» Image versus Meme

Would you like some Fofola? Did you know that the famous Kofola commercial has actually only made use of the existing online hit in the form of an image of a dog called Phteven? Whatever the answers to these questions are, please be invited to the next lecture evening of the Fresh Eye series, this time dedicated to the theme of Image versus Meme. The reference to the popular commercial mentioned in the introduction already suggests several characteristics of memes that are worth looking into. Why are they so successful in spreading through cyberspace? Is it just because they have a funny core? Or is due to their striking and at the same time primitive form that anyone can adopt for a remake? Who creates memes and according to what principles? The popularity of servers such as 9GAG shows that although they are anonymous and, as to their form, even primitive visual renderings, they can attract communities of millions of people.

However, the notion of the meme is interrelated with a much more complex phenomenon than that of spreading funny images. Richard Dawkins has used it within his thesis that human culture and spreading of information are subject to the same evolutionary pressures as the DNA. In the end, the most successful memes could include Christ’s suffering or the love of Romeo and Juliet rather than a dog with a lisp. After all, are not we ourselves nothing but a “mere” meme replicating the behaviours and situations that have formed the lives of our parents? These reflections, too, can come up during the thematic evening Image versus Meme. It will be held on April 19 exceptionally at Café Neustadt.

Guests of the evening:

IVÁN ZATZ-DÍAZ (Critical & Visual Studies, Pratt Institute, School of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, NYC): “MEMES IN CULTURE, CULTURE IN MEMES”



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