Ambient Asian Space is a serial episodic epic collaboratively written by Coda Wei and myself. Partially inspired by Pamela Lu's Ambient Parking Lot and a local Asian food court, it is the universe of our literary merge. In parallel, I’m drawing comics of the characters and events that the writing is producing. Late in the game we came across Karen Tei Yamashita's Anime Wong mangas and were blown away, so some of CyberAsia has wormholed its way in.
Through Coda and this writing I was introduced to the pleasure and potential that lies within the format of the .gif. .gif-making and .gif-viewing are exceptionally nerdy endeavors; from The Lord of the Rings to Fuck Yeah Claudia Black to Sherlock, tumblr fan culture thrives on .gifs. Because the internet is also flooded with pornographic .gifs, the form seems quite masturbatory, perhaps related to what Eve Sedgwick calls “repetition-compulsion” in her essay Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl. This also made me remember Cathy Park Hong’s series of haikus and .gifs, The Rub.
I became interested in the way a .gif could loop / infinitize / prolong a body in motion, or extend and obsess over a moment or emotion in time. So, I wanted to create a series of .gifs related to the “Ambient Asian Space” episodes and adjacent fanfish universe.
[Thanks to Coda Wei for inspiration, Sarah Nguyen for conceptual brainstorming, and Gregory Holt for camera operation and direction.]
These .gifs were screened as part of SALTA is Timeless, Infinite Light at LoBot Gallery in Oakland, California, on January 29, 2016.