New Art: Internet Memes

Memes are all around us, the term meme hasn’t been around long, but the idea of memes started since the dawn of time. The term meme started in 1976 by Richard Dawkins book The Selfish Genes, explaining the process of genes and memes. According to Dawkins, memes are an element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means. Basically, what Dawkins means memes are the copying of ideas and spreading of ideas. For example, you didn’t invite wearing sunglasses on a sunny day, you were brought up to wear sunglasses when the sun is out.

With the increase of technology, there are new type of memes called temes (technological memes). According to Susan Blackmore, temes  are digital information stored, copied, varied and selected by machines. She also explains that we as humans are also teme machines merging with technology. We are self-replicating, we make babies; with technology in the palm of our hands we can’t escape the temes. With technological memes comes what we know as internet memes.

Memes get created by mostly by happenstance, sometimes intentional. Memes becomes memes through the internet, weather it be filming rainbows, interviews, remixes, and cats; we the people are responsible for spreading a so called meme. Memes usually get started through youtube, reddit, or the dreaded 4chan, but that is to say memes can pop up in other forums as well. Memes usually get created if it is funny or true in nature; it all has to do with us copying that information like Dawkins explains and spreading it throughout the internet. I think that memes become memes because it gives us a humor about how life is like, we get to laugh at mistakes.

Now, this begins the question are memes and gifs actually and truly art? I believe so,  it takes so much creatively of a meme to spread new ideas like the socially awkward penguin (only of my favorites) is one idea, but gives different scenarios like a story. That also goes for gifs, it tells a story within a few frames that are played infinity. I guarantee the more you watch a certain gif, a different means will arise every time because it’s a short infinite loop. Try and see if you can create a meme and see how much creativity is need.

That being said, Have you ever created a meme or a favorite meme? How would you react if a video or picture of you became a worldwide internet meme? Do you believe memes and gifs are forms of art? why or why not?


27 thoughts on “New Art: Internet Memes

  1. No, I’ve never created an internet meme but this sure does make me want to. I see memes all around and don’t really have one to call a favorite. I filter them quickly as either silly or funny. I wouldn’t mind my meme going viral, as long as it’s not embarrassing. Memes and gifs are definitely the new art and need creative thinking. You need to put simple advice or statements with a picture- and most importantly it can’t be an inside joke between you and your best friend. No, you need to make sure if you want it to go viral that it could be understood by many worldwide.

  2. Personally, I have never created a meme. However, if I did create a meme and it became a worldwide sensation I would be elated. I do not have a favorite meme, but one of the sites I look at frequently for meme’s is the University of Michigan Dearborn Facebook meme page. I usually find those pretty funny. Another Facebook page I find funny that usually posts meme’s is the “Trust Me, I’m an Engineer” one. Usually this site is making fun of how nerdy engineers can be. I can laugh at this because my major is electrical engineering!

    I believe that GIF’s and memes are a form of art, but taken from multiple sources usually. Anything creative and can make people laugh I pretty much consider a form of art. Meme’s are just simpler forms of comics and I consider comics a form of art.

  3. I created two memes for my blog post in this class! I also created one for a friend at work, strictly for humorous purposes. I think that memes are one of the greatest forms of art-they are genius. Some of them are so randomly awesome, that I feel I’m in the minority in enjoying them, which makes me like them all the more. They can pertain to so many different topics, and I enjoy seeing the same meme being altered for completely different reasons. That being said, I would absolutely not like it if I found internet fame through a meme. Some have gotten so huge that you would be recognized everywhere you go. Some like the “ermahgerd girl” and “Bad Luck Brian” have even followed them around to the point where there are updated pictures of them. That’s the glory of the internet, but I’d want to part of it!


  4. I have never created a meme on Facebook or any social media website, just because I really don’t feel the need to go out of my way to make a point that is very obvious and well known to many already. Many internet memes are very entertaining and do make you look at different issues from a fresh new perspective, which is good for the practices of “fair use” that we have been reading about in our class discussions.

  5. I think having me being incorporated with a meme would be very fun and interesting to see how people react to myself and the power of the message on social media. I just hope the meme with a picture of me serves a valid point or perspective and is thought of in a fun and interesting way to entertain or enlighten people.

  6. I have not personally created a meme, but it something I find very interesting. Had I created something that others found funny, amusing or enlightening enough to look at, and tell others about it that would be great, but for me to be the subject of the meme that would be uncomfortable for me. I am not the type to think that anyone would be that interested in my interpretation of a picture. I find memes to be very artistic;to have the ability to tap into a picture/image and be able to interpret it in another way is both artistic and creative.

  7. I personally have not created a meme but I do think they are really funny. The Willy Wonka memes are my favorite ones and they definitely had a lot of attention at the time they came out. I must admit they became annoying after awhile. I think memes are a form of art because it is a form of expression. They allow for someone to pretty much say anything while also being creative. If a picture of mine became a meme I would hope it wouldn’t be embarrassing, but I also wouldn’t mind for it to go worldwide as long as it doesn’t cause any harm.

  8. The question of art in media is a common one, and it’s easy to say this or that isn’t art but this certainly is; well that seems like a fruitless debate when the real question is of quality. Some memes are quality, some aren’t, and the ones that aren’t are forgotten. This doesn’t hold true in the music/film world however, so that’s quite interesting in of itself.

  9. I have never created a meme, but my friends do all the time. My favorite memes are cat memes, although I don’t give them much attention of a regular basis. If a video or picture of me became a worldwide internet meme (and popular) I would probably be embarrassed and find out what can be done to get the content removed (however I am aware it will never permenantly delete). I do think gifs can be an animated form of art, however I don’t believe memes are a form of art. Memes are more of an expression of words, one takes a picture and adds a small amount of text to the picture. To me, memes seem more creative than artistic.

  10. Contrary to popular belief, I have not created any memes (not even the one I used in my blog post – I actually found one that fit perfectly already built). However, if I ever created something that went viral, I would be ecstatic. It would be pretty intriguing to know that my personal message has reached out and made so many people all around the world smile! It’s an awesome thought for sure! As for whether or not memes are art… I can see how some of them can be art. They are well thought out and truthfully based pieces of work. Art comes in many forms. Some people see art in a painting or sculpture (this is your standard art) but then there’s also photography, digital media (in which I would include memes), and my personal favorite… dance. I’m a sucker for a meaningful dance routine (seriously, I have a box of tissue next to me whenever I watch routines). If you can put yourself out there in your work, I consider it an art form. You on paper, you in pixels, you in movement… is art!

  11. I’ve never created a meme but my favorite memes are definitely the Bad Luck Brian memes. They are absolutely hilarious. If someone made a meme of me I’d probably be mad due to the fact that they usually make fun of people; however if it was good then I would definitely be okay with that! I believe they are a form of art to an extent. I believe it takes artistic skill to come up with the right picture to fit a joke, but I believe the joke comes straight from a comedian or person with a good sense of humor. Of course who am I to say? I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, nor do I know when something is considered art.

  12. I’ve never made a meme, but I do have a favorite. The photo is of 3 elderly Amish men and the text says “SORRY YOUR ELECTRIC IS OUT
    I still find it funny because my friend’s (who lives in Sumpter Twp, if anyone knows where that is) power went out last summer and it reminds me of how much of a grouch she was (I know, I’m a rotten friend.)
    I’d be pissed off if a video or picture of me became an internet meme. I don’t really allow people to take pictures/video of me where I’m making an ass of myself, so I can’t really imagine myself in that situation. I don’t find myself to be someone who generally wants/seeks outside attention to that level, so yes, I’d be upset.
    It doesn’t take much to use the Impact font and type up a clever line onto a photo. With that being said, I do not believe that memes or gifs are works of art.

  13. I’ve helped create a few memes that I’m not proud of and certainly should be erased. I’ve also created a few memes that were funny, at least if you get the inside joke. I think memes are funny though, or at least meant to be funny most of the time. If I became a meme, I really don’t know what I would do. There probably wouldn’t be much I could do about it because that picture would be all over the internet and you can’t stop something like that. I also don’t think that memes and gifs are forms of art, they are just pictures using texts and stuff.

  14. I don’t know if I would call them a form of art, but that could become an argument. They are creative, and then may contribute something in society, but I do not see them as something that can possibly stand the test of time. We are not going to see the awkward penguin in ten years, unless it is one of those remember the era things. Also, I do not know how I would react to myself becoming a meme. If it was one that had nothing to do with me personally, like the Lannister one, go ahead. If it was anything else though I would probably be upset.

  15. I never personally created a meme myself, but I’ve viewed so many because they are my favorite. I would be pissed off honestly if a video or picture of me became an internet meme because no one would like to be laughed at. I do believe that some memes and gifs are a form of art, that depends on the content and the message behind it. This also depends on how well the joke is constructed and how new is it. There is a lot of jokes out there, but not all of them are funny and many of them are just repetition. Therefore, not all memes can be referred to as art, unless they are really well constructed. In addition, memes that discuss the current social issues are the most artistic because they combine negativity with a good laugh.

  16. I do think memes can be considered a form of art. I consider it a form of comedy, which does take some artistic ability. I do not think I would react well to having a picture of me floating around the internet. Then when you add the element of some of the captions that people add (and we know they can be cruel) it would be a nightmare. I do have favorite memes, but your question has made me think about how some people feel about their picture spread all over the internet. I guess memes can be fun, and even artistic, but I could do without the ones that are humiliating to people.

  17. I have never created a meme–I’m not sure I’m up to the task–but surely they can be considered an art form, seeing as how most things can be considered art. A person or group of people saw an image or video, had an idea about it, and took the time to manipulate it into something appealing to many people. That is art. I would be entirely creeped out, however, if a video or image of myself went viral. I do not believe there are any videos of me on youtube or any other website, so someone would have to go to great means to obtain a video of me. There are plenty of pictures of me online, but I don’t think I’m controversial enough of a human to have a meme created in my honor. So, again, a meme of me would make me feel kind of violated.

  18. I have never created a meme but I am a huge fan of them. I look at memes on a daily bases and I follow many on Facebook and Instagram. If a video or a picture of me became a worldwide internet meme I wouldn’t be mad unless it was really embarrassing. One time I found a meme on Facebook about my professor, and I decided to show it to him, he wasn’t offended at all in fact he found it funny. I guess memes can be a form of art because they do entertain us, and thats what art does in a way.

  19. I have a created a few memes but they were just sports ones, during the playoffs last year. I made a couple making fun of Derek Jeter’s broken ankle and A. Rod being on steroids. Just to post on Facebook to be humorous. I have a couple favorites one is this one:

    Another is this girl:

    I think if something I created went viral I’d be pretty happy and proud of it. Knowing that people liked it enough to spread it around would be awesome. I think I have a good sense of humor and if others acknowledged that too it would be pretty cool. (Now I sound conceited, I’m not. Really) I think they forms of art in a small way. Someone had the initiative and idea to create something, even if it is just another take on something else. It does take some originality and an idea. I don’t compare it to painting or songwriting though.

  20. I think that if a picture of myself or something that I created were to become a worldwide internet meme, I would be flattered as long as it represented something positive but, I know how things on the internet can quickly go awry. I think that gifs and memes are considered a work of art because they can be very creative and gif and memes are works of people’s imaginations and can express different things about the creator. Memes and gifs can take on different meanings and can invoke different emotions in people so, that’s why I think that gifs and memes are works of art.

  21. I have never created a meme ever in my life. I would certainly feel violated if my own image (likeness) was used in a meme without my express or written consent. I find it comical when people use the likeness of a cartoon or animated character in meme jokes. I’ve even posted several gifs, which I found to be appropriate, for my own blog post on this blog. Gifs can certainly be expressed as art. Art is subjective, right?

  22. This is my new favorite meme is a turtle coming out of an egg and saying rawr!!! Just kidding I’m only a turtle. Ill share it on twitter. Nevere created a meme and probably never will but I think they are art just in a different form. People expression themselves in different ways and that is art. I think for a class assignment we should make a meme!

  23. Memes be gods are both forms of art. They are also visually pleasing to me. I feel that memes are reused often via social media sites and through text messages. They are often funny and make me laugh.

  24. No, I have never created a meme or a favorite meme. I am not sure what I would do if a video or picture would be a worldwide meme. I do not believe that meme are gifs are a form of art. I do not believe this because they are out there to make you laugh and nothing more. They become viral because everyone shares them because they make me laugh. They go viral worldwide they are not forms of art but they can make people laugh.

  25. I have never created a meme. In a way, memes can be a form of art. Authors would get an image and put some text on it; this would be a way of creating an expression. However, that is only if you use your own image; taking another image or video that has been used already is not a form of art. It reminds me of those old World War II propaganda posters that I have seen; those can be similar to memes and they are somewhat truly artistic. Most memes are funny, some are even serious.

  26. Pingback: Meme of the Day | The Jacquel Rassenworth Blog

  27. Pingback: Memes and .gifs are more than silly humour | Tea, kittens and a lazy perfectionist

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