Broken GIFs are the Web’s most creepy and compelling art form

Broken GIFs are the Web’s most creepy and compelling art form

I discovered my favorite new thing in a tiny corner of Reddit recently: a collection of broken GIFs.

There’s a surprising active subreddit with 36,000 users that’s described as a home for “gifs that are creepily broken.” It doesn’t matter if they’re real or intentional, they’re a fun exploration of glitch art in moving form.

By Reddit user ‘Jolivio

Users who aren’t so tech-savvy can request a GIF be broken for them or can learn for themselves with a detailed tutorial on “datamoshing.”

That’s the process of modifying the source video to break it. Traditional glitch art is created by directly modifying the hexadecimal code that represents an image to distort it in unexpected ways.

By Reddit user ‘CandidCulture

Broken GIFs are mostly intentionally created by removing parts of frames from videos using specialized software, which breaks the image in a controlled, but still somewhat unpredictable way. The result: a carefully crafted GIF that’s either amusing or downright creepy.

By Reddit user ‘diceroll123

Those well versed in creating them are able to combine two scenes into a single GIF to make the effect even more pronounced, as pictured above.

Broken GIFs has been around on Reddit for three years, but it’s easily my favorite subreddit now. Just when I thought I’d run out of great GIFs, even the ones I love can be remixed into something new.

Posted by Reddit user ‘Emazon7790

Broken GIFs [Reddit]

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Featured image credit: Baconnaked 

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