Updates from August, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Jeff T. Johnson 17:04 on August 10, 2014 Permalink |  

    Hang in There! 


    Claire posted this photo to Facebook April 25, and 61 people liked it (with one share, from C.’s mom). Our cat Brix somehow fit herself into a plastic bowl and hung out there for about an hour. We then added text in homage to the proto-macro guidance counselor poster I remember from my youth:



    I shared the hang in there kittybowl at the top of this post May 11 and it received 11 likes and 2 shares (C. for 7 more likes, and Maria Damon for 13 likes, including me, which sort of brought it full circle). 

    We have an ongoing series of photos in which Brix strikes cute poses on our dining room table, with records in the background. (We like to imagine she’s internet famous.) So we share Brix and our records, as well as the yellow diner table which now resides with friends who took it with them to St. Louis. Maybe they’ll share a photo of their cat Shaq sitting on it. That would certainly get a like from me, and I’m guessing C. might like it too.

    We just returned from a two-week trip to California, and had 3 catsitters, each of whom shared (by text) at least one photo of Brix each day of their visit. Something about Brix says share me, just as the internet was originally invented to circulate kitty porn.

  • lisacramp 17:20 on August 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    Sharing is caring 

    photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

    I chose to post the same photograph of a young Steve Buscemi on three different social media sites I frequent to see what sort of response I might get. I specifically chose an image that I would not consider a meme, there is no underlying humor or message in the photo. There is also no obvious link to other memes or existing popular culture.

    My social media accounts are purposely separate with different groups of people that I associate with belonging to each account. (old friends, work people, random strangers with similar interests) There are no individuals that overlap with all three groups. I was curious to see how each group would react to the persona I have manufactured (albeit still a very true facet of my personality) posting something as banal as Steve Buscemi’s childhood photograph.

    This assignment got me thinking about whether our internet personas can ever really be a  true reflection of our total self. In my case they are just versions of me as I write them through the content I post and my “likes”. I have become aware that my three personas have an expected content from my audience. I would argue that the art is in the creation of the persona, through thoughtful tailoring we create who we perceive ourselves to be. I am all three accounts, and I am none of them.

    So far, my old punk friends from my youth on my old friend account really like this photo and do not seem alarmed I would post it, as they might expect random behavior from me based on previous experiences in my youth. My work account has gotten two responses of “What??? LOL” which surprised me as I expected no response at all. And on the last account, random strangers have liked it although not many since it is not related at all to what I normally post about (veganism, single motherhood, cats…) which I expected. Humans like predictable behavior, even in our web content.







  • constancex 10:04 on August 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    August 8 — Emerald Bananas 

    I posted these, at one a minute, in this order, starting eighteen minutes ago. Two friends have shared the first, simplest one. The first individual commented that he was not at all a good sport  on the remaining ones. I’ll update you tomorrow. They say it’s important to “ask for the sale,” so here I wanted to request that the image is shared.


    After 15 hours: 4 shares, 6 likes, no comments.



    After 15 hours: 2 shares, 8 likes, 2 comments.



    After 15 hours: 1 share, 4 likes, no comments.


    After 15 hours: 3 shares, 6 likes, no comments.

    My first concept was of just having the last one and the first one, the last with a silly, suggestive text that most people would recognize. I probably should have stuck with two.

    Okay, my first concept was to post frogs and tigers to people’s pages until they posted them back to mine, forever.

  • aklobucar 14:50 on August 8, 2014 Permalink |  

    Technoprogressive Communalism asks the question can the performative be considered an artistic piece? Can the shared image be considered a work? 


     One example of a recent “share work” I shared, i.e., participated in, is this ongoing Tumblr post entitled The Same Picture of Dave Coulier Every Day. In this case, we really do see what we get, in that for years, this same picture of the actor David Coulier, best known for his role of the inimitable (hah) Joey Gladstone from the ABC sitcom Full House (1987-1995). As a cultural reference, the show itself is ripe for much analysis in that it may be difficult to find a more telling example of the “non-golden years” of television.

    Here’s the image that is loaded on the blog once a day:


    I put this forward as an example of a meme or pseudo-meme that certainly qualifies as a work of art, drawing aesthetically and critically from the lineages of both pop and conceptual art. Details here can perhaps be discussed in future replies. I can almost imagine seeing this work successfully curated in a gallery. Its repetitious quality approaches the grotesque. But I guess I want to submit the argument that its success derives in part from its distribution as a shared, “communal” image. There is an effect here to be pursued, perhaps symptomatically, of taking the time and labour to participate in an exchange that seems so void of meaning, as to approach a bizarre and perverse mode of purity. Is this the 21st century equivalent of a Byzantine icon?


    Screen shot of the last months of activity on the Tumblr site.


    • Talan Memmott 18:23 on August 8, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Though the replication we may be able to associate with the byzantine icon, i think that the image is “void of meaning” as you say would remove it from that context. That said, the replication makes it an icon for sure, so my argument would only be with the term byzantine — because the byzantine icon operates as surrogate more than icon in the sense that you are using it.
      The connection to pop art is clear. And if you look at my “Embracing Banality” post you will see some of my ideas here — concerning replication, and redistribution and how these simultaneously make the artifacts, images, ideas, (just going to say it) memes banal and uncanny.
      I did consider giving an assignment that requires seminar participants to create 200 variations of the same meme…. Thankfully, I decided against it.

      Liked by 2 people

  • ccboca 12:32 on August 8, 2014 Permalink |  

    August 7: Technoprogressive Communalism: Sharing is Caring 

    Generally speaking my shares are politically oriented, and are differentiated from memes by being news headlines, or actual photography, informational sharing etc. I do also share memes like this one (below) that are also politically oriented:

    Captura de pantalla 2014-08-08 a la(s) 15.40.46

    Having said this, a great deal of what is shared is re-posted or relayed not uploaded or original. It is of passing interest, like a comment, “check this out” or it is used to announce events, organize activities. Many researchers are also mining data on social media platforms and have organized facebook groups to pool these kinds of things, so it is by no means a space that can be said to be uniformly used. However, there are constraints, mostly by the platforms in question, and Reddit and Youtube have both come under fire for this as well.

  • clairedonato 12:06 on August 8, 2014 Permalink |  

    Technoprogressive Communalism: My Last Four Facebook Shares 





    Find appended my last four Facebook shares, with some reflection.screen1

    1. 21 hours ago, I shared a link to Meme on Meme Action’s blog. Not a meme, but meme-related content. 





    2. A link to Amina Cain’s interview with Brian Evenson on The Believer Logger. Cain’s interview is part of a series of five different interviews with Evenson (hence the title “5×5”), so there’s something tropic, if not meme-ish, about this exercise, though the site itself, I posit, is not a meme. 


    3. Here, I share a thoughtful reflection by my friend Darren Angle re: his aversion to “non-specific, global language like ‘Everything will be OK’ or ‘Choose happiness.'” (In it, he writes, “I would so much rather connect over how your tooth hurts and you are blindingly paranoid you have a brain infection but you don’t have health insurance – than read how you’re sure that ‘The universe provides.'”) I consider Angle’s post a “legitimate [act] of […] literature creation” and reflect on whether my sharing of this post to ~2,000 Facebook connections further legitimizes his production. (I suspect it does.) Indeed, individual authorship is feasible on Facebook, as one’s name is linked to one’s compositions, although it is to be expected that not all of one’s Facebook compositions will be considered creations of literature. That said, some individuals may claim otherwise, and I am personally curious about the radical political/social/academic/all-of-the-above-and-more implications of claiming the entire body of one’s Facebook content as literature. Imagine listing your Facebook page on your CV’s list of publications! 

    Additionally, it is worth noting that Angle reflects on memetic language in his post. 


    4. On July 28th, I shared a link to Ilya Szilak’s recent article in The Huffington Post re: the 2014 Electronic Literature Organization media show. Two participants in this meme class, Andrew and Jeff, are mentioned in my share. The piece was re-shared from my Facebook page by Jeff’s aunt, a memetic gesture.

  • constancex 19:57 on August 7, 2014 Permalink |  

    Sharing is caring 


  • constancex 18:47 on August 7, 2014 Permalink |  

    Four — seal you later 


  • constancex 15:18 on August 7, 2014 Permalink |  

    Four: Technoprogressive Sharing Is Caring 

    Here are the last four posts from my Facebook timeline.

    1. This had to be shared because it has a tiger in it. If you don’t understand that, I don’t understand you. Beyond that, I am interested in the fostering of [especially] carnivorous megafauna as a trend/meme.


    In this one, which came to my attention today, a small dog badgers a tiger to wake up for over three minutes. The tiger pushes him/her off. It especially limns the edge, even the text suggests it:
    Will Panjo eat Sky today? — What of “domestic bonds” versus “instinct”?

    2. Here, I post about paper. Call me a tree killer if you want, but I’ve always carried a notebook. Staples and OfficeMax, etc., have nearly edged out all the smaller stationers around here, except for the matter that metro Boston has several universities with peculiar scholastic requirements for the submission of assignments, theses, and dissertations.


    Now, the big boxes have decided to reduce the standard paper size for lined paper, but not copy/printer paper (yet). I can’t be having some pages end an inch shy of the edges of the others; it interferes with the tab system I use to organize my thoughts/papers. Corporate maneuvers are impinging on my intimate concerns, my outboard method of organizing my thoughts; anyone else?

    A classmate of mine, who also always kept a notebook, responds, addressing the question of “liking.” It’s pretty much essential to memes, this “liking” — on some level, not necessarily the simplest [level], memes must be emphatically “likeable/liked.” If they outline a dilemma, that dilemma must be somewhat common/universal — viola! — the two sides of the dilemma pressed into one single “feels.”
    But Facebook ain’t got time fo’ dat.

    I suggest that Facebook is working on dealing with more complex interactions in a release scheduled two years out. Some of the most hopeful signs I see are in PM stickers, where some of the sticker sets cover emotions that let me know there are other people out there with fuller ranges of expression than newsfeed buttons allow.

    This has come up in another context … oh, how you can only post one url/image in a FB comment or status post; that you are limited to talking about/”referring to” only one thing.
    So, it’s more than “about paper.”

    3. I am a trained improv artist. One of the things I do, I call “Comment improv.” Here, the best thing happens; out of the blue, someone asks me for advice, about something strange and out-of-the-ordinary … right up my alley! This isn’t an especially good example: When I found it, I had limited time and only had very shoddy mobile access, with no access to comments or any images at all, so I wasn’t able to play the way I’d like.


    Is it a meme? I wish people would ask more questions of random strangers — seems some people feel “put on the spot” by this, but I relish it. The thing about communication, it has to be received as well as sent — and so, “addressing the envelope” is important.
    Another thing I’m specifically interested in is transformation — how could it, or the general situation, be made different? Back in the Myspace days, I would be sure to alter every chain letter and survey I passed along, putting in new jokes and amplifying it. Memes are sent whole, and looking at them now — after how many years of social media in which image sharing has been available — they seem very static and dull.

    4. What do you know: A frog meme, reiterating the coolness of frogs … my friends offer other frog examples, amplifying the rightness of posting frog images, anytime, anywhere!


    Q: How do these endless shares alter what might be considered legitimate acts of art and literature creation?

    Hum. Seems to me, lately, people have gotten cagey about sharing too much original good stuff on social media. Can’t blame ’em, it’s smart; but how do you find the right balance of lagniappe and merchandise? You know that thing where you drop a screencap in Photoshop and see the Facebook copyright out there in blue/grey space, not really touching, but referring to your work … I’ve seen, participated in, tons of art and stories, and stories told through images, just ‘out there.’ I have paper archives of some of the things I’ve participated in. Am I saying art is merchandise? Maybe I want to say it has value. It is emergent, I think, necessarily — or illuminates some eponymous point, or

  • ajabine 11:53 on August 7, 2014 Permalink |  

    The Me Everybody Knows 

    Capture 2 is doge

    This share says “I keep up and I want you to keep up, too, because I am inclusive.”

    Capture 1 is Intellectual property

    This share says “My sense of the absurd is transcended by my intellectual curiosity, and I want particular people to enhance my understanding, because I am humble.”

    Capture 3 is I care

    This share says “I keep track of the world and I am not yet enured to the suffering that humans inflict on other humans, because I am sensitive.”

    Some would say these three shares could only be called artistic if one considers it artistic to burnish one’s online persona. In addition to links, I share many images that I find beautiful, but even then, a cynic would suggest my only intention is to flaunt my aesthetic superiority. But the sum total of one’s shares might come to be seen as an artistic oeuvre. As Oscar Wilde said, Nature is no great mother who has borne us. She is our creation. It is in our brain that she quickens to life. Things are because we see them. . .” On the internet, there is no difference between natural and cultural phenomena.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc