Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 documentary “Koyaanisqatsi” is both a landmark cinematic tone poem and a beloved cult classic. The movie, featuring a score by Philip Glass, features no dialogue and simply juxtaposes slow-motion and time-lapse images from around the world. The result is a meditative examination of the relationship between humanity, nature, and technology, so naturally somebody on the internet decided to remake the film using random GIFs.
Created by Rico Monkeon, “Gifaanisqatsi” uses an algorithm to pull random GIFs from Giphy.com tagged as “slow motion or time-lapse” and assembles them in the style of “Koyaanisqatsi,” featuring the iconic Glass score that is the hallmark of the original documentary’s experience. The result is bafflingly random and oddly beautiful as the generator can juxtapose something as breathtaking as the Northern Lights with something as absurd as a cat scaling the side of a building.
“Koyaanisqatsi” was the first entry in a trilogy of films created by Reggio, the other titles being “Powaqqatsi” (1988) and “Naqoyqatsi” (2002). Monkeon’s version is based on the film’s trailer, but since it uses a random GIF generator viewers will get a collection of new GIFs every time the trailer is played. As a result, “Gifaanisqatsi” is both a humorous satire of “Koyaanisqatsi” and a testament to what makes the “Koyaanisqatsi” format so endlessly hypnotic and watchable.
“I wondered how easy it would be to make an internet version using random Giphy ‘gifs’ which have been tagged as slow motion or time-lapse,” Monkeon wrote about the project’s simple origin, “playing them along with the Philip Glass soundtrack.”
Viewers can watch “Gifaanisqatsi” by clicking on the embedded Tweet below, or by visiting the video’s official homepage here.
I made a new toy –
Random Koyaanisqatsi Generatorhttps://t.co/jw7q57Y0CP
— rico monkeon (@ricomonkeon) October 26, 2018