Saturday, March 3, 2018

Gif Read and Response

Gabriella Gong
Professor Tasmuth
Intro to Digital Studio
Gifs Read and Response
In 2018, the term “gif” makes one think of the infamous internet debate on pronunciation (gif or jif), Twitter memes, and, perhaps to some of the moms of Facebook, those eCards that say clever things and you send to your children or friends on their birthday, sometimes with a gift card and sometimes without. According the the articles, particularly “Ubiquitous Minicema,” gifs can sometimes be thought of as amateur or as a form of art that has been preserved and used in modern culture. This is entirely correct. Gifs have indeed evolved, and often they are a loop of a part of a video, rather than individualized pieces of art, like those of Chuck Poytner, but their reach is still expansive. Gifs are a quick, easy form of communication, and they evoke a sense of movement, relatability, and often humor. Particularly in my generation, gifs are used as fast and disposable memes, and while the content may be different, the format remains the same.

More than the cultural phenomenon of gifs remaining relevant to the next generation of internet users, gifs are also social and democratic. The social aspect is mostly addressed above, as the quick means of communication across the globe is simply punctuated by easy access to gifs. They are even included in our text messages, now, as a means to respond to a person in the form of a moving image and not actual words. However,  gifs are also democratic by nature, promoting the exchange of information and culture all across the globe, and inviting everyone’s voice to be heard with just a few seconds of a moving image on loop.

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