Ambitious Finnish Artists Create a GIF That Lasts 1,000 Years

By Adam Clark Estes on at

If you pride yourself on patience, you’re going to love this new art project in Helsinki. Its creators, Finnish artist Juha van Ingen and developer Janne Särkelä, made an animated GIF that takes 1,000 years to play. It’s called “As Long as Possible”.

That’s the last of the GIF’s 48,140,288 frames above. The artists plan to hit play in 2017, inspired by a technique used in composer John Cage’s never-ending score, As Long as Possible. With no designated tempo, Cage’s composition is currently being played in a German church, where it will continue to play for another 625 years. The Finish artists behind the new GIF project will start with the numeral “1” and slowly count up with each frame showing for about 10 minutes.

So a 1,000-year GIF is not exactly as riveting as the little morsels of culture that float around the internet every day, but that seems like the point. In a nod to the style of Japanese artist On Kawara, van Ingen and Särkelä are counting the slow march of time with white numbers on a black background, reminding us that time can’t stop. However, you do have to wonder what happens if the power goes out at the art gallery… [Hyperallergic]

Image via Juha van Ingen and Janne Särkelä