||"Jon Cates' selfie game is on point, taking Photobooth pics to a whole other level... All of his selfies are GIFs of him throwing up the sign of the horns and being an overall badass." - COMPLEX ART+DESIGN: 25 GIF Artists You Should Know by Susan Cheng
"His voice is noise, his music is now the environment, and the only thing we can do is to keep our eyes on the screens." - Vincent Hung on Post-Static
"...his experiments may be his undoing. At this point the piece could collapse and jonCates has not propped himself up with his technology. Instead, he's used it to lead us to key moments and obliterating everything else." - Post-Static: Realtime Performances by jonCates and Jon Satrom - channeltwo (2012)
"The culture of animated GIF is on the move, with thriving communities of artists working for decades in relative obscurity now earning more attention every year. Local artists like jonCates and events like the gli.tc/h convention on new media have made Chicago as interesting a perch as any from which to observe the advance of the GIF to the forefront of 21st century art." - Steven Pate on Downcast Eyes in Chicagoist
"Performances were not merely contained to VJ sets, but included real-time executables, and even “lectures-as-performance.” Jon Cates ‘read’ a paper he wrote on Glitch, adding multiple layers of noise and recordings of the reading over each other until it was completely indiscernible... What’s fascinating about these types of performances, besides how entrancing they are, is that they represent a new system of language built entirely on noise and visual phenomena that gives way to real interpersonal communication." - Dylan Schenker on GLI.TC/H in The Creators Project.
"A history of the local “glitchscene” over the last decade, documented by Chicago signal-scrambling mastermind Jon Cates" - Bert Stabler on GLI.TC/H in Newcity Art
"Jon Cates, a new media artist, has been collecting and making animated GIFs since 1996, and he’s gearing up to open his Institvte for the Animated GIF. Cates conceives of this private collection as beyond an archive; it is also an institution that will hold workshops and educate about GIFs through exhibits and interviews with makers. Cates, like Fleischauer and Lazarus, is interested in situating animated GIFs among early advancements in cinema and, more broadly, amid the entire digital revolution.
“It’s not ironic,” says Cates, who sees value in GIFs as cultural artifacts, and he is enthusiastic about creating new GIFs and sharing them. “They make me feel good,” he says. Is the animated GIF a form of digital folk art? Cates relates a story about cultivating his collection, where he contacted someone online who was making animated GIF self-portraits. It turned out she was seventeen years old and, like a self-taught artist, had little interest, at first, in contributing to a GIF museum, as she was simply, happily, creating her GIF portraits at home and posting them on her tumblr for anyone to see. This anecdote is not meant to reveal the strange power of the art world as it usurps every artifact in its path, but rather shows that digital art-making is a people’s movement. While technology has a tendency to be expensive, with a steep learning curve, it is simple methods such as GIFs that are readily accessible to virtually anyone. A positive attribute of GIFs, says Cates, is that they are “not innovative.”
In the studio, artists often self-impose limits and constraints on their materials and methods in order to explore every nuance of their medium and style. GIFs provide “excessive limitations,” says Cates. With limited color palettes, short looping cycles, and low-res image output, the inherent rules of the GIF format can empower artists to create." - Jason Foumberg on Animated GIFs in Newcity Art