Relevant art alert 🚨
  1. In 2011, a trend began.
  2. The newfound ironic love of the 90s aesthetic, rise of Tumblr curation, and competition amongst a hotbed of Internet creators resulted in the resurgence of the animated GIF.
  3. In a YouTube era, animated GIFs were theoretically obsolete.
    Initially, they offered the only (reasonable) method for delivering a moving image to your browser. The internet kept finding a place for the often-tacky animations, even after they were culturally shunned from banner and pop-up ads. Thank your twinkly MySpace for keeping the format alive.
  4. The extreme pace of content amplification on Tumblr put pressure on creators to make the next best thing.
    Between the highly popular curated GIF hashtag and ubiquity of the format in TV/film fandoms, animated GIFs held a crazy amount of potential.
  5. Enter: the cinemagraph.
  6. Cinemagraphs emphasize a subtle, continuous loop of movement.
    The result is a high-quality and totally mesmerizing moving photograph.
  7. Photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck dedicated themselves to the format, even originally coining the term cinemagraph.
    They're hired by publishers and brands for their meticulously crafted pieces, resulting in striking GIFs for everything from fashion to travel.
  8. Beck and Burg's cinemagraphs are each shot in 4K (the resolution you see in most movies these days) and rendered with impeccable attention to detail, giving each piece an unprecedented smoothness.
  9. You have to remember: this was one of the first art GIFs ever (by artist Olia Lialina in 1997).
  10. Now we get THIS.
  11. 😍
  12. Others adopted the ultra-smooth loop they pioneered.
  13. It's now considered the peak of GIF art.
    (At least in my book. No hate to those making revolving WordArt. I appreciate you too.)
  14. So if the use of animated GIFs makes you roll your eyes…
  15. …just remember, there's room for artistic adaptation in anything.
  16. 🆒