OUT NOW: Emotive Images Educational Toolkit

Digital visual cultures come with an abundance of more playful, ironic, and emotive imagery, such as GIFs, memes, and emojis. Just as we have studied the prominence of cat videos in the first edition of Video Vortex, we grant importance to this playful side of digital visual culture. GIFs and memes can be tools in research and education. However, we want to free memes from their dominant use in culture wars and reclaim them as an expressive and tactical tool. Similarly, we would like to address cross-cultural emoji theory, design, and critique.

What started as a criticism of the unwillingness of Facebook to implement a dislike button, has grown into a realization of the larger emotional, cultural, and financial value of the emoji. This critical curiosity leads to a range of questions. How do users (knowingly or unknowingly) repurpose standardized features to circumvent limitations that go with button features? What are the unseen or suppressed emotions on a platform such as FB and Insta? Is it a masculine drive to measure something that’s hard to grasp? What habits of daily life do emoji promote? And are social media fit for the expression of sincerity in the first place?

In the context of Emotive Images, which is part of our Tactical Visual Culture research project,  we created an educational toolkit. In seven knowledge clips, experts and activists present their ideas on the use and future of memes and emojis.

Toolkit showcase: https://vimeo.com/showcase/7932773

Kim de Groot – Artistic Meme Research

In this video interview, Kim de Groot in conversation with Geert Lovink talks about artistic meme research.

Marloes Geboers – Hoe je emojis kunt gebruiken bij de interpretatie van beeldcontent

James Bryan Graves – Emojicode

In this video essay and tutorial, James Bryan Graves talks about Emojicode.

Morris Kolman – Memes Production and Meme Theory

In this video interview, Morris Kolman in conversation with Geert Lovink talks about Memes Production and Meme Theory with a particular focus on the memetic strategies of US election campaigns.

Sachini Perera – Crisis Memes in Postcolonial and Postwar Contexts

In this video essay, Sachini Perera deals with crisis meme in postcolonial postwar settings.


Lilian Stolk – De politieke keuzes en beslissingen van Unicode bij het implementeren van emojis

Tadej Štrok – Tactical Shitposting

In this video essay, Tadej Štrok talks about Meme Warfare and Tactical Shitposting.


Video Editing: Tommaso Campana/Eleni Maragkou
Music Introduction: Daniel Leix-Palumbo
Graphic Design: Fanfare
Project Management emojis: Marloes Geboers
Project Management memes: Chloë Arkenbout

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Tactical Visual Culture is a supported by the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.