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Looping, Laughing and Longing: The Animated GIF in the Contemporary Online Environment

digital Looping, Laughing and Longing: The Animated GIF
in the Contemporary Online Environment
Article
journal COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI
issue COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2016 - 1. Snapshot Culture. The Photographic Experience in the Post-Medium Age
title Looping, Laughing and Longing: The Animated GIF in the Contemporary Online Environment
author
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 04-2016
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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The paper focuses on the widespread resurgence of the animated GIF in the contemporary mediascape. This outdated digital format’s current significance seems to lie in its ability to resolve the age-old dualism between still and moving images. The GIF’s looping structure is analysed as symptomatic of many facets of today’s online environment in relation to issues of embodiment, indexicality and desire. The GIF is investigated as an object of longing, a source of mirth, and a tool used to enrich online interactions. Finally, the performance of the self that it entails is interpreted as centred on the category of affect.

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