It’s called a lilac chaser. You’ve seen it before. It’s an optical illusion with a small black cross in the middle, encircled by twelve blurry lilac-colored dots. A green dot animates over the lilacs as though counting the time on a futuristic clock. Stare at the cross long enough and the lilacs disappear, one by one. But the moment you get distracted and look away, the lilacs come back.
The black cross is the work you do. The lilacs are all the things ancillary to your work. They’re the small choices you’ve made around your black cross: the time you wake up, the tools you use, what you have for breakfast, when you check your email, and so on. They’re the various aspects of a daily routine—things that, when fixed in place, disappear with the passage of time.
This Wednesday evening marks the first presidential debate for the 2012 American elections. Elevating the discourse as only Tumblr can, we’ll have a crack team of GIF artists cranking out instant animations of the best debate moments, from zingers to gaffes to awkward silences. Flooding the GIF zone will be our own Topherchris, as well as Bobby Finger, Lacey Micallef, and Mr. GIF. And joining us to further enhance our coverage will be Election blog guest editor Adam Gabbatt, whose liveblog at the Guardian will bring you the full stories behind the GIFs
The place to take it all in will be the purpose-built Gifwich live-GIFfing blog. Fair warning: Follow Gifwich at your own risk! After all, once each debate begins, your Dashboard could be flooded with animations on a minute-to-minute basis. Your mileage may vary, but if you prefer to just sample the flow, perhaps check out Gifwich directly during the debate and reblog your favorites piecemeal. You can even sample curated real-time selections from the Guardian’sliveblog or Tumblr’s official Election blog.
All debates (and our Gifwich GIF coverage) begin at 9pm Eastern Time:
Wednesday, October 3 - Presidential debate on domestic policy
Thursday, October 11 - Vice-presidential debate on foreign and domestic policy
Tuesday, October 16 - Presidential town meeting on foreign and domestic policy
Monday, October 22 - Presidential debate on foreign policy