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Do Now #31: Are LOL Cats and Internet Memes Art?

| May 13, 2012 | 8 Comments
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To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


Do Now

Do you think creative, funny internet memes could be considered artwork? If not, how you would categorize them? Describe one of your favorites and/or send us a link to it.

Introduction

All over the internet, “People are creating images and sharing them with strangers for the purpose of communicating their personal experiences.” Art takes many forms, and PBS’s new web video series, Idea Channel, poses an intriguing question in this recent episode about memes and art. The internet offers an opportunity to share individually-crafted punch lines and images on a global scale, but what do we call this act of creation? Art? Jokes? Procrastination fodder? Or all of the above? In contemporary art, successful works are not necessarily made by hand or even tangible—making a visual representation of an idea, whether it goes viral or not, is a creative act.

Resource

Watch Idea Channel: Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? on PBS. See more from Idea Channel.

PBS Idea Channel segment Are LOL Cats and Internet Memes Art?
We’ve all seen and shared a few LOLCats and Internet Memes in our time, but is it possible that these images and videos are actually a new form of art? Idea Channel takes a closer look at how memes function in our new interconnected culture and consults the wisdom of artists past and present to see if these Internet creations truly should be considered “art.”


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #KQEDDoNow

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.


More Resources

David Hevel Video and Educator Guide on KQED Spark
David Hevel draws inspiration from pop culture to critique our cultural in a humorous way. Check out his work in this short Spark documentary and follow-up with activities related to pop culture and advertising in our educator guide.


STUDENT TWEETS FOR DO NOW #31

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Category: Arts, Do Now

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About the Author ()

Kristin Farr is KQED's Arts Education Manager. She is the creator and producer of the Emmy Award-winning video series, Art School, which brings audiences into artists' studios to learn about contemporary art, and engages learners with ideas for new ways to get creative. She is also an artist and a contributing editor for Juxtapoz Magazine.
  • Charleston Chua

    @KQEDEdspace Yes, in my opinion Internet Memes are considered art. Art is to me expression of the individual. Memes are a perfect example of expression. What is art, if not expression? #KQEDDoNow #isacobras

  • Charleston Chua

    @KQEDEdspace Yes, in my opinion Internet Memes are considered art. Art is to me expression of the individual. Memes are a perfect example of expression. What is art, if not expression? #KQEDDoNow #isacobras

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  • http://ritas.edublogs.org/ Rita Sorrentino

    It sounds trite but I believe “Art is in the eye of the beholder.” Now, to appreciate or not appreciate new forms, well, that is the question. I enjoy the cleverness of memes and I think they leave powerful messages or just poke fun. Depending on what is going on in the world around us, these are somewhat like political cartoons. For non-traditional artists, digital tools make it possible to participate in commentary.

  • http://ritas.edublogs.org/ Rita Sorrentino

    It sounds trite but I believe “Art is in the eye of the beholder.” Now, to appreciate or not appreciate new forms, well, that is the question. I enjoy the cleverness of memes and I think they leave powerful messages or just poke fun. Depending on what is going on in the world around us, these are somewhat like political cartoons. For non-traditional artists, digital tools make it possible to participate in commentary.

  • kc912

    I believe memos are a form of art. I see art as something a person spends time on, it has meaning to them, and is a way of self expression. Just like when writing poetry it is a form of art. There have been so many memos out there the last couple of months it’s crazy…but this is where the new generation is going especially with all the technology we have available at our fingertips.

  • kc912

    I believe memos are a form of art. I see art as something a person spends time on, it has meaning to them, and is a way of self expression. Just like when writing poetry it is a form of art. There have been so many memos out there the last couple of months it’s crazy…but this is where the new generation is going especially with all the technology we have available at our fingertips.