The “GIF Free For All” Awards Go To…

by Whitney Kimball on September 3, 2014 · 2 comments GIF of the Day


[Above: okjusthavingafatday.gif, by Andrew Benson]

GIF Free For All“, a new GIF show launched in conjunction with  Computer Art Congress 4 – CAC4 Rio de Janeiro, and curated by A. Bill Miller, is clearly not about competition. But we are! Being a critical art blog, we’re taking it upon ourselves to rank these GIFs whether you want our approval or not.

Criteria are:

  • how long the GIF holds our interest
  • how well the GIF is looped
  • how much the GIF subverts our expectations for the format
  • depth of meaning

Out of thirty-one GIFs by nineteen artists, we’re posting our four favorites along with brief explanation on why we think it’s successful.


“2.3mb.gif”, Jennifer Chan (above)

So emo, and so subtle. It’s a slower, more nuanced pain than you’re used to seeing in graphics of somebody getting their heart ripped out of their chest. This could go with a Greenday or Rammstein song, or anything.


“Hello”, “Bye”, Antonio Roberts

Coming in at number three, “Hello”, “Bye” is a joke that you don’t get unless you watch both GIFs and read their file names (the top GIF is named “hello”). The extra few seconds of effort pays off. Internet.


“Forest”, La Turbo Avedon

This GIF moved up in the ranks after watching it several times. Why make a hyperreal rendering of a flimsy one-dimensional copy of nature? An artist with seemingly limitless rendering powers defers to making falling paper subject to the confines of real world gravity. It’s kind of genius.


“Garden Variety” (series), Lorna Mills

Even on a site filled with friscalating 2000 pixel wide perfectly looped pixel paintings, and GIFS which mimic the flow and reflections of water, “dragon with tits” wins again. Elegant integration of different sources. A hypnotic range of movements designed to draw the eye inward, and hold it there. And how booby GIFs turn us into a swarm of pixelly dragon trolls swarming around a headless chicken like flies– so. true.


strunken white September 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Your tags are right, but in the article his name should be “A. Bill Miller”

Paddy Johnson September 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Whoops. Thanks for that. Correction made!

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