Today is a special day, the 25th birthday of the Graphic Interchange Format. As GIF artists and web aficionados like David Ope, Ryder Ripps, Joe Waine and Mr GIF wow a contemporary crowd of net-cruisers – creating aesthetic discourse along the way – the image format has swollen to large levels of surf.
I tried reaching out to Steve Wilhite, creator of .GIF (I’d seen he recently joined the board at a digital marketing firm). Unfortunately, he’s off the grid for the day, biking somewhere in the rockies. Perhaps he’s celebrating? Or, perhaps he’s gazing over the front of his handlebars, watching the tire spin, meditating on the modern state of things — the multi-dimensionality of it all, the GIF renaissance, the gallery shows that have sprung up, recent chronicles of the 1987 invention. Or, maybe he’s not really thinking about it.
On this day when a GIF can finally rent its own car, Motherboard looks back in loving retrospect, at the early years:
GIF by Daniel Stuckey