AS Long As Possible (ASLAP) a 1000 - year long animated GIF loop. 

ASLAP is an art work by visual artist Juha van Ingen. The animation is created in collaboration with developer and sound artist Janne Särkelä.

AS Long As Possible first frame of the loop

The first frame of the loop

ASLAP is made of black frames with a white number indicating the frames position in the loop. There are 48 140 288 frames which change in c.a. 10 minute intervals making the total duration of the loop 1000 years.

In 2017, when GIF turns 30 and Finland celebrates its Centennial of independence, the ASLAP animation will be started and exhibited in the ARS17 exhibition in KIASMA, Helsinki. After the exhibition it will be kept playing until 3017 in the collection of The National Gallery of Finland.

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"The work turns eternity into a composition, unraveling the dimensions of time into chunks we can comprehend while also invoking questions of digital decay." Hyperallergic

".. a wake-up call about the meaninglessness and impermanence of the constant stream of net effluvia we digest." Vice

"With 1,000 years of GIF-life ahead of us, there’s no excuse not to see this GIF at some point in your — comparatively — short, short life." Milk

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"The Itch for Eternity" An essay on AS Long As Possible by curator and critic Pontus Kyander:

The Itch for Eternity (PDF)

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AS Long As Possible last frame of the loop

The last frame of the loop

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is a file format developed by CompuServe in 1987 and come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability. GIF is still among the most popular image formats on the Internet.

In the early days of World Wide Web GIF was the most popular tool for artists working on on-line projects. But in mid 90's the technically more versatile Flash took over as the number one creative tool for presenting art works on-line. Recently with the huge success of photo-sharing services such as Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr GIF has had its second coming and has regained its popularity also as an artistic medium.

The name of ASLAP is homage to John Cage composition "ORGAN2/ASLSP" (1987) which is played with Halberstad organs for the next 625 years. The abbreviation of Cages composition included and instruction to the performer of the piece: As SLow aS Possible.

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Documentation of AS Long As Possible installation in FISH Gallery

Enlarged photographic prints of ASLAP frames /FISH Gallery

Documentation of AS Long As Possible installation in FISH Gallery

ASLAP animation and a preview file /FISH Gallery

In September 2015 the animation was ready and the idea of starting it in 2017 was announced. The concept of ASLAP was presented in an exhibition at FISH Gallery in Helsinki.

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How AS Long As Possible will be kept running for ever?

ASLAP file is cloned and it will simultaneously run on several (maximum six) synchronised physical playback units at different locations. The playback units will also be used to exhibit the work to the public.

When one unit is destroyed in a war or in a natural disaster - or when it needs to be technically upgraded - a new physical unit is built and the animation file is synchronised with the remaining units.

If all of the playback units are destroyed the file is reconstructed from special time capsules which contain the description of the artwork, the specification of GIF, the original GIF file and necessary documents including a printed copy of the code for generating a new file.

Time capsule

ASLAP Time Capsule, stainless steel crafted by Jukka Merta

The first AS Long As Possible (ASLAP) timecapsule is deposited in KUMU Art Museum of Estonia collection. The sealing event takes place 18th March 2017 in KUMU.

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We are currently looking for Museums or other public cultural organizations interested in collaborating in finding a safe place for the next ASLAP playback units and timecapsules.

For more info:
contact (at) aslongaspossible.com

If you are filthy rich and want to participate in keeping the eternal loop in motion you can support us by buying a print for your art collection. Some signed and numbered limited editions and 1/1 prints made from the original animation are available on request. 

Hurry! There are only 48 140 280 numbers to choose from!


Credits:

Special thanks to Jani Lindqvist and Jouni Miikki for their invaluable help in making the playback unit and Pontus Kyander for the excellent essay!

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Making of the GIF file in 2015 was supported by AVEK
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Alfred Kordelin foundation has supported the making the timecapsules
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KIASMA made it possible to start ASLAP in 2017
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KUMU is the first institution to deposit a timecapsule

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