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This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Talking GIFs, Kissing Painting, Watching Dogs

by Michael Anthony Farley on February 16, 2016
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What a week for New York City! From the small gestures aimed at pedestrians, like project space FOUR A.M. in the Lower East Side, to the triumphant return of Jack Early to Chelsea on Thursday night, we’ve got you covered on weeknights. Our very own Paddy Johnson will be speaking at NYU on Friday all about our favorite medium: GIFs. Be sure to pre-register for the event, which has a reception where you can say hi! Then, head to Bushwick for a night of group and two-person shows at neighboring artist-run spaces Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Transmitter, and Underdonk. Saturday, check out perpetual AFC fav Alex Ebstein’s yoga mat paintings at Ridgewood’s lorimoto. But Sunday might be the day that goes down as one of the weirdest and most fun in the city’s art history: Greater New York artist Hayley Aviva Silverman is mashing-up 1990s disaster cinema with 1830s literature for a theatrical production starring dogs. Let that singular experience marinate on your 35 minute M train ride to Chinatown Soup, where Joyce Yu-Jean Lee’s pop-up cybercafe promises to give us a glimpse of what the internet looks like in China (hint: very different) plus snacks!

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GIF of the Day: All the Important GIFs You’re Missing on the LINE App

by Corinna Kirsch and Dylan Schenker on June 4, 2015
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At heart, we’re all lovesick bears and emo rabbits.

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GIF of the Day: The Worst GIF Exhibition of All Time

by Corinna Kirsch on May 26, 2015


GIF It!, a Paris-based exhibition set to open on June 11 might be the most fundamentally flawed GIF exhibition of all time. A look at some of the exhibition’s misguided assumptions:

1. GIFs are dead.

The press release for GIF It! calls it “the first living GIF exhibition,” which really just means that GIFs have been turned into lenticulars. As GIF It! tells it, GIFs’ legitimacy is earned only once they become “alive” objects, thus suggesting by omission that on the screen GIFs are dead.

2. GIFs are magic.

More from the press release: “Animations are triggered when moving around via optical illusion. Magic!”

It’s not magic—it’s a combination of forces, like frame rates, software, history, memes, and, lest we not forget, the brain of an artist. “Magic” just reduces these GIFs to nothing more than a cool, fly-by-night gimmick—like a magic eye poster.

3. GIFs are for boys.

Unsurprisingly, none of the eight exhibiting artists are women.

4. GIFs are not art.

Until you put them inside a physical frame. Again, from the press release: “GIF IT! pulls Gifs out of screens and raise them as works of art.” This has never been a serious argument—it’s like saying video art is not art until you put it inside a frame, or that a poodle is not a poodle until you shave off its fur into dainty poofs.

5. GIFs use too much energy.

No comment on this part of the press release: “It is time to propose a new art, appreciable off-screens without the need for a source of energy.”

If all that makes you want to rush out to the opening, there’s an added bonus. When you donate $6 or more to the exhibition’s online fundraiser, you will receive one free drink at the opening, held at a hybrid coffee shop/wine bar/clothing store.

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The United Nations Development Programme Fights Ebola With GIFs

by Corinna Kirsch on December 2, 2014
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People like GIFs. People don’t want Ebola.

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Make a $10,000 GIF for Giphy

by Whitney Kimball on October 22, 2014
"See money raining down on me" from

“See money raining down on me” from

“GIF of the Day” fans, artists, readers: a gift to you. Giphy is holding a $10,000 contest to make a digital sticker. The sticker doesn’t even have to be animated, and it can just be something you made that’s lying around from years past. By sticker, I’m pretty sure they just mean an animated GIF or a picture. It will not stick to things. This is likely the largest sum of money any individual will stand to make off a GIF in 2014.

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