GIF art, a form of digital art, emerged in the early 2000s. The technology for animated GIF images has existed since 1987, but early in the 2010s the medium expanded dramatically as a new generation of artists focused on experimenting with its potential for presenting creativity on the World Wide Web. Mass access to the Internet allowed their GIFs to travel rapidly and virally online and to be recognized as a new form of art. Tumblr is often mentioned as the birthplace of GIF art. New styles and genres such as Cinemagraphs1 or GIF-iti’s2 have emerged; in May 2015 even Facebook added GIF support after originally rejecting it. Exhibitions and art projects are bringing the gif format into our everyday reality: NO AD3, an augmented reality app by Re+Public4, replaces the commercial messages plastered on public walls with animated gifs. In recent years, GIF art is accepted by the audience, contemporary art galleries and institutions like the Museum of the Moving Image (New York City).
While there are blogs5 dedicated solely to gifs from movies, or genres and characters6, on Giphy7, the largest gif repository, movies become only one of the categories found on the page with tags searchable under different hashtags: directors, movies or genre are also shareable on Facebook or Twitter directly from Giphy’s page.
Movie posters8 are animated in a Gif format to pay tribute to a few cult films. All the movie scenes on the posters move in front of our eyes:
Full length movies condensed into short gifs are submitted to Reddit9. It seems that after an intensified continuity10 and sped up films on YouTube11 movies are condensed also by the Gif format.
Some artists works such as Dusan Cezek’s Animated movie moments12 are drawing inspiration from movies and re-create the scene in a specific style such as 8-bit.
Floris Kloet13 or Gustaf Mantel14 are making Cinemagraphs capturing moments from different movies.
Movement, Form and Meaning: The Perpetual Series by Kasumi15 is representing “multiplied movements attaining unfamiliar forms. Gestures repeated generate chimeras half-human, half-change-and-variation. Extracted from the frames of mid-20th Century propaganda films, B movies, educational and instructional shorts and television commercials, the figures in these works take on the wave-like coruscations of a wheat field in a late summer wind or the driving force of a factory filled with working machinery. ”
Twohundredfiftysixcolors16 is a silent, 97-minute film comprised entirely of animated GIFs. It features looping images of Beyoncé, Slavoj Žižek, Pizza Dog, 9-11, Eadweard Muybridge’s pre-cinema animations, ASCII, dinosaurs on treadmills, meme-bits, early Internet artifacts, and artist-submitted works.
In the 19th century, optical toys with peculiar names—zoetropes, praxinoscopes, zoopraxiscopes—created the illusion of motion by showing a succession of images in rapid sequence, helping pave the way for the movies. But unlike a 20th-century film (and unlike other 19th-century moving picture amusements, such as the flipbook) they span in a circle rather than progressing from beginning to end. Some of them feel surprisingly modern, even psychedelic.
Contemporary computer based Gif’s are also turned into optical toys too: the Giphoscope17 turns digital video & GIFs into an analog, hand-cranked sculpture, a piece of art and craftsmanship.
The Giphoscope is the world first analog GIF player:
- A Cinemagraph is an image that contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly, http://cinemagraphs.com/about/ ↩
- GIF-iti, the process of transforming street art into moving GIFs, http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/worlds-largest-gif-iti-comes-alive-in-taiwan , http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/jan/26/art-gifs-insa-biggest-animated-technology , https://streetart.withgoogle.com/en/gif-art ↩
- NO AD, http://noad-app.com/ ↩
- RE+PUBLIC, http://www.republiclab.com/ ↩
- A blog dedicated solely to gifs from movies, http://allmoviegifs.tumblr.com/ ↩
- Gifs from different movie genres, historical period, etc., http://gifmovie.tumblr.com/ ↩
- Giphy, http://giphy.com/search/funny-movie/2 http://giphy.com/search/animated-movie-gif/2 ↩
- Animated movie posters, http://www.fubiz.net/2014/05/06/animated-movie-posters-in-gif/ ↩
- Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/FullMovieGifs ↩
- David Bordwell, Instensified continuity, http://academic.csuohio.edu/kneuendorf/frames/editing/Bordwell02.pdf ↩
- Sped up movies on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3brFkh4DGg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vggXOvxOLnI, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V_Iv-yoHgA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPPAN2kR58M, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9QN7jEZ0nQ, https://vimeo.com/108157777 ↩
- Dusan Cezek, Animated movie moments, http://www.ignant.de/2014/02/14/gif-art-by-dusan-cezek/ ↩
- Floris Kloet, http://technoir.nl/ , http://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/24-incredibly-beautiful-and-mesmerising-movie-gifs#.aqM6GaPoe ↩
- Gustaf Mantel, http://iwdrm.tumblr.com/ ↩
- Kasumi, http://www.kasumifilms.com/ ↩
- Twohundredfiftysixcolors, http://www.fastcompany.com/3036241/this-film-is-made-from-3000-gifs ↩
- Giphoscope, http://www.giphoscope.com/ ↩