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CVC | Workshop: “Thinking Through the GIF Economy”

September 24, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


“Thinking Through the GIF Economy”

We have all seen GIFs or used them at some point—perhaps on social media or while texting. For some of us, the GIFs are the glitter and bling of the internet before Web 2.0. Suffice it to say, GIFs have been around for a long time. We live in a world saturated with these tiny animated images looping on our computer screens, our phones and sometimes, even our billboards. Often in this overabundance, we hardly think about them and what potentials they hold. But what does it mean to think through GIFs? Can GIFs be a mode of making associations, a way of thinking about the endless stream of images coursing through our lives? Can the GIF be a method of inquiry? In this workshop, we will explore these questions through a hands-on experience in making simple GIFs using Photoshop and/or phone apps. By making random image associations and “animating” them within a single file, we will explore how the GIF can enable a form of dialectical thinking and a way of expressing ideas, associations and even feelings.

*To attend the workshop and receive a link to the zoom event, please RSVP to cvc@mailplus.wisc.edu.


Anirban Baishya is an Assistant Professor at the Communication and Media Studies Department, Fordham University. His current research examines selfies and the rise of digital selfhood in India. He is currently working on a book project titled Viral Selves: Selfies and Digital Cultures in India. His research interests New Media and Digital Cultures, Social Media & Political Culture, Media Aesthetics, Surveillance Studies, and Global and South Asian Cinema & Media. His work has been published in International Journal of Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique, South Asian Popular Culture, Porn Studies and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies and Media, Culture and Society. He is also the co-editor of “South Asian Pornographies: Vernacular Formations of the Permissible and the Obscene,” a special issue of Porn Studies which was published in March 2020.


Both events are free and open to the public. They are possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Anonymous Fund. The Center for Visual Cultures would also like to thank the Departments of Art, Art History, Center for South Asia, Communication Arts, and English.


Alina Sanchez  [column with B/W images]: Lopez (https://giphy.com/alinasanchez)

Erma Fiend  [column with the “sweaty eddie” image]: (https://giphy.com/erma_fiend)

Meltem Şahin [column with the hand-drawn figures]:  (https://giphy.com/meltemsahin)


September 24, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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