Performance GIFs 4: Jaakko Pallasvuo


This is the latest in an ongoing series of performance GIFs curated by Jesse Darling. Previously: Maja Cule, Legacy Russell

Still frame from Conan O'Brien Finger Wave (reaction GIF).

Jaakko Pallasvuo:

I asked Jake to mimic a bunch of reaction gifs I found online. This one turned out the best. I like functional gifs that can be injected into conversations and gossip blog comment sections. This is a gesture you can copy+paste into interactions that require sass. You can forget about this gif's brief foray into art territory. No glitch. No new media. 

I've often asked Jake to be in my work because he is a tragic beauty. I've never met him IRL. I like sending people directions and seeing how they execute them. It's never what I think it will be, which is the reason to do it. I don't want to have control over images. I want to have transatlantic sporadic virtual working relationships. 

He looks focused and slightly concerned. His accessories are sassy but he doesn't exude sass. The gesture is not backed up by the corresponding emotion. There is a distance between who you are and who you want to be. The GIF exists in the space between those things. 

Click here to view work. 


Artist Profile: Jaakko Pallasvuo



Low Epic, 2011

Your identity/brand is split between multiple internet presences.  There is definite cohesion between the works on your artist website and your Tumblr, but your illustrations seem severed and separate.  Google image searching you, your comics and illustrations actually appear more frequently than your other work.  In Auditions you briefly meditate on identity association and representation on the internet and I’m curious as to how you intentionally shape this identity.  How do you approach self-design?

The way I think is fairly contradictory so it makes sense that the works would emerge that way as well. I question how satisfying maintaining a strict, programmed artistic identity would be in the long run. Making art is for me very much a form of learning. I will gladly sacrifice cohesion if it means that I can explore larger fields of knowledge.

I've been uploading works to various internet contexts since I was 16 and can accept that I cannot control their circulation. I do contemplate the way I represent / have represented myself online but I can't completely dictate my "brand" anymore. I appreciate artists who are able to maintain a cohesive image, but I don't think I could be / would want to be one.

A lot of your image work utilizes 80's and 90’s aesthetic and culture as a jumping off point.  From the midi backing tracks heard in your How To video series, to the gradients, colors and photoshop brushwork found on, where do you place nostalgia, irony and sincerity throughout these works? Where do these begin and end for you?

Irony and nostalgia are difficult terms. I think of irony as snarky non-commitment and nostalgia as uncritical sentimentality. It feels unsafe to connect them to my own work. I ...