The World’s Largest GIF Must Be Seen From Space

The World’s Largest GIF Must Be Seen From Space
Arts & Culture

Scotch whisky brand Ballantine's has teamed up with artist INSA to create the world’s largest GIF

Daniela Walker
  • 27 january 2015

Ballantine’s approached anonymous GIF artist INSA as part of their Stay True campaign. Already known for his envelope-pushing animated graffiti called GIF-iti, they asked him how he would like to push his ideas further. His response: take them to space.

So the Scotch whisky brand flew the London-based artist to Rio de Janeiro, where he gathered a team, and the aid of agency M&C Saatchi Sports & Entertainment, to create four paintings over four days, each to be photographed by satellite and compiled into a one-second GIF. Every day, the team would paint over the previous painting, shifting it slightly over, to create the illusion of movement. The work, a series of yellow and pink hearts, became a pulsating animation once the images were strung together and looped.


Ballantine’s Stay True campaign has featured three other collaborations with creatives, all showing off their own passions and skills. “We believe in celebrating the men and women that stay true and leave an impression on everything they do and everyone they meet,” the brand said in a statement. “Each Stay True Story captures individuals as they bring their own story to life performing creative and artistic experiments.”


For INSA, it provided an opportunity to do something he had never done – and probably never would have had the manpower to do. Ballantine’s organized the satellite images, working with Astrium, the commercial satellite division of Airbus to capture one image of the spot each day.

On the ground, INSA was challenged with creating the artwork at a scale he had never done before. Each heart was 24 meters across, and the entire work spanned 14,000 square meters, meaning that he and the team couldn’t really see what they were doing while they were working. According to Creative Review, they had to wait a week before the images were delivered from the satellite.


It was this unknowing aspect, and the huge amount of labor that was put into the project, that enticed the artist from the beginning. He explained in a statement:

What I love about producing my gifs is the amount of effort – the scale and man power that has gone into this is huge – but ultimately it’s still just a 600 pixel wide gif to be shared online. In terms of scale and for the way this project attempts to illustrate time, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted my art to be.


INSA // Ballantine’s Stay True

+Latin America
+space art
+Stay True campaign

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