The GIF Turned 30 Today

(June 15, 2017) 

The GIF turned 30 today 
I like to imagine that when the GIF was younger
it was an undocumented student,
though you wouldn’t know it.
it fit in just fine,
even though you’d snark at the alleged poverty of its colours.
it fit in just fine because
it spoke your language
(after all, it was language, though you didn’t know that then).
But you could tell it was undocumented 
because platforms would try to cloud its shine,
contain the source of its magic,
trap it in a single frame.

You can tell that GIFs were undocumented,
because on paper
they are neither photograph nor cinema,
though, deep inside, they are both
and more than both.
You can tell that GIF were undocumented
because everyone wants to use them,
but no one hardly pays for them.
They circulate happily in open spaces,
and rely on the kindness of their hosts.
You can tell GIFs were undocumented 
because they are unafraid of borders
and they don’t give a fuck about your money. 

Spidermans and La La Lands are enthroned on palatial screens,
but GIFs travel along with love notes and secrets,
tender memories and sometimes porn.
That’s how you know the GIF was once undocumented,
because it forgives the nature of contraband.

This is why I love the GIF.
Having dreamed of being a filmmaker
and a Magnum photographer,
I punctuate my sentence of toil and paychecks
with GIFs I make in fleeting time,
GIFs that inside contain a photograph. 
un cinema perpétuo, 
and a voice 
que fala.

This honorary GIF
is called “ m27__i__{       “ 
the name indicates its relation to other GIFs
in a series that forms a portrait of our demise.
It is a microdocumentary
corrupted in time,
but it is also language,
that cries: 
“Rise Up, Child, 
while there still is time.”

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