Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Monday, 3 January 2011

Goodbye, Year of the GIF

I made this GIF* two years ago to bring in 2009. I felt very positive about the new year having spent the last 6 or so months discovering animated gifs and net based art. The following New Year, I was completely inactive, being almost midway into a 6 month hiatus where I didn't post here or image dump on tumblr, and pretty much kept myself in the dark on the subject. Little did I know, I was missing the first half of the year of the animated gif.

Luckily, I did keep lightly in touch thanks to a few favorite blogs via Google Reader and noticed that dump.fm was getting quite a lot of attention from Tom Moody. I kind of wrote it off as another Tumblr (which I quickly realised wasn't exactly true), and a couple initial visits to the site didn't really encourage me - which can be the case for many first time visitors - as it can be a bit difficult as a newcomer to interject in what feels like a private party. What finally got me excited was the (brief) digital pog renaissance (currently immortalised on one of dump's "pages"). I made a couple new pogs in excitement, sad that I missed the dump session itself.

The feature I enjoyed most (but which no longer exists) was the calendar of themes/assignments. They set it up so that everyday, or most days, a theme would be thrown out there to work from, which would then result in a page like the pog page listed above. It was a great way to get the ball rolling and focus the brainstorming (I'm a subscriber to the idea that limitation breeds innovation). It also made it a lot easier to join in on the conversation, but I digress ...

Tumblr and dump.fm helped bring a new gif based aesthetic into the mainstream, expanding from the insider/web-only context to art exhibitions around the globe, articles in mainstream press (online and off), and even a few music videos directed by favorite gif artists. Although the animated gif as a format may not translate well outside of the browser, it's the look that appears to be making the outroads. I'll be interested to see what happens in the new year.

* On a gloomier side note, I thought about the above GIF because, yeah, it's another new year, but also because Horatio (the grey one) passed away on Christmas Eve. She was Mark and my first cat and was the sweetest, loveliest cat. She wasn't without problems, she had a chronic health problem that was often quite distressing - for her and us - but her passing (due to cancer) was very sudden and very very sad (she was only 8). RIP Horatio, you were the best!

Anonymous Delivers

Posted in the comments of a previous post.

I'm posting it here (slightly resized) because the images don't show in the Blogger comments like they would dump.