An exhibition from Shift Gallery combines digital animation with 17th Century printing techniques
Using a virtual exhibition space and lenticular printing techniques, the exhibition aims to show how digital and physical methods of creation can coexist and enhance one another.
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- 14 December 2022
In a creative industry that is rapidly digitising, it can be easy to assume that such online advancements come at the expense of analogue methods of production. Phase Zero, the first exhibition presented by the recently formed Shift Gallery, is ready to prove such thinking wrong.
Defining the exhibition as “where the dichotomy between the tangible and the imaginary fuse”, the online gallery has curated pieces from a range of 2D and 3D illustrators and animators working all over the world. Each artist has produced a short digital animated sequence, which has then been translated into a “magical” moving print. One artist featured in the exhibition, Katya Dorokhina, has created a piece titled Flower Shower, which shows a figure running towards stars, a train of blooming flowers following their path. Kitasavi’s more abstract artwork, Unscheduling, shows a series of hand-sculpted, plasticine-like frames moulding into new shapes. Other artists featured include Faux Par, Jess Bianchi and Toyoya.
To print the works, Shift used lenticular printing. It’s a technique which dates back to the 17th Century and uses an autostereoscopic display to present a three-dimensional image to viewers “adding movement to an otherwise static object, without the need for a screen”. This process means Phase Zero pieces can live in both online and physical realms, which is ultimately one of the most important elements of the exhibition – to prove that both worlds can comfortably and fruitfully coexist. “Within this paradox, a reversed alternative is created: something that is born from digital is developed to adapt to analogue,” the gallery identifies. “A new context is applied to a technique that is falling into disuse in an era where screens prevail.”
Founded by two graphic artists in 2022, Shift Gallery aims to bridge the gap between digital art and physical spaces. But it also has other goals, such as making the Web3 world easier to understand and navigate. “In an era of a new art paradigm, it can be difficult for 21st Century art collectors to keep up with the visual chaos that has been brought on by the NFT boom,” the gallery specifies. “That's why Shift Gallery was founded in 2022 – to help bring structure to these two worlds and enable them to add value to each other.” As technologies evolve, the gallery aims to lead with an approach that pays equal attention to creating a unique platform “where digital art can thrive, alongside its more traditional counterparts”.
Just like any art market, the risk of artists being exploited or losing ownership or rights to their work remains a pertinent issues in Web3. Importantly, Shift Gallery says it's “committed to valu[ing] creators’ originality and identity” with every piece being certified by the blockchain. The gallery endeavours to use new markets and reading models to create a space in which artists can profit from their own work in “a way of appreciating their craft, quality and time and means spent in its execution”. Their voices are also highlighted throughout the virtual exhibition, with interviews giving an insightful view to their inspirations, process and outcomes. Each individual piece will be materialised in a series of 50 physical lenticular prints, as well as being exhibited in Shift Galleries virtual viewing space.
Shift Gallery, a liminal space bridging the digital and physical realms, curates digitally animated artworks that come to life through lenticular printing, an auto-stereoscopic display that adds movement to an otherwise static object, without the need for a screen.
Still frame of Jess Bianchi's Shining (Copyright © Shift Gallery, 2022)