Seeing as how the GIF has become an integral part of modern communication, PAPER is teaming up with our friends at GIPHY Arts to spotlight up-and-coming artists who are taking the medium to the next level. This week, we have Jason Hsu, who brings weird Internet spazz-outs to new extremes.
Jason Hsu offers a peephole into a world where Y2k-era media platforms, software like Cinema 4D, and message board humor all commingle in a mass of flailing pixels. Finding inspiration in the collective information of modern internet life, the Philadelphia-based multidisciplinary artist's figures and forms freak out in an unending whirligig of glitchy hypnagogic imagery.
"I have a large pile of image collections gathered from Google image searches [and] motion capture files made available by universities, DeviantArt, SketchUp Warehouse, Youtube, etc." Hsu says," I don't really set out with a plan for the final product. I have a grab bag of current resources and skills that I sit down with and try to spin something out."
Relying on intuition and accumulated knowledge, Hsu takes pop culture icons like Spongebob Squarepants and Spiderman and recontextualizes them with the rag doll slapstick of video game violence and the anarcho-nihilism of Eric Andre. Life in Hsu's GIF-world exists in a spasming sandbox of chaos and calamity where all is folly.
“Inevitably it becomes this convoluted process of problem solving where I end up spending more time watching tutorials than actually working in the software," says Hsu.
And while a lesser n00b might revel in their own endless depictions of death and destruction, Hsu remains at once distant yet accepting of his creations, and unafraid to catch feelings over his anxious tableaus. “After I find the solution then it becomes a question of whether I like it or not. Often times I might not even like the result, but if I can find an emotional connection then I go with it."