The Anonymity of a Murmur: Internet Memes

British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (3):303-318 (2018)
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Abstract

Memes, of the kind found often on the internet, are an increasingly significant medium of expressive activity. I develop a theory of their ontological nature and, in parallel, an analysis of the concept meme. On my view, memes are abstract artifacts made out of norms for production of instances. The norms say things like ‘use a certain image; add text of a certain kind; the text should be delivered in two chunks, one at the top of the image, one at the bottom, etc.’ Instances of these memes are created when users follow these norms and publish the results. The concept meme is analyzed in terms of the notion of memographic practice, a historically situated form of activity within which memes are created and their instances produced and made public.

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Simon Evnine
University of Miami

Citations of this work

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A Metaphysics of Artifacts: Essence and Mind-Dependence.Tim Juvshik - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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References found in this work

Defining Art Historically.Jerrold Levinson - 1979 - British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (3):21-33.

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