Brief Thoughts on the Art of the Animated GIF

Repetition, Transformation and Isolated Motion in the Screendance Gif – food for screendance scholarship by Marisa Hayes.

SCREENDANCE STUDIES

Fluid_Berkeleyhands

            Most Internet users are aware of the recent rise of the animated GIF, an acronym that stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” (1). These silent moving images are composed of brief motion sequences referred to as “loops”, most often excerpted from classic cinema or popular culture, although original creations and home videos are common as well. Occasionally, still images, including photographs, paintings, and screengrabs are also used as source material for GIFs that undergo a transition to become moving images through layers of added motion via animation techniques. GIFs play on an endless loop, which results in a hypnotic quality that frequently renders it difficult to identify a linear progression of where their movements begin and end. Populating a wide range of online locations, animated GIFs are currently thriving on social media, while web platforms dedicated to facilitating their creation and providing electronic viewing galleries are also abundant (2). To…

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