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Loop the Loop. Loop the Loop Technology A brief history of the GIF Screengrab from, March 2013 If an annual award for the ‘hottest digital image format online’ existed, this year’s winner would be the Graphics Interchange Format or gif: an eight-bit, 256-colour bitmap picture file that can composite a series of stills into an infinitely loopable, silent moving image.

Loop the Loop

Two factors have contributed to its popularity: pragmatically, the GIF is a quick-to-load file supported by every web browser; and, in terms of visual pleasure, the GIF can combine the ‘decisive moment’ economy of a JPEG with the irresistible affectivity of moving image. The GIF’s pop-cultural tipping point came in 2012. Created in 1987 by the digital communications company CompuServe, the GIF was originally designed for speedy transfer across pre-World Wide Web Internet networks. By the early 2000s, web users turned to design templates, and gifs were shunned as signifiers of amateurishness.

Morgan Quaintance. Internet Artists Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the GIF. At One London Gallery, Animated GIFs Become Art. Animated GIFs may be the latest way to crack a joke, but at one London exhibit, they’re also an art form. Born in 1987: The Animated GIF, a recently launched project at The Photographers’ Gallery, features more than 40 animated GIFs created by artists of various disciplines — many of whom were working with the medium for the first time. The gallery has dedicated a garage-door-size screen to the digital creations, which include a woman in a sarong twirling a hoola-hoop, a shifting block of squares and a landscape with three trees that subtly sway with the wind.

“In a world where most Digital SLR cameras can shoot high definition video, digital technology raises questions concerning what a photograph is and how we make sense of it,” said Katrina Sluis, the curator of a digital series that begins with the animated GIF exhibit, in a statement. “Our opening show embraces the animated GIF as a uniquely screen-based image.” In this GIF by Seán Hillen, a woman raises a cigarette to her mouth. STORY OF AN UNWANTED RETURN: THE GIF SAGA. Le format .gif, devenu aujourd'hui figure emblématique de l'internet 2.0, n'a pourtant pas eu la vie facile.


Longtemps considéré comme l'hystérique de la famille des images en tout genre, ahurissant de mauvais goût et très mauvais pour notre acuité visuelle, il marque aujourd'hui un retour fulgurant. The .gif, currently an emblematic part of the Web 2.0, hasn't always had the best reputation. Long considered as the black swan of the image world and characterized by its questionable taste is making its big comeback. Le creux de la vague: Lors du lancement des premières offres d'internet haut-débit, le gif, format au chargement facile des offres 56K, s'est retrouvé totalement has been, sans que personne ne s'en plaigne. Le gif et la 3D s'invitent dans la photographie. Le GIF, on le voit tous comme cette image kitsh animée en 8 bits qui envahissait les pages web à une époque aujourd'hui presque ancienne, image souvent aux couleurs criardes et dont l'intérêt d'utilisation était quasiment inexistant, en plus d'être une hérésie pour les yeux du lecteur.

Le gif et la 3D s'invitent dans la photographie

Pourtant, ce format est remis au goût du jour et ne semble pas prêt de disparaître de sitôt, apparaissant désormais dans de nombreux milieux artistiques, clips, images et photographies. Premier exemple, ce tumblr où l'on trouve une multitude de gifs animés reprenant des scènes de cinéma, immortalisant un mouvement, une scène, un regard, célébrant ainsi la justesse d'une danse endiablée de Pulp Fiction ou bien encore l'attitude désinvolte d'un Don Corleone dans The godfather. Which is it? Gif or Jif? Off Book - Animated GIFs:... GIF-Industrial Complex: An Inside Look.

One weekend afternoon in September, Mike Konczal sat down at his computer to research a blog post.

GIF-Industrial Complex: An Inside Look

Another miserable jobs report had restarted the debate about what, if anything, the Federal Reserve should do to help unemployed Americans find a job. Konczal, a Roosevelt Institute think tanker specializing in economics, wanted to write about it. But he knew he couldn’t do it the way the rest of the media had, a stultifying mix of acronyms and technical terms. “Even the people who wanted to learn about it could just not learn that way,” Konczal told me. The most important news is almost always the most arcane. He had an idea: You explain it with GIFs. GIFs, for the uninitiated, are animated image files that play from beginning to end, then snap back to the beginning and begin anew, ad infinitum. Konczal spent that weekend afternoon researching GIFs. What he assembled was an economic treatise unlike any other.

What started as an Internet trifle had become a marketable skill.