2.3.2020 7:35 PM

Design

Infinite Objects video prints have me hating how much I love them

Is this the worst of late capitalism or the best thing to ever happen to my mantel?

There are some GIFs I could watch forever — the Shaq-and-kitty shake, for one. But buying a deliberately crippled, single-purpose, digital photo frame to do so leaves me feeling uneasy at best, and like a horrible consumer at worst. If you have fewer qualms, Infinite Objects wants to help. It’s launching what The Verge calls an “on-demand video printing service” and using six Valentine’s Day-inspired perma-GIFs to promote it.

Of course, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to release a product that includes electronic components, plastics and a wall plug, is impossible to repair or recycle, and will inevitably spend a blink of its existence in use and a relative eternity in landfill. I would, nevertheless, be enamored with an admirer — secret or otherwise — who saw fit to send me one this February 14. Or any day, really.

Previously fine art, now animated Hallmark cards — Until now, Infinite Objects has only offered preselected videos from its partner artists in limited editions. Those retail for $250 to $300, so getting one of its six pre-determined, romance-tinged GIFs for $50 is an undeniable bargain. The half dozen on offer include a pair of smitten cherries, animated cats locked in an embrace, two toy T-Rexes kissing in stop-motion, and one that’ll have you straight up lying to your significant other (or paramour) by claiming you love them at least as much as pizza, hamburgers, ice cream or tacos.

Frank Guzzone's 'Squish Screen'Infinite Objects

Real love is making your own — Most exciting, though, is the new IO Creator Tool that’s been launched in beta. With it, you can make your own “video print” from an MP4 or MOV file. Once you’ve uploaded the file you can tweak the speed, zoom, rotation and other aspects of the video, or apply a filter (of course). Infinite Objects prints have a two-hour battery life when not plugged in, which means they start up the moment the recipient opens the box. As if they could get cooler.

Sure, it seems wasteful that I can’t change the video down the line. But maybe that’s just my fear of commitment rearing its ugly head. As Infinite Objects is eager to remind me (and you), “You’re not buying a gadget; you are collecting a video.”

Is it internet gold, or is it art?Giphy

I’m just impressed they’ve managed to avoid any references to the animated newspaper of Harry Potter’s universe, The Daily Prophet. Clearly, I lack the same fortitude. I also probably lack the will to resist putting the world’s greatest GIF on my mantel where it can loop forever… or at least until the real cat knocks it off in a fit of jealous rage.