Democratic culture is about giving ordinary people the ability to express themselves freely. Social change Internet memes are examples of democratic expression, and effect society far beyond the digital. They are works of art in their own right, and provoke emotional and critical inspiration for further exploration and human expression.
Since social media platforms have become our modern gathering space, memes function to express a human and authentic truth. They and their byproducts, are important artifacts of cultural understanding, worthy of serious consideration. Memes spread ideas and dialogue and shape social and political change in many ways.
Know What I Meme? pays tribute to them as cultural icon and elevates them as a legitimate art form by placing them within a gallery setting. Using the meme as inspirational prompt, the artwork creates another layer of cultural meaning to our understanding. It questions the notion that memes are vapid and ephemeral and permanently records responses that prove their influence beyond the digital.
This site includes contextual information and a record of the exhibit held at the Old Dominion University Perry Library Art Gallery from Feb 27–March 13, 2019.
The Know What I Meme? exhibit and site are part of a thesis project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Humanities/Visual Studies, College of Arts and Letters, Old Dominion University, 2019. © 2019 Jeannine Gliddon Owens, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gliddonowensdesign.com