The (political) power of memes has moved beyond virtual images. The distinction between the virtual and ‘real life’ no longer applies, or perhaps was never really there. Their effects (or should we say affects?) are moving through digital infrastructures, policy, regulations and bodies. If memes are used as a tool by the alt-right to mobilize people to storm the Capitol and play a substantial role in the Ukrainian war, can they also be used by the left to spark a revolution, as memetic warfare is more immediate and accessible than real-life demonstrations? What kind of labor would that require? What kind of tools and principles would we need? And what if memetic logics of spreading information were applied to spread progressive ideas for a possible future?
Contributors: Pierre d’Alancaisez, Chloë Arkenbout, Bhumika Bhattacharya, Marijn Bril, Savriël Dillingh, Tom Divon, Jasmine Erkan & Emma Damiani, Inte Gloerich, Manique Hendricks, Katrin Köppert, Isabel Löfgren, Geert Lovink, Mariana Manousopoulou, Anahita Neghabat & Caren Miesenberger, Laurence Scherz, Florian Schlittgen, Christine H. Tran, Jordi Viader Guerrero, Jamie Wong and Daniël de Zeeuw, Tommaso Campagna, Eleni Maragkou, Jesper Lust & Carlo De Gaetano.
Critical Meme Reader: Global Mutations of the Viral Image is edited by Chloë Arkenbout and Laurence Scherz.
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