Artists turn GIFs into hypnotic artform

A new festival dedicated to celebrating GIFs is about to take place, and with it come 50 exciting and rather artistic animated GIFs that are sure to have you entranced.

GIFs are of course a great way of communicating an emotion or sharing a reference (or for extra social media points, both at the same time), but few people would consider them an art form. Noise x GIF Fest 2017 aims to change this by celebrating the artistic worth of GIFs.

The event is well timed. Earlier this year GIFs hit a big milestone as the format turned 30. Traditionally for us humans, turning 30 is a big deal accompanied by appropriately epic celebrations. So it seems fair that GIFs, which have brought so much joy to us over the years, should be treated to a party in the shape of a festival, too.

Adeline Tan (aka @yell0w)'s GIF goes on and on and on seamlessly

Adeline Tan (aka @yell0w)'s GIF goes on and on and on seamlessly

Running from 4 October through to 11 October, GIF Fest is a festival inspired by the theme 'Spellbound'. 

It's billed as Singapore's largest GIF event to-date (we'd be intrigued to see how much competition it faced) and aims "to capture the richness of the GIF as an artistic medium and explore its role as a form of digital art, entertainment and creative communication."

Entry to Noise x GIF fest is free

Entry to Noise x GIF fest is free

As well as recognising GIFs as an art form, the festival will showcase 50 GIFs created by graphic designers, animators and photographers based on the event's theme. Over 500 GIFs were submitted to the festival following an open call for submissions, so the 50 chosen are a shortlist of the best around.

Testing for @giffestsg is the new fun thing #giffestsg #spellbound

A photo posted by @mojokoworld on Sep 1, 2017 at 11:32am PDT

“GIF Fest seems to have captured the imagination of a whole wave of artists and amateurs," says the founder and curator of the festival, Steve Lawler. 

"It’s been exciting to see them experimenting with new techniques and taking their work to the next level. Inspiring.” Lawler (aka @mojokoworld) even had a go at making a GIF himself, as his Instagram post above shows.

RIP your eyes (GIF by Ella Zheng, aka @designerinsingapore)

RIP your eyes (GIF by Ella Zheng, aka @designerinsingapore)

Dani Newman, community director at GIPHY, particularly loved Ella Zheng’s GIF (above). Newman says: “This GIF shows the potential of what is possible in just four frames of a GIF. It is beautifully designed and I couldn't help but to open up the file to enjoy each frame on its own and to keep from getting hypnotised.”

Singaporean street photographer Aik-Beng-Chia (@aikbengchia) made this GIF ahead of his workshop

Singaporean street photographer Aik-Beng-Chia (@aikbengchia) made this GIF ahead of his workshop

The festival will host activities such as workshops, live performances and talks. The programme includes a workshop hosted by Aik Beng Chia, one of Singapore’s most followed street photographers on Instagram, on how to bring photos (like his cinemagraph above) to life. 

The talent on show is impressive. There's even, appropriately, a performance planned by indie-electronic musical duo .GIF.

Get inspired by browsing some of these artistic GIFs by clicking left to right in the gallery, below.

The GIFs will be showcased through large projections, large screens and secret rooms for attendees to marvel at in full glory.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.