What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Museum Exhibit of Popular GIFs Explores the Moving Image as Gesture

June 6, 2014, 12:30 PM
Gif

What's the Latest?

Perhaps there's more to Michael Jackson eating popcorn than meets the eye. You may have encountered the famous MJ GIF around the internet, whether embedded in a Buzzfeed article or posted on a message board in a "this is gonna' be good" manner. You might also have seen it in an art exhibition if you happened to be in New York last month and paid a visit to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. That's right, a museum exhibition of GIFs. Don't give me that look. I'm serious. The Library of Congress recently interviewed the exhibition's curator, Jason Eppink, for its blog The Signal.

What's the Big Idea?

What makes GIFs so fascinating to Eppink is how they serve as a visual means of communication outside the realm of normal language, an idea articulated well in the exhibit's subtitle: Moving Image as Gesture. You can see why it makes sense then that a museum dedicated to the moving image would be the perfect place to explore the medium. The GIF's growing popularity leads one to believe that its stock is likely to rise in the eyes of artists and linguists around the world. Eppink's exhibit featured a short canon of 37 of the internet's most popular GIFs, assembled with help from posters on the website Reddit.

Although the interview mentions it, Eppink did not take a stand on the most controversial issue surround GIFs -- the pronunciation. It it "jiff" or "giff?" Perhaps that's the stuff of a future exhibition...

Read more at The Museum of the Moving Image

Read the interview with Jason Eppink on the Library of Congress' The Signal blog.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles/Shutterstock

 

Museum Exhibit of Popular G...

Newsletter: Share: