The young Irish artist has experimented with the limits of gifs throughout his artistic career, using them as a medium to manipulate his drawings and his photographs. ‘Arena’, which Vimeo announced as its ‘Video of the Month’ this April, sees McGloughlin string together thousands of Google Earth images, creating what looks like an extended gif of an ever-changing planet. The minute-and-a-half long video reflects a changing urban landscape, marked by rivers and fields that swell and shrink to the beat. Set to a soundtrack made in collaboration with his brother Pearse McGloughlin, the video begins with a quote from poet Edwin Arlington Robinson: “Life is the game that must be played.” Framing ‘Arena’ in this way, McGloughlin draws our attention to the artificial, manipulative qualities of his work. This aspect is heightened by VHS-style effects which see lines scrolling up and down the screen as if someone is pressing fast forward.
The minute-and-a-half long video reflects a changing urban landscape, marked by rivers and fields that swell and shrink to the beat.