Visitors to the D&AD design festival in London last week would have noticed something on the side of a building that looked wryly familiar, even at several stories tall. It’s an augmented-reality street mural–dubbed “GIF-ifi” by its creator, the U.K. graffiti artist INSA–depicting a designer’s computer desktop, complete with a giant pixelated pointer and MacOS-blue folders labeled “Final Revision,” “Definitely Last Final Revision,” and “Absolutely Last Final Revision.” When visitors point their smartphones at the mural, it comes alive in looping animation through INSA’s GIF-iti app.
INSA was commissioned by Shutterstock–and granted access to its entire media library–to create the mural, illustrating the theme of “Shaping Future Creativity.”
The artist used the company’s library to supply the working images that exist within the chaos of the mural, including mushroom clouds over cities, clip-art Halloween skeletons, and the self-explanatory “Stressed crazy businessman smashing his laptop in the office using a baseball bat, anger and computer problem concept.”
“I hope that the work might make creatives consider how they feel about themselves, their work, the endless deadlines and their use of time in life,” INSA wrote in a statement.
Is INSA telling designers he feels their pain, or telling them to f*** off and get a life? Ah, that’s the beauty of corporate-sponsored promotional art by anarchist-leaning creatives: in the end, who can tell? Whether INSA was laughing with them or at them, at least the designers at the festival got to feel seen.