Recently I came by an article titled, The Everlasting GIF by Clive Thompson –
Thompson discusses the popularity of and the simplicity of the GIF. GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format, Thompson was talking about animated GIFs – which comprises a number of frames that are displayed in succession. Thompson goes on to compare the GIF with Muybridge’s ‘galloping horse’ and searches for what it is that attracts us to such a simple moving format. On his blog, The Popular Uncanny, Michael Arnzen talks about this same phenomenon and the idea of bringing a dead, still image to ‘life’ through simple movement. That is what film / video is about for me – the presence or non-presence of images in motion. This is such a sweeping generalization but it is true – the magic of moving images is incredible emotive and impactful even distilled into it’s simplest format. I love how both these writers traced this new and trending format – the animated gif – and brought its ‘power’ back to the beginnings of cinema.
read Arnzen’s post: The Popular Uncanny
and try to read the WIRED article by Clive Thompson at this link – it is called the Everlasting Gif, but I cannot find it online, sadly.