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GIFs: A Passé Format Becomes A Cultural Phenomenon

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joshua Carrafa's "Abbey Road" scene captured from Music History in GIFs (Joshua Carrafa)

2012 was a big year for the GIF. The animated file format, once mainly associated with GeoCities "under construction" pages and the mid-90s "dancing baby," exploded in popularity thanks to the blogging platform Tumblr. GIFs have become ubiquitous -- summarizing a year in sports; explaining economic policy; endlessly repeating cringe-worthy moments; and even teaching us music history

We talk with Joshua Carrafa, creator of the Music History in GIFs blog -- and Chadwick Matlin, author of a recent piece in The New Republic called "Inside the GIF Industrial Complex" about why GIFs have become so popular, whether they're art, and how music might be seeping into the traditionally silent medium. 

Adding music clips to GIFs has become popular on sites like Reddit -- watch a mashup below. 


Joshua Carrafa and Chadwick Matlin

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