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One satellite in space, 57,515m2 to paint on the earth in Rio de Janeiro, and just four days…

View ‘Ballantine’s Presents INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ by clicking here

A ‘making of’ detailing the behind the scenes story of the project can be viewed here

In late 2014, after nearly a year of planning, Ballantine’s – the world’s No.2 Scotch whisky – and globally-renowned ‘GIF-ITI’ artist INSA arrived in central Rio De Janeiro with a team of 20, to undertake a uniquely ambitious art project; to create the world’s largest animated GIF.

The results of this inimitable challenge feature in ‘Ballantine’s Presents INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’: a stunning three minute film which launches globally today.

The giant animated artwork – the most ambitious of its kind ever attempted – was painted on the ground in four stages over four days and measured a total of 57,515m2 (made up of four images measuring 14,379m2 each). Inspired by INSA’s iconic ‘Looking For Love…’ heart design, the huge paintings were each captured via a satellite orbiting 431 miles above the earth, and ultimately transformed by INSA into a moving piece of animated ‘GIF-ITI’.

‘INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ is the third in a series of collaborations between Ballantine’s and unique talent from around the world who define Ballantine’s mantra of ‘Stay True’ and whose stories are showcased in unique films featuring projects inspired by their personal styles, talents and beliefs. Previous collaborators include leading African DJ and producer, Black Coffee (‘Human Orchestra’) and world champion freestyle skateboarder, Kilian Martin (‘Carmen’).

About INSA
INSA began his career as a graffiti writer and went on to become known for his unique patterns and motifs, which have since been displayed around the world, both at street level and in high profile exhibitions and media, including within London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Britain.

Staying True to his genesis as an artist but with a passion for experimentation and innovation, INSA is best known for creating ground-breaking ‘GIF-ITI’: amazing animations of his graffiti designs which culminate in looped GIFs – an innovative and labour-intensive process which requires him to repaint a design by hand many times, with each image changing slightly each time, before combining them to create a final GIF. His unique art has captivated audiences by creating something physical which paradoxically only exists online as a 600 pixel wide image.

How was it done?

The biggest technical challenge of the project was finding a satellite solution to capture a high altitude image, at a super high resolution. The answer came in the form of a collaboration with the commercial satellite division of Airbus, which gave Ballantine’s and INSA access to a pair of ‘Pleiades’ satellites which could be tasked with shooting a 100km square image, anywhere in the world, at a resolution of one pixel per 50cm2.

Location requirements were very specific; the team needed a vacant space of over 14,000m2, located somewhere with minimal risk of cloud cover. After months of searching, INSA finally settled upon Brazil, a country he’d drawn inspiration from for many of his designs, but had never previously worked in. A vacant parking lot in Rio de Janeiro’s “Marina Da Gloria” provided the perfect canvas for the project, with Rio’s climate offering the best chance of success.
On the conception of the project INSA says “The scale of this project is like no other; it’s been a dream of mine for years to create a piece of graffiti that can be seen from space, but working in synchronicity with the earth’s cycle to also create an animation is next level.”

Once the location had been identified, Airbus assisted with technical calculations to determine orbit and suitable dates for the project, establishing when the work needed to be undertaken in a single continuous period. The GIF was created by marking out the design using hundreds of metres of measured rope, a simple trundle wheel with spray cans attached, and a plethora of maths and geometry. The final work was made up of 20 hearts, each measuring 22m high by 24m wide.

INSA was then assisted by a crew of 15 local painters, who used household paint and rollers to lay down the design and template for the first layer. This stage alone took two days under the unrelenting Brazilian sun. With the satellites tasked to capture an image once a day for four days – without the option of rescheduling – the team had just 24 hours, or one revolution of the earth, until the satellite and painting were realigned for the next capture.

From there, INSA worked with the ultra-high definition satellite imagery in his London studio to build the film’s final animated GIF, which features at the end of the film.

INSA comments: “To me the GIF was made by the satellite, all I had to do was receive the images and overlay them, then set them to loop. What I love about producing my GIFs is the amount of effort – the scale and man power that has gone into this is huge – but ultimately it’s still just a 600 pixel wide GIF to be shared online. In terms of scale and for the way this project attempts to illustrate time, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted my art to be.”

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, says of the project: “INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ is one of the most ambitious projects that Ballantine’s has ever undertaken, and is an inspiring showcase of what it means to ‘Stay True’ to yourself and to your passions. Working in a truly collaborative way with such an inspirational character and artist as INSA has allowed us to create a meaningful moment that we hope will excite and delight viewers around the world.”

The finished results can be seen in the film and a ‘making of’ detailing the behind the scenes story of the project at

About Stay True Stories and
Ballantine’s is engaged in a global journey to produce a series of films which feature personalities who serve as an embodiment of ‘Stay True, Leave an Impression’. ‘INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ follows on from films including ‘Black Coffee’s Human Orchestra’, ‘Kilian Martin’s Carmen’, ‘Ben Mead’s Art of Drumming’ and ‘The Whale Song’. Further films are currently in production and will be released throughout 2015, with all content living online at

About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No.1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the No.2 Scotch whisky in the world with the range selling over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 130 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for its outstanding quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by Master Blender Sandy Hyslop, continuing the brand’s tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827. In 2013, Ballantine’s continued its innovative approach by launching Ballantine’s Brasil, a spirit drink made from selectively cask steeping Scotch whisky with Brazilian lime peel.


Ballantine’s And Globally-Renowned ‘Gif-iti’ Artist INSA Create World’s Largest Animated Gif

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits. Chivas Brothers’ award-winning portfolio features some of the world’s most revered Scotch whisky brands including Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky and the No.1 Scotch whisky in China; Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky; The Glenlivet, the world’s No.2 single malt whisky; and Royal Salute, the world’s only exclusively prestige Scotch whisky range. The portfolio also includes two of the world’s leading English gins – Beefeater, the world’s most awarded premium gin, and Plymouth gin – plus a selection of highly acclaimed single malt whiskies, including Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Strathisla and Tormore. The range is completed by a collection of blended Scotch whiskies operating in many of the world’s key whisky markets which includes 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.


About Pernod Ricard
Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €7,945 million in 2013/14. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Spirit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector and employs a workforce of approximately 18,000 people, operating through a decentralized organization with 6 ‘Brand Companies’ and 80 ‘Market Companies’ established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics. Pernod Ricard is listed on the NYSE Euronext exchange (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is a member of the CAC 40 index.


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