Edward Ball

Edward Muybridge: Grandfather of the GIF

How an eccentric photographer invented modern visual culture

The coin of the realm in today’s techno-visual culture is the GIF, a file that supports brief animations repeating endlessly. GIFs had a moment of particular resonance last summer, when extraordinary displays of athleticism from the Olympics were converted from full video into short loops, recurring endlessly, devoid of meaning aside from the aesthetic.

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