“A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.” Oscar Wilde
The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and has since come into widespread usage on the World Wide Web due to its wide support and portability… In 2012, the word “GIF” was officially recognized as a verb as well as a noun, meaning “to create a GIF file”… GIFs can be used for small animations and low-resolution film clips. The US wing of the Oxford University Press voted it their word of the year, saying that GIFs have evolved into “a tool with serious applications including research and journalism” Wikipedia
When I first read the Weekly Writing Challenge on Animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), which, in layman’s term, is a digital file with short, looping animated images/graphics, what came to mind were those garish, animated cartoon character images of the 1980s/90s. I used a few of them in PowerPoint presentations, saw them attached to good/bad jokes, and didn’t think further of the genre… Two decades later, the format has become quite popular. It has moved from its early image of junior high school hijinks to political cartoons of the new millennium, and evolved into an art-form of sorts; becoming sophisticated, engaging, artistic and innovative. It recently gained additional muscle by being voted the Oxford University Press, Oxford American Dictionary, 2012 word of the year. OUP chose Omnishambles as the 2012 word for the Oxford English Dictionary. The GIF has come into its own gaining kudos along the way.
Katherine Martin, Head of the US Dictionaries Program, noted that “The GIF, a compressed file format for images that can be used to create simple, looping animations, turned 25 this year, but like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier…” Who knew that three letter abbreviation for a file format would one day gain such attention? As I investigated further, I found out that GIF now includes the truly hot – Cinemagraph. Cinemagraph is a term coined by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg of AnnStreetStudio.com. (Read their Interview.) Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs. For this post, I’ve included a few examples from Jamie and Kevin’s work, (collected on their Tumblr, From Me to You), for your enjoyment. Are GIFs ideal political cartoons for the millennium? Sure. About 51+% WP voters agreed with me. Is this art? Why not. More below.
“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau
Even though a small percentage of WP voters (16.67%) claimed to not know what an Animated GIF was, and another 31.88% thought the idea was silly, the results showed that, as a community, we are willing to stop and consider the merits of a trending topic in the media and share what we think. If you are the hands on type, you can learn to how to make a Cinemagraph and/or even create your own GIFs. Go on. Try it!
What are your thoughts? Have you given much thought to GIFs? Do you use them in your work? Do share! Thank you.
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… I’m back on track with reading and responding to your blogs; albeit at a slow pace. Thank you all for your patience!
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind The Gap – Animated GIF Are animated GIFs the stuff of junior high school hijinks or, are they the political cartoons of the new millennium? What do you think? Take the poll (below) and then explain your opinion by blogging about it on your site.
Positive Motivation Tip: Stay connected to your mind gaps… Explore the world and grow.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos GIF via Yahoo/The Atlantic Wire, Hot via Animation Library, Crushing cigarette, PCH, via AnnStreetStudio, Waving Reef Cinemagraph, Newton’s Cradle, Rotating Earth, via Wikipedia
- Qu’est-ce Que Art? (fishofgold.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Writing Challenge – Mind the Gap (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- The evolution from GIF to Cinemagraph (conversations.nokia.com)
- a gif that keeps on giving (plaridel.wordpress.com)
- 2012 shall henceforth be known as the year of the animated GIF(digitaltrends.com)
- Computerized flip books | Shadoza: In My World
- Ode to Animated GIFs | artist. hippie. cali chick. chic. nerd. beach bum. fashionista.
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Gettin’ GIFFY With It | Just Josh
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Is GIF the way to go… « perjalanan menuju entahlah
- Politics or Playgrounds? « Of course there’s a “why”…
- Weekly Writing Challenge: With political cartoons less is more; Marshall McLuhan and Twitter « DCMontreal
- Weekly Writing Challenge: The Minister of Magic expresses concern over GIF debate | artmoscow
- Weekly Writing Challenge:Gifs(Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone) | Renato Vasconcellos David
- Animated GIFs, junk or art? | Tony’s Texts
- Mind the Gap: the beauty of gifs | Seriously Seeking Grannies
- Cinemagraphs: What it looks like when a photo moves (WashingtonPost.com)
- 5 Reaction GIF Sites For When You Just Don’t Know What To Say (makeuseof.com)
- Explaining Animated GIFs – Or Not (commoncraft.com)