The (political) power of memes has moved beyond virtual images. The distinction between the virtual and “real life” no longer applies, or perhaps was never really there. Their effects (or should we say affects) are moving through digital infrastructures, policy, regulations and bodies. If memes are used as a tool by the alt-right to mobilize people to storm the Capitol and play a substantial role in the Ukrainian war, can they also be used by the left to spark a revolution, as memetic warfare is more immediate and accessible than real-life demonstrations? What kind of labor would that require? What kind of tools and principles would we need? And what if memetic logics of spreading information were applied to spread progressive ideas for a possible future?
During this daylong conference, various theorists, researchers, journalists, activists, designers and other creatives and thinkers will critically reflect on the tacticality of memes. We dive into meme activism & political warfare, meme design & labor, and speculative memes & imaginaries. The Memes Beyond the Image Conference is also the launch of the Critical Meme Reader #2: Memetic Tacticality, which is edited by Chloë Arkenbout and Laurence Scherz.
Speakers will soon be announced.