PANEL: PHILOSOPHY AND MEMES
On October 1st 3pm PST
From the depths, Foreign Objekt has summoned the nightmare of a nightmare to come.
Theory posters. Or memers. Or ... something/s?
These pages are the non-Oedipal parents of philosophy’s monstrous children
Hosted by media theorist 𝐘𝐯𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐚
The Author of ‘Meme Dankness: Floating Glittery trash for an Economic Heresy,’ chapter in Post-Memes, eds. Alfie Bown and Daniel Bristow, Punctum Press, 2019.
Featuring known sorcerers, war machines and becoming animals:
𝐁𝐞𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐖𝐨𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐜
𝐅𝐚𝐤𝐞 ‘𝐁𝐢𝐟𝐨’ 𝐁𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐢
𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙁𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜
Organized and Curated by: Sepideh Majidi
multi- panel memes 𝘿𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙪𝙯𝙚𝘼𝙣𝙙𝘿𝙧𝙖𝙜𝙤𝙣𝙨
Philosophy and Memes panel
𝘽𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙒𝙤𝙠𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙗𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙘
This cabal will discuss and fail to discuss arcane topics such as:
“What is a meme author? Who do they belong to? Who has the responsibility of translating them? /conceptual personae (fakegang). Emergent communities
-Memes as living/multipositional objects
-Memes as psychoanalytic/schizoanalytic exercise.
-Why does the resurgence of Deleuze and Guattari fit so well with the popularity of memes? EXPLAIN DELEUZE TO ME OR I’ll FUCKING KILL YOU” (The ecology and topology of the memeopshere)
_̳ Memes as smooth space—strata-hopping
_̳ memes as lines of flightCthulhu (the eerie and the weird)
_̳ Memes as currency?
_𝘽𝙚𝙮𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙒𝙤𝙠𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙗𝙡𝙚𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙘 & 𝘿𝙖𝙣𝙠 𝘿𝙚𝙡𝙚𝙪𝙯𝙚
Creative approaches to meme making? Going beyond the notion of memes as commodification (a tired analysis if you ask me) and towards an almost Lyotardian notion of setting people in motion through memes. Related to the topic of responsibility or question of what are we doing? when we make this content - Grugeaux
The parasocial aspects of running a theory/philosophy meme page? Because the ideas being dealt with are quite complex, relatable, personal, many of us end up making connections both with each other and interacting (or declining to interact) with “fans”. Does this parasocial element change the way these pages are run? Does it make the proliferation of philosophy through memes more effective? - 𝙂𝙧𝙪𝙜𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙭
I also think it could certainly be interesting, though this is obviously a “personal” topic, to discuss mental health or pressure in relation to running a meme page. We are not automata, and the fact is that running a page is a process of churning, iteration, a certain metrification of the self, comparing the likes here with the likes there, experiencing the bitterness of diminishing returns with respect to those dopamine hits. And then there’s the little talked about sense of pseudery, where (at least in my case) your audience expects that you know far more than you conceivably can. This, of course, leans more into a meta-discussion of memes, but I think it’s a potentially worthy one. - 𝙎𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙂𝙧𝙪𝙜𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙭
This idea of pseudery is important, especially when considering the air of authority a high following count can bestow; not as a claim that autodidacts are pseuds; rather the act of creating theory related memes, text over image confers a status of knowledge and the level of explication that followers seek out -
_𝙁𝙖𝙠𝙚 ‘𝘽𝙞𝙛𝙤’ 𝘽𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞
Also a meta-discussion of memes and along the same vein as Grugeaux’s suggestions and emergent communities - but perhaps something with regards to the comment sections? There’s a lot of decent discussion but it’s also easy to derail a community with just a few distrustful commentators. The beauty of being an IG admin is wielding the all-powerful ban hammer and censoring ‘discussion’ when you feel fit without having to answer much to anybody because it’s ultimately your own damn page. This is mostly inspired by an article I read recently where the statement “Good online communities die primarily by refusing to defend themselves” made me rethink my approach to admin’ing. - _𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙁𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜
Liminality and meme account cycles; there have been several constant staple accounts in the ‘theorygram’ sphere/milieu since I joined in late May, however within the fakegang phenomenon there have been several ‘waves’; people interested in creating work that coheres with the energy of the space hop on, publish a few memes, often really clever or quality, and then eventually get bored and fade away. There have been several waves of fakegang creators, which results in scores of these accounts, mostly inactive or semi-active-- but the fact that it draws people into a space of the net that provides the potency to actualize this kind of mimesis is interesting - _𝙁𝙖𝙠𝙚 ‘𝘽𝙞𝙛𝙤’
Co-signed cause that’s some real shit you just said. - 𝙂𝙧𝙪𝙜𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙭
Your last point has me thinking about accessibility as well; do these meme accounts translate ‘high theory’ into more relatable, practical contexts? Do they transform theory in a way that is productive or are they simply reductive?
- 𝒎𝒆𝒎𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒍𝒐𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆
This probably links to mental health in some sense, but memes and nostalgia, or the acceleration of nostalgia. The theorygram thing seems very old for what it is and the meme form is necessarily given to repetitions of cathexis (but with a difference), so this works both in the genre and on the creator (whoever that is, as above to be discussed), so, nostalgia and acceleration thereof - _
Linked to nostalgia is kinda the possibility of memes ‘clearing’ out space for aesthetics (or failing to do so). I use my page to play with theory-fic (or whatever I’m writing), and there is something ludic in this, clearly not a meme, but it seems to participate in the same aesthetic regime … so I guess I’m interested in the idea of an aesthetic space that memes belong in, but aren’t the sole objects of (a non-reductionist aesthetics of?) this is less than half ready to talk about.
Memes as encapsulations of ideology
Reterritorialization of the meme in OC theory images (it refers to an abstract concept, rather than a cultural or commercial signifier), the creativity and rigor, direct production (Deleuze and Dragons)
_𝙁𝙖𝙠𝙚 ‘𝘽𝙞𝙛𝙤’ 𝘽𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞
Praxis, inversion of theory/philosophy of art, a signification process of what the experiential aspect of reading or participating in philosophy (Socrates’ Daemon - Metaspinoza and Yvette)
_𝙁𝙖𝙠𝙚 ‘𝘽𝙞𝙛𝙤’ 𝘽𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞
Mimesis as the basic unit of theory (dailybarbarian)
Philosophy of being a pseud. Entrance towards spaces and conforming towards their archetypes and interests.
Page arrangement by: Sepideh Majidi
All work created for the panel
Curated and organized by Sepideh Majidi