This is a “cinemagraph,” an animated GIF created by New York collaborators Jamie Beck (the photographer) and Kevin Burg, a motion graphics designer. Vonstipatz likes it because it’s something that is simply stunning, guaranteed to make you stop and stare. It’s just plain cool. How often do we find something that actually creates a sense of awe?
Animated GIFS are more commonly thought of as those tiny little attachments you add in emails–squinting yellow smiley faces or throbbing hearts, or flies buzzing around a cow pie (charming, no?) These meticulously created works of art are intriguing because they combine the dead stillness of an instant of time with a preternaturally alive movement, soundlessly at that. GIFs are created from X number of still frames and can be programmed to display at different speeds, looping endlessly as these do, or running once upon display and stopping until a page is re-loaded.
Perhaps the most effective use of these, if an animated GIF could be so programmed, would be to allow the photograph to remain static for 15-20 seconds, and then come alive for just a second or two before going back to “sleep.” That might qualify as creepy shocking, mightn’t it?