The Animated Disasters of War Gifs are modified versions of childhood cartoons fighting “the war on terror” in the 21st century. My goal is to continue intense research about America’s role in post 9/11 era of war and reflect on my aesthetic childhood experience with war. The file format .gif is used to repurpose and share nostalgic animation juxtaposed with the realities of war and terrorism. The quantity of work in the series will reflect the amount of work in Goya’s own series Los Desastres de la Guerra. Tumblr’s blogging platform will be used to maintain and make accessible playful and politically minded content about the disasters of war in the current age of the Internet. This body of work is intended to educate future generations about the early 21st century and use new media to engage a timeless topic within art history.
The cartoons I watched growing up in the 1980’s provide countless moments of war, but dismiss the fatal and horrific realities that actually occur. Animated gif formatting allows me to maintain the cartoon aesthetic while subverting the original animation with Adobe Photoshop to portray war in its violent reality. The unique looping quality of animated gifs reflects the recurring violence in our society throughout history. Seeing a childhood hero get ripped apart by bullets corrects the misconceptions of war portrayed through popular media. This work allows the viewer to regain cultural control and create an empathetic opinion about war.
The Tumblr platform easily supports animated gif files, which are historically and inherently dependent upon the Internet. I see it fitting that I am tackling a timeless topic in art history with a timeless file format for the Internet. Goya created over 80 images of war using the technology of the time, intaglio printmaking. I am looking to create a series of 80 animations using the technology of our time, gifs via Tumblr. Tagging these uploaded gifs with relevant words and terms such as ‘9/11’, ‘War on Terror’, or ‘Francisco de Goya’ can create a more educational context for people searching related topics. My hope for these animated gifs is that they seep into dashboards of Tumblr bloggers and surprise them with fleeting and accessible imagery that conveys a critique about war in the 21st century.