A Delightful History of the GIF, in 2 Minutes

This week, thousands at Miami Art Week will bear witness to the show’s first open-submission curated GIF festival.

This week, the GIF debuts as high art. The video below is a brief explainer to accompany Moving the Still, the animated GIF exhibit on display at the world-famous Miami Art Week. The groundbreaking festival includes pieces carefully selected from over 3,500 open submissions, some of which can be viewed on Tumblr’s Storyboard for those of us without a ticket to the swanky event.

Directed by Sean Pecknold and produced by LEGS Media, A Short History of the GIF chronicles the graphic interchange format’s journey from the late 1980s through the dot com bubble up to today’s multi-platform media world -- in claymation. Not only did the GIF pave the way for future digital art memes, but even the savviest of media creators cannot decide whether to pronounce it with a hard or soft ‘g’. (Hint: Inventor Steve Whilhite pronounced it like the peanut butter brand).

For more by LEGS Media, visit their site.

Via Vimeo’s Staff Picks.

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

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