on screens.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
The Eye by Matthew Stone and Joe Currie

The artworks in the exhibition included China Will Save the World With a Female Army by Kim Asendorfs, which features female soldiers' faces being flipped upside-down "to prevent agents from falling in love".

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
Run by Peter Valkanoff

In an artwork by Natalia Stuyk, primary colours organise themselves around a moving black line.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios
Camouflage by Sarah Ivanyi

Wish You Were here by Quentin Jones features images of travel destinations and scantily clad women flashing behind the painted words "wish you were here".

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios

The exhibition was an extension of 15Folds.com, founded by Margot Bowman, Jolyon Varley and Sean Frank as an ongoing online project in which leading creatives are invited to make original Gif art in response to a given theme.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios

This exhibition marks the first time the works have been shown using augmented reality technology in a gallery setting.

15Folds was frustrated by other presentations of animated gifs, which are often converted into MOV files and played on television screens hung like paintings.

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios

The collective wanted to create an offline experience that was more sympathetic to their original context, but without the distraction of surrounding websites, open web browser tabs, incoming emails and push notifications.

"An in real life (IRL) exhibition of gifs in a physical space gives an opportunity for the work to be appreciated for what it is rather than as a commodity to be reblogged," said 15Folds. "The use of augmented reality restores a sense of wonder in the way these works are reviewed."

Everything All at Once Gif exhibition by 15Folds at Lyst Studios

Everything All At Once was hosted until 29 May in the former White Cube Gallery, now Lyst Space – the headquarters of online fashion retailer Lyst.com.

Augmented reality has recently been integrated into the display of BMW's concept saloon car and we've used the technology at a series of Dezeen Watch Store pop-ups to allow shoppers to try on watches.