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  • erikzepka 16:30 on August 11, 2014 Permalink |  

    The Categories of Saturation: Subsisting Language 

    Language is your friend, not your enemy. Memory doesn’t work if there are too many things to remember. Your contacts will never get to know you if you don’t advertise yourself clearly and concisely. People call this being honest, but it’s really just about being sensible.

     

     

    When unfamiliar images come your way, don’t back down, own them. Your pictures are my pictures, no one cares about who owns what. You are what you acquire. You might not always create genius, but you can recognize it.

     

     

    If you want to be a writer, you have to work for it. Who is your target audience? Do you have any competitive advantage whatsoever – are you offering anything to the literary community? Why are my comments different than others? Your words are your being. Learn to share them.

     

     

    Collective memory today is a corporate affair, how can you exist in that? How does one person compete with global advertising? You need a snappy tagline. The meme is yours if you can just find the right niche. Don’t worry if you sacrifice your reputation, this is a stiff competition, you need all the help you can get. Learn to tap into corporate veins, into the terms of mass popularity, and others will do the work for you.

     

     

    You have power you never realized. Words can discover a new world. You might like what’s being presented to you, but by the time you appropriate it, you’ve invented something entirely different. This is your language. If other artists are saying left, say right. Seize the day.

     


     

     

    Assignment:

     

    This assignment is about using language to further define memes. To complete it, find a way to add language to memes on the website of your choice (your facebook, tumblr, personal site/blog, whatever you like). For example, comment on a shared picture, share a picture while commenting on it, add a title to a picture you have shared or posted, or any other idea you have. Comment/title between 3 and 6 memes, then document/screenshot that picture/text to share on the course blog.

    Reflection is encouraged, here are three suggested avenues for discussion in your post:

    1. Can the act of categorization and labelling be considered an artistic one, and if so what is the work? Is it the language, the curatorial act of identifying an image of interest, or something else? Discuss the relative merits of each view.

    2. Does this act contribute anything to the idea of a meme – is added language part of a meme, can it be – what is a memetic image supposed to look like (any image? impact font over a clear image?) and what role does context play (where it’s shared (reddit, 4chan, facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc), how it’s presented, where it’s commented upon/blogged about). Discuss what relation the linguistic framing of a meme has to the meme.

    3. In an age where the text and image world is continuous with mimetic content, how do such “minor”, possibly off-the-cuff acts of commenting/reacting/titling alter what might be considered legitimate acts of art and literature creation?

     

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    • aklobucar 08:47 on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m still working on my contribution to this last assignment, and I hope to get it up this pm. But I just want to add here how excellent I believe these questions to be. Certainly they provide a bit of theoretical framework to help us understand memes in terms of linguistics, dialectical materialism and even mediaology (LaTour, DeBray). I’m a bit curious here about the reference in the post (in digression “3”) to “mimetic content.” Is anything truly mimetic in the digital world, where no reference, rhetorically speaking, to an ideal or actual thing seems to be driving meaning production? Memes can’t be considered mimetic, of course, in that, as signs, they don’t refer to specific concrete things in a secondary or somehow imitative manner. The strange thing seems to be that they acquire cultural value and meaning solely through their distribution as media streams. The minute a meme stops circulating, it loses its existence – its place in the world. Like the Coyote running off cliffs straight into the air, but never falling until he realises he is, in fact, “running on air.” The meme cannot become aware of its essential “off-the-cuff” ness, lest it falls into the pits of digital amnesia.

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    • Talan Memmott 09:44 on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      perhaps auto-mimetiic. at least in terms of form. So, we could drift into discussing a poetics of memes here. I would think that memes as streams of distribution is more than just about the distribution… the question here could be what within any given proto-meme grants it value as currency, as something that should be circulated, distributed… As comments, I think memes do address ideals and actual things, but the address is couched, embedded in a mimed, repeated form. Perhaps this is what Erik was referring to as mimetic. Or maybe we need use the term — memetic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics

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    • constancex 14:15 on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Punching Dead Horses and Straw Men in the Low-Hanging Fruits

      For this final assignment, and am having more than one problem with it. The second problem is, where to get me some memes; the kind of memes characterized in this seminar don’t show up in my feed anymore. Is FB kowtowing to my penchant for 1. the original 2. the new (following the half-million rule); and the tried-and-true? Has FB assigned a DHM to Hide-story that, if I knew it, I wouldn’t use it at all? What’s happened to my sure-fire, knee-jerk conduit of every damn meme since the Myspace days, a forklift driver, often on disability, from some vaguely familiar town in PA?
      I went to his page. Dang! The man’s in a twelve-step program and his feed is full of aphoristic affirmations and Nascar HOO-rahs, only! Are meme-passing and alcoholism linked? Has he, to his mind, exhausted the supply of memes? Do AA meetings advise eschewing meme-passing as a sort of Good-time Charlie sh*thead diversion?
      The moribund offerings of the RESOURCES for this course make me ask when memes died — choosing one/some to be repurposed in this manner seems 1. just too hard 2. unsporting. I don’t think any affirming statement would be a valid art, but a reiteration (more soup cans!) It seems the typical meme doesn’t offer any authority from which a comment could pull some art-traction — this stuff is soft.
      Oh, but the mention of the word, ‘art’ brings me to the first problem:
      Inasmuch as the meme has been defined as a social phenomenon, “meme-making” is speculative work; there is, after all (Yoda), “try” and not “do,” you can try to make a meme, but it won’t necessarily reach meme status. Erik’s use of corporate marketing language suggests that this situation could be otherwise; with the right application of metrics, A/B testing, and the wretched, wretched work of shifting ideas from the descriptive ->diagnostic ->predictive -> prescriptive; one could design a series of suitable memes to feed a certain tranch of gullets hungry to gulp them. But here, does the master become the hack, is what set out as art now a commodity of (red) herring-for-pelicans?

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    • constancex 14:23 on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Okay, okay, I of all people know one can take a position other than 1. affirming; or 2. citical; thanks for listening!

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    • Talan Memmott 15:07 on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As to the RESOURCE page, it is exactly what it says it is, however moribund, a RE—- source. Thinking of meme generators as rototillers.

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  • erikzepka 06:52 on August 7, 2014 Permalink |  

    Technoprogressive Communalism: Sharing is Caring 

    * spreading cultural artifacts

    • accelerate advancement by corporatizing your literary output into collective units

    It’s important that we progress. One of the main reasons for using social networks is that you can crowdsource your personality into the existence of others and create a sort of constructicon of online charisma. If you have friends, 10 clones of you will have many more. The corporate mode of being outdoes the posthuman in an all-too-human method of being-in-social-media achieved solely through bureaucracy. We don’t need you around, we just the description of your character. If only you’ll remain categorically consistent you could demonstrate how your self-transcending company being is far more useful than your embodied individuality.

    So now online memory is a joke. It makes you laugh, but you can’t say much for how much you endorse it. Given the choice, you don’t live with it, and your statements are carefully designed to represent what you disagree with. In the culture of care every gift you receive is tailored to be exactly what you want – you are customized, your history provides the basic data for the algorithms of your future, things you want are appearing without you ever having heard of them.

    A culture that gives rise to the pervasion of memes is a culture predicated on sharing and collective content.  In this unit I’d like you to practice that.

    Begin simply by sharing what you would normally share on your own site(s), and to ask where that might connect with massively popular shared items, with aesthetic objects, and with what gets branded as a meme.

    Thanks to sponsored spaces you can post freely, it is not about creation but optimizing the delivery of what’s commonly wanted.  And a catchy theme with impact font.


    Assignment:

    Share content on the website of your choice (your facebook, tumblr, personal site/blog, whatever you like).  Share between 2 and 4 times, then document/screenshot those shares to share on the course blog.

    Reflection is encouraged, here are three suggested avenues for discussion in your post:

    1. Can the performative/curatorial act be considered an artistic one, can the shared image be considered a work? If yes or no, discuss why/why not.

    2. What, if anything, separates these shares from a meme (ie. specific sans-serif font/image combo, a certain type of content, massive distribution/popularity, and/or anything else)

    3. In an age where the text and image world is continuous with mimetic content, how do these endless shares alter what might be considered legitimate acts of art and literature creation?

     

     
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