Memes and Museums
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Memes and Museums

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A proposal for creating memes inspired by the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

A proposal for creating memes inspired by the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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  • 1. Memes  and  Museums  
  • 2. What  is  a  meme?    A  meme  is  "an  idea,  behavior,  or  style  that  spreads  from  person  to  person  within  a  culture.”    A  meme  acts  as  a  unit  for  carrying  cultural  ideas,  symbols,  or  prac<ces  that  can  be  transmi=ed  from  one  mind  to  another  through  wri<ng,  speech,  gestures,  rituals,  or  other  imitable  phenomena.      An  Internet  meme  is  a  concept  that  spreads  from  person  to  person  via  the  Internet.    The  word  meme  was  coined  by  Richard  Dawkins  in  his  1976  book  The  Selfish  Gene,  as  an  a=empt  to  explain  the  way  cultural  informa<on  spreads;  internet  memes  are  a  subset  of  this,  specific  to  the  culture  and  environment  of  the  internet.  (Wikipedia,  accessed  May  7,  2013)  
  • 3. Let’s  look  at  some  examples…  
  • 4. Gangnam  Style  is  a  meme.  A  search  for  Gangnam  style  on  YouTube  gets  4,970,000  results  h=p://theweek.com/ar<cle/index/233651/gangnam-­‐style-­‐the-­‐8-­‐best-­‐parodies-­‐of-­‐the-­‐viral-­‐video      
  • 5. Harlem  Shake  is  a  meme.  A  search  for  Harlem  shake  on  YouTube  gets  6,750,000  results  h=p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hpEnLtqUDg      
  • 6. Vadering  is  a  meme  h=p://www.gadgetreview.com/2013/04/15-­‐vadering-­‐pics-­‐george-­‐lucas-­‐would-­‐be-­‐proud-­‐of.html      
  • 7. A  popular  type  of  internet  meme  includes  text  superimposed  on  an  image,  since  this  type  of  content  is  easily  shared  through  social  media.    “Hey  Girl”  is  a  meme  about  Ryan  Gosling  h=p://knowyourmeme.com/memes/people/ryan-­‐gosling    
  • 8. There  was  even  a  museum-­‐themed  “Hey  Girl”  h=p://museumheygirl.tumblr.com        
  • 9. Grumpy  cat  is  a  meme  h=p://www.complex.com/art-­‐design/2013/03/the-­‐50-­‐funniest-­‐grumpy-­‐cat-­‐memes/    
  • 10. “Said  no  one  ever”  is  a  meme  h=p://knowyourmeme.com/memes/said-­‐no-­‐one-­‐ever    
  • 11. “Success  Kid”  is  a  meme  h=p://knowyourmeme.com/memes/success-­‐kid-­‐i-­‐hate-­‐sandcastles    
  • 12. Original  Media  Compressed  into  Image  +  text  for  easy  sharing  Remixed   Remixed    again!  Original  clip  from  The  Lord  of  the  Rings:  h=p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r21CMDyPuGo    Memes  can  be  inspired  by  movies,  TV  shows,  and  commercials  
  • 13. Original  Media  Compressed  into  Image  +  text  for  easy  sharing  Remixed   Remixed    again!  Original  clip  from  the  commercial  for  Dos  Equis:  h=p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U18VkI0uDxE    “I  dont  always  drink    beer,  but  when  I  do,    I  prefer  Dos  Equis.”  
  • 14. We  should  capitalize  on  the  popularity  and  viral  nature  of  these  memes.      No  art  museums  are  doing  this  yet  (that  I  can  find).    Some  ideas…  
  • 15. Notes:  We  would  only  use  public  domain  or  copyright  unrestricted  images  The  image  info  and  URL  are  embedded  on  the  image  so  they  do  not  get  lost  when  shared