The GIF was originally just supposed to be just a flexible and easy format to use for the Web, then it began saturating webpages with its colorful, flashy, blinking, moving graphics to inform early web users where things are supposed to be, Click Here, Mailbox, Page Under Construction, etc.
Eventually, it became nice to play around with, spurring memes that ranged from whimsically fun to insanely hilarious, from snarky to political, from mesmerizing to annoying. Still tacky, yes, but they do a good job of sending the appropriate message.
Despite the existence of other superlative formats such as PNG, JPEG, and Adobe Flash, the GIF, just like its inherent persistent nature, stuck around. More history of the GIF here.
Thankfully, some people have created another use for GIFs, which is art. Enter Micael Reynaud, a French designer who's been churning out lots of neat stuff with the format.
|Courtesy of ThisIsColossal.com|
This carousel GIF reminds me of a scene in Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. The eternal whirl and whir of that carousel at dusk, ugh.
But the Reynaud GIFs are memorable. They're something else. They're crazy yet brilliant, insistent yet not painful to watch. And there's a story embedded in it, waiting to be deciphered.
|Courtesy of Wired.com|
More mind-bending GIFs from Micael Reynaud
And oh, by the way, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. I have to remind myself of that from now on.