Time Out Consults “The World’s Foremost GIF Scholars” from SAIC
In November, the Oxford American Dictionary bestowed the title “Word of the Year 2012” to “GIF,” the short, looped animations mass disseminated through popular Internet channels like Tumblr. Seeking perspectives on the sudden “GIF boom,” Time Out Chicago consulted “the world’s foremost GIF scholars” SAIC professors Eric Fleischauer (Film, Video, New Media, and Animation) and Jason Lazarus (Photography)in an interview published on January 10. Together the pair created twohundredfiftysixcolors, a film that Fleischauer calls “a curated, crowd-sourced collection of over 3,000 animated GIFs that have been transformed into a cinematic event.” Although GIFs may often seem insignificant, both argue that the form offers a significant deal of creative versatility. “In what other medium can you so easily create an infinitely floating, rotating, morphing sculpture in an imagined environment, or kinetic text?” Lazarus asks. Twohundredfiftysixcolors will screen at SAIC’s Gene Siskel Film Center this April during the spring season of Conversations at the Edge (CATE).