“America’s largest classroom” needs to redo its GIF lesson plan. Produced by PBS, the short “Off Book: Animated GIFs” charts an error-ridden history of the animated GIF, and offers unquestioning belief in the mythology that new technology and new art necessarily represents progress. Two artist collaborative teams using the file format are invited to talk: Pamela Reed and Mathew Rader of Reed+Rader, and Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. They present little more than cliches. Patrick Davison and TopherChris of Memefactory and Tumblr, respectively, also offer their perspective, though TopherChris is the only one who offers any insight at all.
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