WUTS ALL TEH FUZZ BOUT KITTEHS?

Moschovi, Alexandra (2013) WUTS ALL TEH FUZZ BOUT KITTEHS? In: For the LOL of Cats: Scratching the Surface (working title). The Photographers' Gallery, London. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Seen as the cultural “analogon” of genes, a metaphor first used by Richard Dawkins in his famous 1976 treatise The Selfish Gene, memes like Lolcats image macros replicate and expand through social bonds and everyday channels within communities. What started as yet another internet fad or mere insiders’ joke of web subculture has now transformed into a fully-fledged mainstream cultural phenomenon that punctuates our everyday vernacular, our popular culture and collective imaginary. This paper examines the role that Lolcats as a genre may play in our contemporary understanding and appreciation of vernacular visual culture. Could their inclusion in official photographic history mark a step forward towards the direction of a new history of photography, one that is not only inclusive of vernacular practices as Geoffrey Batchen once envisioned, but one that fully incorporates ‘other’ histories that cultural anthropologists, sociologists and human geographers have proposed? And how could the physically and conceptually idiomatic nature of an internet meme—its non-object status, reproducibility, ephemerality, repetitiveness, banality, and distributability—be effectively narrativised within the museum context?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: internet meme, LoLcats, image macros, online subculture, popular culture, vernacular culture, vernacular photographies, civil participation, public-generated material, curatorial practices of public engagement, participatory museum
Subjects: Photography > Digital Imaging
Computing > Human-Computer Interaction
Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Photography > Photography
Divisions: Faculty of Arts Design and Media > Department of Arts and Design
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Alexandra Moschovi
Date Deposited: 09 May 2013 13:42
Last Modified: 09 May 2013 13:42
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/3743

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