The present Arts-Based Educational Research launched off two main interests:
As a whole, most of the digital content that informs visual culture online [at least the examples above] are branded as Internet Memes. However while the first set [Image Macros & Animated GIFs] could be understood as wholly digital & visual, the second set [flash mobs, planking & breading] are performative behaviors that are then digitized for documentation & sharing purposes. This exploration is concerned with the first set.
Memes however precede the Internet, originally understood simply as nuggets of cultural information that travel from individual to individual, society to society, civilization to civilization.
As memes become instances of visual content & enter the internet as modes of succinct communication, users are not only able to read and share them but also to engage them actively through common remix practices, re-appropriating and repurposing them as they would virtually any other piece of digital content. Thus this research understand the Language of Internet Memes as
The language of Internet Memes then is understood as a point of convergence where Remix, both as philosophy and practice, meets Internet Visual Culture. The following questions [a main, guiding one and three subordinates] arise as possible ways to explore the language of Internet Memes in terms that are relevant for arts and visual culture education:
- How can the language of internet memes be interrogated as a medium that embodies arts-based experiences through collective authorship and be made relevant for research and pedagogical practices involving internet art and visual culture?
- What are the concrete forms of Internet Memes that can be contextually integrated into learning experiences that may range widely in terms of age, object of study and expected outcomes?
- Which specific learning contexts are likely to benefit the most from integrating explorations into which form of Internet Memes?
- What are the implications (potential and actual) of facilitating arts-based explorations into the language of Internet Memes as part of an Arts and Visual Culture learning experience?