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In tech savvy San Francisco, innovation is celebrated with gusto – a trait exemplified by a new event dedicated to the GIF, a digital art form born and perpetuated entirely on the internet.

Running from 11 to13 October, the workshop, screening and party, dubbed UPLOAD: GIF, is the first exhibition of this scale in San Francisco – possibly anywhere in the world – and will turn the Mission Dispatch parking lot, located between the city’s Portrero Hill and Mission neighbourhoods, into an animated playground.

Over the last month people have been submitting their own GIFs via an online contest to be judged by a jury of digital artists and curators from local arts institutions such as Yerba Buena Center and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. GIFs give the illusion of animation, and creative entries include water draining and refilling a mason jar, a cursor moving and clicking on a laptop computer screen, and continuously morphing geometric shapes. The winners will be projected on the walls of the parking lot on Saturday evening, illuminating most surfaces as well as the neighbouring building.

If you’re curious about GIFs or want to try your hand at creating your own, classes and seminars from local experts are scheduled on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday evening, visitors can drop by for a free screening of the film Beyond The Fold, which follows the lives of 10 origami artists, projected on the parking lot wall.

Kimberley Lovato is the San Francisco Localite

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