The Art Of The GIF

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 12 2012 @ 8:40pm

First, a history:

Alex Balk double-takes:

Is it really pronounced "jiff"? Because if so I have been embarrassing myself for years now.

Christine Erickson elaborates on the video:

As technology advanced, using GIFs became an outdated, less fashionable format. According to Patrick Davison of MemeFactory, the format began to increase in popularity again around 2007 or 2008. "People started to realize that you can use GIFs for tons of different things," says Davison. "And now that we’re in 2012 there’s more GIFs online, but you also have way more places to put them." Sites such as Reddit, Tumblr, WordPress and even Twitter are all, to some extent, content-curating sites that have created what Davison calls "post-modern GIFs."

"Humans really like repetition — we feel comfortable with it — and sometimes just the longer you watch something, the funnier it gets or it will actually change meaning," says TopherChris, Tumblr’s community manager and editorial director.

Erickson also points to the next level of GIF art, the cinemagraph, a series of still images with subtle moving elements. For a heavy dose of GIF-ness, check out Ann Friedman's "International Slutty Women's Day: A Story in GIFs". Another great use of GIF art after the jump: