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[Best of 2015] The Year in GIFs

The GIF has never been stronger, and here are the strongest of the year.

by Beckett Mufson
Dec 24 2015, 5:00pm

GIPHY

As a year's worth of news cycles, cultural phenomena, and creativity trundled through the internet in 2015, the GIF trundled with them. As the internet's visual language of choice (challenged only by the emoji), the GIF captured the most memorable human moments and emotions netizens and artists felt, from Star Wars hype to the cult of Donald Trump. Artists have been challenging the meaning of the word GIF through Instagram video and augmented reality books. Award-winning filmmakers have adopted them and John Travolta has been lost in them. And we saw the whole thing.

Below, we've laid out the most memorable moments and loopy loops we found throughout 2015.

+The most-searched GIFs of 2015 included Drake's Hotline Bling video and Shia LaBeouff's "Just DO it!" performance. 

+Basketball players were transformed into Super Saiyins, John Travolta was confused, and Donald Trump became the meme of all memes.

+We read a novel made of GIFs and saw Scorpion Dagger and Frances Adair Mckenzie's animations translated to the (augmented) printed page, courtesy publisher Anteism.

+We launched our weekly franchise GIF Six-Pack, bringing you a taste our favorite artists, one theme at a time.

Scorpion Dagger

+GIF artists that love Star Wars and Back to the Future.

+GIF artists that went to New York Fashion Week.

+GIF artists experimenting with Instagram video.

+Artists who captured the heat of the desert for The Creators Project Desert Week, and who quenched our thirst with fluid GIFs.

+Female artists to keep an eye on, and the artist who inspired the whole series in the first place.

Sam Cannon, Still sore from all the dancing last night

+Kanye West got wrecked SEGA-style by Marvel and Capcom characters.

+The always-irreverent Peekasso celebrated the 4th of July.

+Loop master Zolloc saw his work turned into Ratatat's concert visuals at Coachella, and we examined what makes his work so mesmerizing.

+Photo GIF artist Sam Cannon perfectly captured the atmosphere of Art Basel Miami.

Balight

+Some clever designers at Balight stuck GIFs onto bike wheels, and Germany-based artist Eran Amir made the first 360° cinemagraphs.

+George RedHawk proved you can be a captivating GIF artist and legally blind at the same time.

+Cannes-winning director Ely Dagher made some award-worthy GIFs about The Self-Help Dance.

+Okkult Motion Pictures made a series of GIFs that hide secret audio files.

+We washed all that down with Kitchen Ghosts' infinite food porn, and then rung in the new year with 12 Days of GIFmas.

Sasha Katz, GIFmas, 2015

What was your most-loved GIF this year? Let us know in the comments.

Related:

[Best of 2015] The Year in Projection Mapping

[Best of 2015] The Year in Photography

[Best of 2015] The Year in Sculpture