A group of Japanese creatives — working under the peculiar but fitting name rrrrrrrroll — is gaining quite a following merely 3 years since they began blogging their unique, highly engaging GIF animations on Tumblr. rrrrrrrroll is among a growing number of artists exploring GIF’s capabilities as an artistic platform, working to break away from the confines of traditional photography and securing GIF’s legitimate place in the contemporary art establishment.

rrrrrrrroll’s work gives us a reason to believe in GIF’s great potential to diversify creative possibilities — seamlessly blending photographic and cinematic styles using a technique called cinemagraphy.

The group’s infinitely repeating, hypnotic GIFs takes surrealist photography to a level no other medium has achieved. They compose their images so meticulously that any single frame taken from their GIF work can stand alone as a photograph.Yet their expert use of perspective, lighting, and motion also give their GIFs a very cinematic look.

With hundreds of noteworthy GIF art being produced and shared on the internet each day, perhaps GIF will eventually become its own independent medium — set well apart from the more conventional artistic platforms like filmmaking and photography. Although it is still uncertain whether GIF’s impact will last this time around, artists like rrrrrrrroll are definitely making a good case in ensuring the format’s survival in infinitely creative ways.

The Hypnotic GIFs of rrrrrrroll