Gifotrope – take control of your gifs

In the latest edition of “little things that we make for other people to use (but probably no one will,)” we’re proud to announce Gifotrope.  Gifotrope is a bit of code that helps you take control of gifs by breaking them up into little pieces that only animate when a user is scrolling.  You can’t read well while you’re scrolling, so something else interesting visually could and probably should be happening during those times.

Open Call for Potluckers!

It’s not always true that if you build it, they will come. We get it. Surveys aren’t always so fun to fill out. But maybe if we come together in small groups, share food and drinks, and commiserate it will be a little more fun. That’s why we are asking you, individually or in groups, to host a potluck for your visual artist friends ideally in the first weekend of February and fill out Compensation Foundation’s “Bay Area Artists Report!” and anonymously contribute your experiences towards a better infrastructure for self-advocacy for artists.

The “Bay Area Artists Report!” is an effort to gather and make apparent how visual artists working in the Bay Area are compensated, what they value most, and what hurdles they face.  It’s the time of year for digging through old receipts and bank statements to appease the IRS, so what better time to put that effort to use for a common cause?

Artists and organizations across the globe (W.A.G.E., Visual Artists Ireland, CARFAC, Brooklyn Commune) are advocating for transparency and the establishment of standards when it comes to compensating artists for their labor. Our hope is that by contributing to a clearer picture of what’s happening here and now, we can help pave the way for a shift in cultural values and expectations.

We are working on securing beer and/or wine donations for fun. If you would prefer not to host something in your house, we can pair you up with one of several Bay Area organizations that have offered up their space. Please let us know if you plan something so we can track our progress and make sure to get you what you need!


Thank you!

Eleanor, Helena, Oliver

P.S. In an ideal world, these potlucks will occur in the first weekend in February, but anytime in the next couple of months would also be great.

Rotterdam Experiences: Off the Press: Electronic Publishing in the Arts and DEAF

Last week the Institute for Network Cultures and Digital Publishing Toolkit brought us to Rotterdam to speak about The People’s E-book.  The conference brought together an interesting mix of academics, students, artists, practitioners, and a few other designers and publishers.  There was a focus on what are artists producing in terms of e-books, what different production workflows look like, and what the future for libraries looks like.  They did a great job documenting most of the conference, so I thought I would continue that trend.

program for the conference

You can view many of the presentations here:

You can see images of the days here:

There are re-caps of most of the presentations here and here


Making Epubs Easy with The People’s E-book: 

Oliver did a demo of the tool, explained pe-epub (the open source epub generator that we built for People’s E-book), and talked about Streambooks, our Tumblr to epub conversion tool.

Off the Press – Oliver Wise: Making ePubs Easy with the People’s E-book from network cultures on Vimeo.

As you’ll see in the video, we had a little trouble with the slides, but you can see them below!


Publishing Constitutes a Public

There aren’t photos or video from the Arts and Crafts Session organized by Silvio Lorusso, but our slides are below and you can read the full text of our presentation here.  Oliver and I spoke about our thoughts about publishers as a support structure for a public, our past work that relates to digital publishing, and how and why we focused on artists when building The People’s E-book.


DEAF: The Progress Trap

We also were honored to be a part of the DEAF (the Biennial Dutch Electronic Arts Festival) at the Het Niewe Institute in their TV Lunch Program.  It was more of a casual conversation about our practice as well as the others’ who were also a part of the conversation.

The exhibition at Het Niewe Institute to go along with the festival, whose theme this year was “The Progress Trap” was pretty great. I especially loved Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen‘s work: 75 Watt.  They designed an object whose primary function was to choreograph its creation.

75 Watt – trailer from Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen on Vimeo.

Another favorite was also a video installation, by Gabriela Golder, entitled “Conversation Piece” which showed the artist’s mother – a militant in the Argentine Communist Party – reading the Communist Manifesto with her two young granddaughters.

CONVERSATION PIECE (the installation) from Gabriela Golder on Vimeo.

And Rotterdam has a pretty interesting mix of architecture. It was fun to be around.

What we learned while making YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES’ “Pacific Limn”: a free e-book for ipads


Since early last spring, we’ve been working with the renowned artist duo YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES and the Kadist Art Foundation in San Francisco to produce a new, free e-book for ipads that exists simultaneously as an original artist book and exhibition catalogue for those who missed their residency and exhibition at Kadist this spring.

The artist duo wanted to play with the idea of a book and the funny straddling of digital and physical that e-books are. Jeff Canham and Devon Bella worked to photograph a real book complete with a hidden compartment for a handgun that the book reveals on browsing.  Touching the gun brings up an original video by YHCHI that deals with Americanism, the problem of homelessness, and questions of how to or not to interact with people living on the street.

You can download the free book here>>

In the process of making this book, we learned a lot of things about the somewhat arcane world of e-pubs and ibooks.

1. You can’t have a full screen video (on touch) in a fixed format e-pub if you’re horizontally locking the pages and showing two pages at once.

2. You can change the cover size of an ibooks author book, but you have to open up the file and replace the asset. (takes about 20 steps)

3. You can’t have a transparent background for covers – it will turn the transparency black

4. It’s pretty much not worth it to mess around with javascript in epubs, except for really simple things.

5. HTML5/EPUB3 support is still pretty bad in ibooks.

6. You can’t have a external links on the same page as a video in iBooks Author.

7. You can’t have hidden videos or linked-to videos in iBooks Author.  But you can make a poster image for video that matches a background image, so that the viewer can’t really see it.  We matched a poster image to the page background color and put text on top and then styled the text to match the style of the links. Tricky.

8. You can’t hide the TOC or go directly into e-books that are made with iBooks Author.

9. Apple is sort of arbitrary an their approvals and rejections.  If you get tickets that you can’t fix – call them up and argue with them. Maybe a few times.  In the end, it’s a person who is making the decision so you have to get a middleman to write down your arguments that the Approver/Dissapprover will understand.

10. There are no page turning animations in e-books made with iBooks Author.


We, of course, could be wrong on some of these fronts. If anyone knows otherwise, prove us wrong in the comments!

A partial history of how artists, cultural producers, and content providers have experimented with funding and support models during the Internet Age.

As a result of the reaction and conversation that happened as a result of Art Micro Patronage, Oliver and I had been talking a lot about how the struggle of the net artist to get paid for their work is not unique.  The internet and the development of technology in general has generated a whole new class of cultural producer, yet very few people have figured out how they can possibly make money off of the work they produce.  From giant newspapers to the casual instagrammer, no one seems to have a solid plan to make it work.

This idea was a good fit for Nora O Murchú as she was putting together a publication for Run computer, Run, part of the GLITCH Festival at Rua Red in Ireland: exhibitions, a symposium, and a publication that focus on the current economic, political and cultural factors that are shaping the Internet.  The festival will discussed and explored how the practice of the digital artist is transitioning, not only with the growth of digital technologies, but are increasingly being informed by offline factors that are affecting how the Internet as a creative platform is being developed.  So Nora asked me to gather some of my thoughts together along these lines and contribute something for the publication.

a snippet of the timeline

In the process of trying to write about and chronicle these changes, I decided that the best thing to do was to create a timeline in order to look at these pieces of information in context during the past ~15-20 years as the internet progressively became integrated into our daily lives.

In this timeline, I’ve tracked lists of how :

  • Net Artists have Tried to Make Money
  • Alternative Funding Models in the Arts
  • Technology Advancements have Facilitated Giving
  • The Media has Experimented with Paywalls
It’s fun to look at, especially if you’re a nerd like me. It’s fun in 3D too (lower left corner).  If I’ve made any glaring omissions, please contribute points to add in the comments.


Indexhibit v2 Tutorial Website

Since Indexhibit Version 2 is still somewhat new, and we offer to install it for our hosting clients, we thought we would build something that would encourage familiarity with the platform, help people understand how it works before (and after) installation, and help us learn its advantages and pitfalls.  Periodically, we update the site with something we’ve been fielding questions about.

Happy website making!

Indexhibit v2 Tutorial Website

Art Micro Patronage is LIVE!

What started as a few vague ideas about the possibilities of micro-donations mixed in with questions about “collecting” digital artwork is now a full-blown, beautifully designed, web application for supporting online artists.

Art Micro Patronage is an experimental online exhibition space enabling you to view and support artwork that is ideally experienced on the internet. Built on the generosity of people like you, AMP is a vehicle for a new generation of art patrons, who are willing to associate their appreciation of great work with

actual dollar amounts, no matter how small.

We’re extremely proud, and also curious if anyone will use it.  So please, check it out. Each month we’ll present a new online exhibition.  And while you’re there, become a micro-patron of the arts by giving a small donation to the artists who pieces you like.


Utah update: Bryce and Zion

We had a really great week last week- with three friends here we worked during the days, sled, cooked, ate huge meals, and made ringtones at night.  For Oliver’s birthday we all took the day off and went to Bryce after a huge breakfast.   Food plays a big part in our lives if you can’t tell and so far, the one downside of Utah has been the restaurants.  Granted, we’ve only been to three. And every restaurant we go looking for from the guidebook has been closed.

As we entered a typical steak place on Saturday, a large family one by one looked over at us.  Then we were of course seated right next to them.  The father repeated about three times in a loud voice, “You know, every time you see a VW bus, I can guarantee there is a guy with facial hair and a girl with braids in it.”

We weren’t quite sure what that meant, but we did know it was directed at us.  I don’t think he understood the subtle difference between a regular flannel shirt and a neon flannel shirt. Anyways, some pictures:



Continue Reading »

Need to prove you’re right? Check the internet.

We’ve all had the moment of having an argument and going to the internet to prove (or disprove) your theory.  Oliver’s made a quick solution for every situation or discussion.  Argument over.  The internet has proved your point.

just enter your name and then

Here’s an example:

Want your full name?  Just use a period for every space.



If it seemed at all confusing before, with periods and no periods, Oliver’s made it easier.  Now just go to and there is a little form to fill out and it will make you the link as you fill in the form.  Click the link and you are good to go.

T-shirt orders commence! Support artists and show your love.

It has been decided, and the wheels are in motion.  You can order your very own I heart art t-shirt here. All profits from sales of these sweet t-shirts go directly towards artist stipends.  So you are doing a good thing with your holiday dollars, meanwhile looking really really awesome.


We will begin shipping t-shirts on December 11th.  Get yours!

Hayes Valley “Circle of Joy” Holiday Art Walk and Auction

Come out and enjoy the music, food, drinks, late night shopping, carolers, and general good cheer!  We, along with 25 other artists, created wreaths to be auctioned off in Hayes Valley storefronts to benefit Opportunity Impact.  Opportunity Impact is a non-profit that works with students in the Western Addition during their critical formative years, grades 4-8.  They work to develop life skills and provide education in order to create new opportunities and a better future for young people.

The details:
Auction: Friday, November 28th – Friday, December 5th at 9PM
Hayes Valley Block Party: Friday, December 5th, 6-9 PMwreath.jpg

Participating artists: Blair Bradshaw, Chris Thorson, Lauren Fleischer, Andrew Venell, Don Ross, Lucky Rapp, Mark Paron, Christopher W. Stokes Inside Modern, Ginny Parsons, Kevin Grady, The Present Group, Justin Trigg, [mm+gf] Ally Trigg and Bethany Snyder, Lori Stein, Storm, Matt Silady, Ed Luce, Ben Collison, Madeline Behrens-Brigham, Nicole Baugass, Gregg Casin, Kirsten Tradowsky, Michael G. Broeker

I heart art: T-shirts!

We’re going to make t-shirts for this holiday season…

Anyone (anyone?) want to vote for the design they like better?


Web hosting that supports artists.


  • TPG21
  • TPG20
  • TPG19
  • TPG18
  • TPG17
  • TPG16
  • TPG15
  • TPG14
  • TPG13
  • TPG12
  • TPG11
  • TPG10
  • TPG9
  • TPG8
  • TPG7
  • TPG6
  • TPG5
  • TPG4
  • TPG3
  • TPG2
  • TPG1

Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months