Meet Michael Stipe, Animated GIF Contest Judge

    Michael Stipe is many things: former frontman for R.E.M., political activist, and indie rock hero. It’s hard to imagine we’d ever add “animated GIF contest judge” to his resumé, yet here we are. As Pitchfork reports, Stipe will sit on the selection council for Moving The Still, a digital arts festival that champions animated GIFs.

    Art collector webiste Paddle8 devised the idea of the festival, which is now accepting submissions until Nov. 7. Stipe sits on a judging panel that includes James Frey (he of the discredited memoir A Million Little Pieces), fashion designing duo Rodarte, Lady GaGa collaborator Nicola Formichetti, and photographers Inez & Vinoodh. After selection, the festival will exhibit the winning GIFs at Miami Art Week 2012.

    And it gets better: Stipe himself has made a few GIFs, which you can view here. Here’s what Chief Council Member Johnny Misheff had to say about Stipe’s involvement:

    There is perhaps no one better suited to sit on this council than Michael Stipe, for his love of beauty and his executed works of digital media and art and his passion for the evolution of the image is strong and profound.