Critical Meme Reader: Global Mutations of the Viral Image 


INC Reader #15 

Critical Meme Reader: Global Mutations of the Viral Image 

Edited by Chloë Arkenbout, Jack Wilson and Daniel de Zeeuw

Beyond the so-called ‘Alt-right’ and its attendant milieus on 4chan and Reddit, memes have passed the post-digital threshold and entered new theoretical, practical, and geographical territories beyond the stereotypical young, white, male, western subject. As they metastasized from the digital periphery to the mainstream, memes have seethed with mutant energy. From now on, any historical event will be haunted by its memetic double. Our responses to memes in the new decade demand an analogous virtuality.

This Critical Meme Reader features an array of researchers, activists, and artists who address the following questions. What is the current state of the meme producer? What are the semiotics of memes? How are memes involved in platform capitalism and how do they operate within the context of different mediascapes? How are memes used for political counter-strategies? Are memes moving beyond the image? How can memes be used to design the future? Will there ever be a last meme in history? Together, the contributors to this reader combine their global perspectives on meme culture to discuss memetic subjectivities and communities, the work of art in the age of memetic production, the post meme, meme warfare, and meme magic – varying from reflections on real-life experiences to meta meme theory.

Contributors: Crystal Abidin and Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Anirban K. Baishya, Aarushi Bapna and Ajitesh Lokhande, Luther Blissett, Grant Bollmer, Stephanie Boulding, Lesley Braun, Anthony Burton, Caspar Chan, Clusterduck, Åke Gafvelin, Idil Galip, Martin Hanssen, Geoff Hondroudakis, Max Horwich, Yasmeen Khaja, Andy King, Ivan Knapp, Jacob Sujin Kuppermann, Anahita Neghabat, Sarp Özer, Saeeda Saeed, Laurence Scherz and The Trans Bears, Sabrina Ward-Kimola and Scott Wark.

Copy editor: Geoff Hondroudakis
Cover Design: Marijn Bril
Design and EPUB development: Chloë Arkenbout and Tomasso Campagna
Printing and binding: GPS Internationale Handels Holding GMBH
Cover font: Terminal Grotesque Regular by Raphaël Bastide (Velvetyne)

Published by the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam 2021

ISBN print: 9789492302762
ISBN EPUB: 9789492302779


Supported by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries.

This publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit

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