Supernova Digital Animation Festival’s 2020 “GIFathon” is devoted to the short looping Graphics Interchange Format, more commonly referred to as the GIF.
The GIF is a highly charged medium accessible at the end of our fingertips. In a matter of seconds, this digital communication expresses the perfect shorthand for joy, fear, or political satire in a small ready-made loop. In the age of smartphones, this form of hypnotic micro-entertainment has managed to intertwine itself with our day-to-day lives as a nuanced gesture.
The format is small, short and silent, but these restrictions have been able to re-enforce its presence. GIFs ride on the wave of internet culture in a time zone of one new meme per minute. As a result, there exists an endless inventory housed within meme-happy cultural sites such as Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr. GIFs are produced at an accelerating rate. The online database, Giphy, reports that on average a person spends 2 hours per day watching gifs on their website. The average report of users is 200 million per day. For this reason, GIF serves as an important site for visual exploration.
“GIFathon” speaks to the public marathon of watching gifs over and over and the rate at which artists originally create them.
Livy Onalee Snyder / 2020