motherboard & dazed on GIFs

Four recent "mainstream" articles suggest an upward trend in the use of animated GIFs: Slate, Jezebel, Vice's Motherboard site, and Dazed and Confused, the last of which covers the topic in its December print issue, with the caption "Meet the techno freak kids employing an outdated animation technique to create radical future forms." That's pretty accurate except for the "outdated" part (minor quibble). The journalistic hook in all these articles is that GIFs became discredited and replaced by Flash and now they're back. That's not really true but is more dramatic than saying GIFs never went away, either as web design elements or on popular meme sites such as 4chan and YTMND, staying strong all through the 2000s. What did happen is that companies like Apple, Google and Facebook minimized GIF support (or never had it to begin with), so it seems like GIFs passed out of view to someone who uses only those products.

Update: One small correction so the post makes, um, more sense.

bad at sports on BYOB LA

Was a little disappointed that, in an otherwise copacetic discussion about the BYOB LA show, Guthrie, Seecoy, and Artie smiled favorably on this assessment of the BYOB NY incarnation (from Karen Archey's Post of Revenge):

the content and quality of work shown in such exhibitions is relatively superfluous to the political stance encompassing it. Most important here is the gesture that - perhaps in the face of web-based social networking - physical meet-ups and community building are vital as ever.

As a biased participant in the NY show, I say she's wrong, the work was great. The meet-up was nice, too, but ultimately it's about what's on the walls. I wrote some un-objective, boosterish comments on AFC and believe all that stuff. As for "political stance," so tired of these warmed-over post-structuralist attempts to peg every event as political. It was in a gallery, deal.

when the walls fell


From Alan N. Shapiro's Star Trek: 20 Basic Principles:

Star Trek Basic Principle #7: Non-Signifying Language

In early capitalism, the law of accumulation is limited to the science of "political economy" and production. In late capitalism, it expands to wider instances of consumer culture; psychology (self and unconscious as psychic metaphors of capital); and linguistics ("signification" to infinity). In Chomsky’s linguistics, the brain is a "universal language machine" making possible the translation of all grammars and signifying systems. In Saussure’s linguistics, the playful gap between "signifier" and "signified" is barred by positing their equivalence in a linguistic sign that fixes a word’s identity. But language is sometimes other than a means of communication. In metaphor or poetry, or in the “mythical” speech of the Tamarians, language is not directly signifying. It is symbolic, ambivalent, evocative, and even destructive. "Meanings" are exchanged, subverted, enjoyed, and transformed in relationship and encounter.

image via hi5mountain