fyi [links, nov 2016]

Some more or less recent stuff, focussed on GIFs. Or other web animations. Or something else loosely connected to that.

There will be a conference about “The New Imageries of GIF Culture”, 24 – 25 November 2016 in Bologna. I know this is on very short notice, but I also just read about it a week or so ago. Luckily, the organisers will provide live streaming of the presentations. If you can’t get enough of GIF research, check out their bibliography.

GIFilter“ is a university project that analysed the main GIF design paradigms and presents the outcome with a poster series.

As neural networks lately are applied to, well, everything, it was only a matter of time until someone develops a GIF search engine on the basis of deep learning and here it is: DeepGIF.

Tom Moody comments on a GIF animation history article and points out a crucial point about Giphy that I can very much relate to:
”Once GIFs have a reliable central location where they can be created, stored, and tweaked, people will stop saving them to their individual devices. Then, the GIF as a free-floating entity will finally shrivel up and die — there will only be Giphy.“

Vine is shutting down. Here we see what could happen to any proprietary piece of software – no matter how popular or important for web culture, it can be discontinued at any time. GIFs however, are not bound to a certain service (yet – despite all the effort Giphy is putting into its GIF domination;) so their fortune mainly depends on the users themselves.

And finally here are three academic papers about GIFs, the latter two of which I haven’t had the time to read entirely yet. But I’m sure that you are able to comprehend them yourselves:)

Gürsimsek, Ödül Akyapi (2016): ”Animated GIFs as vernacular graphic design: producing Tumblr blogs
The author focusses on GIFs related to the series ”Lost“ and how they are appropriated by Tumblr users. She draws some interesting conclusions, including a handy definition of GIF literacy: “GIF literacy is the ability to remediate televisual performance into social cues to be used in vernacular digital communication. This is coupled with the literacy of using image editing software.” (p.347)

Chiarini, Alessandra (2016): ”The Multiplicity of the Loop: The Dialectics of Stillness and Movement in the Cinemagraph

Gygli, Michael; Soleymani, Mohammad (2016): ”Analyzing and Predicting GIF Interestingness


fyi [links, apr 2016]

Some more or less recent stuff, focussed on GIFs. Or other web animations. Or something else loosely connected to that.

A short report on Google’s April Fool’s ”Feature“ which completely went wrong. Why am I linking this? Because by clicking ”Send and Mic Drop“ Google Mail users could end a conversation by sending a Minion Mic Drop GIF – and apparently someone lost their job because of using this accidentally.

Recently, everyone and their grandma is talking about AI, especially after the AlphaGo vs. Lee Go game. Consequently, a pair of artists used a neural network to alter stereoscopic GIFs (wigglegrams) into colourful, trippy versions. They experimented with different art styles to observe how well these play along with the stereoscopic effect.

A GIF of a crucifix machine came across me several times during the last week or so and it was made as part of a master thesis art project. You can watch this and other animations here.

Remember FLIF, another approach for a new lossless image file format with some nice ideas for animation? Here you can read an interview with one of its creators.


A few days ago, the online exhibition ”Geographically Indeterminate Fantasies: The Animated GIF as Place“ was launched. Art F City has some thoughts about it and here you can read a curatorial statement.

And I totally missed the event ”What We Talk About When We Talk About GIFs: Visual Culture and Social Media“, organised by NYU Center for the Humanities. Luckily, all of the presentations can be watched on YouTube.