The uncanny mediality of the photographic GIF

Author(s): Fetveit, Arild


This article examines uncanny mediality in photographic GIFs by interrogating sources of this uncanniness and the logic informing its operation in particular examples. From a phenomenological analysis of an instructive GIF that loops a six-second recording of the artist Prince, the article goes on to examine the confluence between features prone to generate the uncanny and features characterising the photographic GIF as a medium. This examination involves a probing of how the uncanny is theorised in seminal contributions by Ernst Jentsch and Sigmund Freud. It also involves probing uncanny potentials in photographic mediality by means of examining the history of photographic theory. Drawing on these theoretical and historical resources the article probes further examples, among them a cinemagraph, in a comparative analysis of how uncanny mediality may operate in GIFs.

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Fetveit, Arild: The uncanny mediality of the photographic GIF. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 7 (2018), Nr. 1, S. 45-65. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/3439.
 author = {Fetveit, Arild},
 title = {The uncanny mediality of the photographic GIF},
 year = 2018,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/3439},
 volume = 7,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 1,
 pages = {45--65},
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