We live in an age of great GIF ubiquity. The animated images, receptacles of small, silent feeling, news, or art, are everywhere and here to stay. GIFs are malleable yet sharable, concise yet context-free.
They’re also trapped online: Introduced in 1987, the Graphic Interchange Format is a product and prisoner of the digital world.
Or are they? A new project is trying to liberate GIFs from the digital world with the help of one old, weird, 20th-century technology.
Read more. [Image: Hwang and Binx]
The U.S. Census Bureau works with a lot of data. That makes sense, because they have a lot of data! So they need a tool to collate it, organize it, sort through it, sniff through it… a weasel-like tool… a…
A Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. is the tool you use to sort through US Census data. To advertise it, the Census Bureau has a data ferret GIF
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
Aristotle called laughter an “ensouling mechanism,” and the academic discipline of humor studies has built itself upon the assumption that laughter is a quintessentially human response to the socio-cultural discourse of humor. Laughter is offered as proof of our exceptional status as thinking social creatures; we are "the only animal that laughs." GIFs that feature sniggering squirrels, cackling cartoon toasters, and rollicking robots would seem to undermine this selfish view of laughter as an exclusively human activity. But even worse, the laugh-loop GIF disassociates laughter from humor. By severing laughter from the context that incites it, the laugh-loop GIF reveals that laughter is not only a consequence of its sociocultural coordinates, but also a weird object in itself. Laughter, it seems, is not ‘for us’ but has its own alien being that has hitherto been masked by its everydayness.
- "I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day. I felt like I was blinded by headlights."
— Viktor Prokofiev, 36, a resident of Yekaterinburg, where the meteorite hit in the Urals Mountains
- "What was it? People said it was a plane that fell and exploded. I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, very bright light. It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started, I really thought it was like doomsday. It was so scary especially the explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My camera couldn’t reproduce how strong the bang was.’”
— Gulnara Dudka, a woman in her 20s
He had something bugging him — literally.
An artist’s quest to make art tailored to the Internet, in the physical spaces of modern Los Angeles, London, and Newcastle.
See more. [Images:INSA/UNGA]
Charting 2012’s Top Cultural Obsessions
You can’t talk 2012 without talking GIFs: the year’s cultural superstar, the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year, and the means by which the internet shared its obsessions (and we all know the internet really likes to obsess). From the GIF to politics to the apocalypse to Honey Boo Boo, the guys from I Love Charts bring you the year’s top cultural obsessions — in GIF form, of course.
2012 was a year where major issues dominated the global narrative. Mainly we talked about the election and zombies.