Photographer Jamie Beck
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Digital artists inspired by the gif's resurgence

29 January 2013 Last updated at 04:52 GMT

They were created in the late-1980s, but recent years have seen a resurgence in popularity of gif animated files.

One of their original concepts was to deliver animated graphics onto the web. They are often comprised of short, looping video segments made up of just a few frames.

But now they populate the Internet in all manner of humorous, bizarre, and utilitarian forms.

The gif's resurgence has also prompted a variety of artistic uses and the medium is evolving at a rapid pace.

Produced by the BBC's David Botti

Photo/GIFs: Getty Images and Courtesy Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg