We’ve all spent our share of time scrolling Tumblr’s infinite supply of animated gifs, but young photographer Josh Greet took things further and started making his own. And in between shooting gifs for Adidas Originals and Illustrated People, the Plymouth College of Art graduate isn’t short of work.
Hi Josh. So how you did you get into creating gifs rather than just still photographs?
Originally I bought an old 3D camera that shot 4 pictures at once. The only way I could show the images was by flicking backwards and forwards between them in a gif animation on an internet browser. After making 3D gif images I started researching how we show photographs and artworks on the internet. I didn’t feel that we use the internet to our full advantage when it comes to showing work. I mean, people are used to showing flat, still imagery like they were exhibiting in a gallery. There’s so much more that can be done when it comes to showing work on the internet. People constantly scroll through images and I wanted to make work that would really stand out, standing between still imagery and animation.
And your current project – net.gif – what’s the inspiration behind that?
While spending a large amount of time on the Internet I became more aware of the effect it has on our modern lives. Being constantly connected to the web has become part of Western society. It’s become integrated into our lives like daily routine. In net.gif the internet has been portrayed as a religious cult. It gives an insight into the Internet realm by using iconography drawn from my own nostalgia, coming from a generation that’s grown up alongside the internet.
But the project isn’t online-only, is it?
I exhibited my net.gif project at Free range graduate show in June (below). I made one of the images into a lenticular print, which is like the holograms you used to get in cereal boxes when you were a kid. I got it printed 6×4 ft and made a pivoting frame with a motor making the print rotate to reveal the animation. Now I have a 6 x 4 ft hologram sat in my house and I’m looking for places to show it elsewhere.
Are there any artists working with the same sort of ideas that you admire?
I’m really into Ryder Ripps’ work. It’s directly informed by the internet and popular culture with the output normally being a website involving some social networking aspects.
A lot of people online refer to you as a fashion photographer. Is that a label you’re happy with?
I wouldn’t really call myself solely a fashion photographer I think it’s something that has followed after me creating my own visual style. Saying that I really enjoy making fashion work as I get to push my style, I’m looking to do a lot more fashion work in the future as I have lots of new ideas about how to show fashion images and garment on the internet. I’m currently doing in a collaboration with Illustrated People.
Could you tell us a bit more about what you’re doing for Illustrated People?
I’m not going to give away too much, but I’m working with them on an online look book and webstore using new techniques I learnt doing my net.gif project, shooting with a green screen and using different file types to show the images in interesting new ways online.
You’ve also worked on a couple of videos. Do you think you’ll do more of that?
Yeah, definitely. I really enjoy making moving image work. Most of it has been with artist/ best bud Pablo Jones-Soler. I like making movies as it feels really productive and I get to learn lots of new techniques that usually influence my photography work. Also, working with your mate is pretty fun.
Words: Mark Izatt