JANUARY 27TH, 2022

Haydiroket, who lives in Istanbul and answers to the name Mert, has been making gifs since 2008. He comes from the Tumblr generation of artists that started in 2008 and began to fade around 2016 when Instagram took over as the dominant platform for artists to show their work. Despite this, Tumblr is still #126 in the world (according to Alexa - vs. #24 for Instagram) and is a treasure trove of art, filled with curated blogs and artists like Haydiroket who still update their Tumblr page. Many NFT artists who are popular today came out of this environment (famously, Beeple). Many of these artists also posted their work on Giphy and found a way to make a living there. On Twitter, artists get excited when they reach 5000 followers. Haydiroket has 15.4 BILLION views on his Giphy page. That’s a lot of people around the world who have seen his work.

Like many artists of the genre, he produces work in a variety of styles. The Tumblr generation of artists was all about making something every day or almost every day (again, Beeple is the famous example here). Haydiroket has a fertile imagination, and his work is filled with color, motion and the imagery of old Windows interfaces and video games. For people who grew up with computers in the 90s that was the imagery of your childhood; so naturally many artists use this in their work.

It is hard to feature the work of someone like Haydiroket because they do so much work in so many different styles it is hard to represent their work well in a short article. So in the context of this piece, I am going to focus on a particular style of Haydiroket’s work, which I find very compelling, and that is his layered surreal landscape loops.

In a piece like 1341, he pulls together a bunch of things that make for a very satisfying loop. First, the composition is great. A closely cropped Egyptian face and eye on the left and a field of skulls on the right, not exactly half-and-half but balanced perfectly. Then there is a field of glitch VHS noise that is between the skulls and the Egyptian face. Everything is in black and white, and everything is moving. The Egyptian face is floating around randomly and the skulls are rotating toward the camera in a semicircle and in between the VHS noise is animating and moving. With all this going on suddenly everything on-screen changes into a stark two-color black and white image of glitch ASCII characters while still retaining the general shape and motion of the art. Then it goes back to the grayscale imagery. All of this is perfectly balanced in a 10-second loop. It is really beautiful and endlessly watchable. It is thoroughly glitch but not hard on your eyes. It just flows. 

In trash.gif he shows that within the context of the glitch retro imagery he works with he can create something simple and elegant. It is just a cut out of an old-school Windows 3.1 image but built and animated with hundreds of layers and the result is that it looks like it is flowing like water. You would normally not associate the word ‘elegant’ with an artist like Haydiroket but there it is.







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Haydiroket was generous enough to answer a few questions from me about his life and art:

Where are you located?  Do you have a day job?

I'm Mert, I am living in Istanbul. No !! I quit my last job thanks to NFTs!! Endless thanks to all my collectors and fans who support my art. Digital arts is finally about to come to the place it deserves..

Where did you grow up?  Did you have art training?

Born and raised in Istanbul. No :) but I've been interested in computer arts and music since childhood.

How did you start making gifs?

I started making GIFs in 2008 and then started uploading the GIFs I made to tumblr. Right after gifs became popular, Tumblr asked me to be a GIF editor. I kept doing this for a while and did my best to make the GIF tag as prominent as possible on TUMBLR.

You have a lot of views on Giphy!  Has that led to any income?

Yes amazing!! Before NFTs, I had the opportunity to work with many global brands thanks to GIPHY, for example, we prepared special sticker packages for the biggest brands of the world together with 4 other artists. Apart from that, thanks to Giphy for enabling me to take part in countless events and exhibitions all over the world!! 

Tell me how your style has evolved...what tools do you use to create them?  Why do you focus on tech imagery?  

I like to mix techniques up. I work on a wide spectrum such as collage animation, glitch aesthetics, pixel art and analog video. I always seek to mix all these techniques and produce my own unique style. It is not for me to produce in the same style all the time. I love creating new styles and developing them, it also helps me understand where I came from when I look back a few years later. I usually use After Effects. Yes, I was born into this, and I am trying to explain how insufficient technology is yet, and that we are witnessing the evolution of technology while trying to find your voice in the garbage created by the virtual worlds we live in and all the data we have accumulated.

How long have you been in the nft scene?  How has it gone so far?

In April 2021, I started to create NFTs on Hic et nunc, and so it has been about 1 year, but it felt like 10 years according to crypto time.

What artists do you like and follow?

Please check my HEN collection !!

Max Capacity, desultor, trapers and Francoise Gamma

Do you think that Motion Art is a new Art form as I lay out in my initial piece?  

Totally agree, GIF has already become an art form in its own right.

Haydiroket is an example of an artist that is now considered an ‘NFT’ artist who has had a long history of work before him minting any NFTs. It is well worth exploring his work on Tumblr and Giphy to see the breadth and depth of the work he has done, as well as diving in and looking to purchase his NFTs.


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