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

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.