UMW Groks GIFs

Following up on my last post, Michael Branson Smith‘s Animated GIF presentation and workshop will take place at UMW from 1:00 to 2:30 PM this coming Tuesday, April 14th. Michael’s GIFs are poetry in motion, his Hitchcock Animated Movie Posters series may be some of my favorite GIFs ever.

MBS’s Psycho animated GIF movie poster

His vision for the GIF is equal parts playful, interrogatory, and existential. It’s an absolute thrill to have him coming to UMW to talk about remix culture and lay down some animated GIF lycanthropy! I think we’re a culture in the midst of being transformed by this new, animated vernacular of the web.

This workshop will be happening in the Incubator classroom on the 4th floor of UMW’s brand new Information and Technology Convergence Center (ITCC). I’m hoping the occasion will provide us an opportunity to experiment with some of the myriad possibilities that room provides, such as live streaming and archiving this session. I’ll be sure to make an announcement once we shore this up, but in the meantime below is the description, don’t miss it!

I Grok GIF: An Immersion in the Art and Language of the Animated GIF

They are a dancing banana, a moment in a Stanley Kubrick film, a reaction that says how you feel, or a near miss death defying experience – all repeated endlessly. Sometimes they pause to let you reflect on a moment and sometimes they they move so fast and brightly, they come with seizure warnings. They are bits of internet ephemera shared a million times over in dozens of social media networks and they are an emergent art form selling for real money. They are 256 colors per frame. They are animated GIFs.

Web artist and GIF evangelist, Michael Branson Smith gives an overview of the art, history and spirit of the 28 year old and yet forever young (and looping) Graphics Interchange Format. Bring your cameras, laptops and smart phones so that you too can ‘merge, blend, intermarry, and lose your identity in the GIF experience.’

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