Making a real-life animated GIF of Radiohead artist Stanley Donwood's apocalyptic album art

Hollywood Dooom Mural

When Atoms for Peace — a collaboration between Thom Yorke (of Radiohead), Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and other musicians — announced its first album earlier this week, it unveiled a stark, black-and-white vision of a sinking and burning Los Angeles on its site. Now, that image has taken a curious journey. Stanley Donwood, who created the piece earlier this year and has worked with Radiohead and Yorke for the past two decades, collaborated with artist Insa to turn it into a series of murals, painted one after another onto label XL Recordings' Los Angeles Office. Each mural was photographed before being painted over, and the final series became what Insa calls "gif-itti": an exaggerated version of street art's life cycle, with each piece quickly painted over and turned into an animated GIF. Here's one section of the building; you can see more at XL Recordings' site.


Donwood says his piece is meant to communicate the impending downfall of our "energy rich and culturally complacent society... There is no future; we have evicted ourselves from our own cities, rendered our agriculture poisonous, criminalised the poor, aggrandized the rich, honoured the stupid and ridiculed the intelligent," he says. "The apocalypse is already here, and the saddest thing is that we're trying to fool ourselves that it isn't happening." Insa, meanwhile, has used the mural-to-GIF technique before, perfecting an arduous, multi-day process for the sake of a few stunning frames of Tumblr fodder. The video below shows how he created a similar piece in 2011. "As a continuous GIF it may only live online," he says, "but some would argue that is where most now live their lives."

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.