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Giphy and the art of the Gif

By artist Phyllis Ma/Giphy

Whether you pronounce GIF with a soft or hard “G,” GIF can be described as a type of format, just like the Jpeg or MP3. With the likes of Apple’s Live feature, Instagram’s Boomerang and Google’s Motion Stills app, making GIFs is easier than ever, turning them into their own respectable, artful medium.

Giphy is the new home of the GIFs, dethroning Tumblr and taking them to the next level, even to real life. Giphy recently hosted an exhibition in New York called ‘Loop Dreams,’ showcasing the GIF works of 25 artists “brought to life through holographic posters, projections, VR, and interactive installations.”

What is a GIF?

In short, GIFs are animated photo files, stitched together to look like a looping video that changes states. Ari Spool, the community coordinator at Giphy, tells Wired “A lot of what we think of as GIF art starts out as what we might have thought of 10 years ago as video art.”

GIFs are instantly recognizable, not just because they move but because they’re typically fun and more digestible than videos. As you can see in the epic Thom Yorke and Flying Lotus one below, the future of the medium is bright.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.