Downcast Eyes 
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 
March 20, 2012 

For this one-night event, twohundrededfiftysixcolors (Eric Fleischauer, Jason Lazarus, Theo Darst) and TAGTEAM (Jake Myers, Chris Smith) invited artists to bring their laptops to the MCA and present an amalgam of animated GIFs—the only restriction being that everyone’s work be on display only as long as their computer’s battery lasts. The same invitation was extended to the public, where GIF-enthusiasts could bring their charged-up laptops to the MCA and participate in the event. The event was a huge success: According to the MCA this event drew 400 people, making it the largest crowd yet for their Internet Superheroes series.

twohundredfiftysixcolors is the title of Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus’ upcoming film that explores the complexities embedded within these highly compressed files—from the GIF’s connection to early cinema, its democratization of the creation of moving images spawning a multiplicity of internet memes, and finally its use as a location for considered artistic gestures created within the conceptual/technical parameters of the GIF format. 

TAGTEAM is a curating project that stemmed from Jake Myers’ and Christopher Smith’s collaboration on TWEEN, a one night exhibition of animated gifs where 40+ artists played GIFS on their laptop until their batteries died. Recently, TAGTEAM has taken to the approach of colliding disparate ideas as exhibitions, the latest being Short Court: Tropical Aesthletics, where it is hard to tell whether a volleyball match has interrupted a painting exhibition or vice versa. 

[all documentation in gif form of Downcast Eyes made by Theo Darst, assistant director/curator of twohundredfiftysixcolors.