A Brief History Of The GIF [Video]

The Graphics Interchange Format celebrates its 25th birthday with an exhibit at Miami Art Week.

It’s fitting that this short little history of the GIF is well, brief and animated. The less-than-two-minute video, produced by LEGS and directed by Sean Pecknold, celebrates the 25th birthday of the GIF, and is part of a larger ‘GIF Festival’ that recognizes the impact of the digital image format. Moving The Still is ‘the first large-scale, open call festival for original GIF art,’ created to bring greater attention to the artistic quality of the GIF. The exhibit was curated by Paddle8 and powered by Tumblr, and the winning submissions are currently on display at Miami Art Week.

Johnny Misheff, the Chief Council Member of Moving The Still, speaks to the decision to create a GIF Festival:

The GIF is one of the most recognized and well-loved forms of digital media in use today.  We’re celebrating it’s 25th birthday this year… Everyone currently using the internet has seen a GIF.  The last few years have seen the GIF rise to a level of prominence of epic proportions.  Artists have taken to the medium with an incredible fervor.  Businesses use them to send lighter, more compressed advertisements via email.  The Net Generation has taken to the GIF in myriad ways, from fan art to the revolutionary meme.  Perhaps more than any other medium, the GIF embraces a diversity inherent in its simple function. Plus, they are extremely fun and easy to make.

The time for officially celebrating the GIF is long overdue and we are thrilled to celebrate it in this unique and totally groundbreaking way…Everyone seemed to agree this is the perfect moment and platform to properly exhibit the GIF, and to honor it by giving it its due place in a greater artistic conversation.

And although the GIF is, by definition, a digital media art form, the video cleverly showcases its history with the help of analog animation- claymation.  Watch the video below:

Visit Moving The Still here to see the winning submissions or visit the exhibition at Miami Art Week.

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