Me(me), Myself and I 22.05.2019 | Fotomuseum Winterthur


Workshop on the Art Meme as a New Pictorial Form: From Internet Phenomenon to Media Competence

In this workshop we will examine the meme as a pictorial form. This involves taking a serious look at the meme both as an image practice reflecting a specific lifeworld and as a phenomenon of youth culture, and then putting it in an (art) historical context. What is a meme? What is an art meme? What are its potential uses in art classes or for teaching visual arts? What are its underlying educational possibilities?

Works of classical painting circulate as “art memes” on digital social media platforms (e.g. Instagram: @classicalartshit; Twitter: Pre-Raphaelite Girls Explaining @PGexplaining; Facebook: @classicalartmemes). Artistic works are often copied, cut and recombined and supplied with text in the manner of “image macros”. These images comment on pop culture, politics and current news. What is completely missing, for the most part, is any information on provenance and authorship. This raises questions not only about the role of the original and authorship in our contemporary image culture but also about participation and access. Who sees which pictures and who knows which works? Does the internet create a new way of approaching classical masterpieces for a broad(er) cross section of the public, going beyond the walls of the institution?

In the workshop we analyse the phenomenon of the art meme, while at the same time experimenting with it. We will produce our own art memes in the process and be introduced to different contexts for their application in art classes. Using a smartphone, tablet or laptop and free, user-friendly apps, we try out different possibilities together and explore ways of making these visual phenomena.

The event will take place in German in the exhibition SITUATIONS/Photo Text Data (Grüzenstrasse 45) and is free of charge.

More by Helena Schmidt:

An insight into previous discussions can be found on the the Instagram account @poorimagearteducation