For more than 30 years, the virtual landscape of the internet has seen the rise of the GIF, from a popular image format that mixes moving and still images to a pervasive phenomena of visual online communications. GIFs are a constant presence in our contemporary digital life: their silent clips of unremitting repetitions of movement are continuously being appropriated and re-signified in a myriad of different new uses and meanings This article discusses this current ubiquity of the GIF format while investigating its background, possible reasons and repercussions. The author briefly introduces the history of this type of image to lead a discussion on its particulars relations to temporality and movement. After considering its dichotomies, she works on a comparison between the GIFs and the pre cinematic devices, drawing on a correlation to Giorgio Agamben’s concept of the gesture.
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