Art as Retort and Real-Time Communication

A new meme going around I thought was pretty clever.  Of course it gets overplayed in ten seconds like everything else these days, but it still was a pretty cool little joke.  I’m sure you’ve seen it so there’s no point in explaining it here. Just look below; you’ll know what I’m talking about.

This one I made was in retort to the first one I saw about Taiwan.  It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good–I don’t know, it was very bland, no real meat to it, and maybe being an old git with OG status here, I felt a more honest, accurate summation was in order.  So this is my retort.  And I discovered through the process of doing it that it’s harder than it looks.   So props to the first Taiwan guy for going for it as well.

But the whole thing is more interesting than just this or that present ‘meme’ of the moment.  A lot of these things are symbolic and pictographic.  And as one person makes a version of something that hundreds of others are also doing at the same time, he’s entering into a dialogue completely ruled by symbolic communication.

I think that’s awesome.  I mean, it will necessarily cheapen art, but it will make it more real and influential.  And creatable by the masses.  Jumping on the viral moment also gives you a chance to get on something that people are, for the moment at least, prone to paying attention to and forwarding on to others.  There’s a politics to meming it seems, and once something is seen and assented to as already being in the category of “meme”, it is much more likely to be forwarded on than just the sweet knock-knock joke you bust out on Facebook.


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