History Lesson

Two worlds collide in the form of gifs and Radio 4 in this thought-provoking project set by Fraser Muggeridge and Robert Sollis for their Camberwell Graphics students. We take a peek at some of the intriguing results.

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Natalie Snodgrass – The Decline and Fall of Avant Garde Painting in the 20th Century

Regular listeners to BBC Radio 4 will no double be familiar with the phenomenon that is In Our Time – the long running (since 1998) series discussing the history of ideas which is presented by cultural commentating stalwart Melvyn Bragg. Tackling pithy subjects from the worlds of Culture, History, Philosophy, Religion and Science, nearly 700 episodes have been aired to date and all are still available to listen to on Radio 4's archive page.

This online archive was the starting point for In Our Time Dot Gif – a fascinating project set by Fraser Muggeridge and Robert Sollis for their second year BA Graphic Design students at Camberwell College of Arts. Each student was asked to make a series of animated gifs in response to an episode of In Our Time. Students were required to create at least five gifs, with one responding to an episode from each different category.

The intention was that each gif might help to explain a key concept, introduce the episode, encourage someone to listen to the episode, challenge one of the ideas within, or simply provide a poetic response to the ideas discussed in it. Students were challenged to explore a number of different techniques:

– text only
– image only
– text and image
– sampled and remixed imagery
– an analogue process such as letterpress, rubber stamp, linocut, etc.

All of the resulting gifs can be viewed at inourtimedotgif.tumblr.com/ and there are over 300 of them to feast your eyes on. It makes for rather addictive viewing and there are some inspired responses to the brief. We asked Fraser Muggeridge and Robert Sollis to pick out a few of their favourites, and here are the results...

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Rafaela de Conto – Artificial Intelligence

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Abbie Freeman – Materialism and the Consumer

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Sushmita Paija Pun – Politeness

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Jade Krokowski – Beauty

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Olivia Bennett – Guilt - Sin, death, life, mashup 2

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Zoe Welch – Merlin

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Natalie Snodgrass – Guilt

Explore the In Our Time archive here and the rest of the animated gifs here.