Call for Proposals – Memes Beyond the Image 

The Institute of Network Cultures is looking for theorists, researchers, journalists, artists, activists, designers and other creatives and thinkers that are working on meme studies and practices, that want to participate in two upcoming events:

  • A workshop during the concluding programme of the Berlin Transmediale 2021–22 festival at Transmediale Studio in Berlin on the 27th of January, 2022
  • A one day INC conference at Spui25 in Amsterdam on the 18th of February, 2022

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, 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 labour would that require? And what if memetic logics of spreading information were applied to spread progressive ideas for a possible future?

Formats could include keynote talks, panel discussions, case studies, interviews, workshops, poetry readings, video essays, art performances, or other yet to be defined formats. We are specifically looking for local perspectives, examples and regional theories from around the globe. 

Deadline for proposals for both events: 21-12-2021
Further information and questions:

Both events are curated by Chloë Arkenbout and Geert Lovink. Selected participants will be contacted before Christmas. Participation is voluntary but travel fee and accomodation can be compensated. INC is able to assist in finding additional funding and letters for travel grants and VISA invitations can be provided.

INC Conference
Memes Beyond the Image: Political Memetic Tacticality
February 18, 2022
Spui25, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 

During a one day conference at Spui25 in Amsterdam, the INC is hosting three sessions that consist of up to three or four projects, in the following themes: Memetic Warfare, Meme Labour and Speculative Memes. We are looking for proposals for all sessions. 

transmediale x INC
Memes Beyond the Image: Memes for Refusal
January 27, 2022
transmediale studio, Gerichtstr. 35, 13347 Berlin, Germany 

Mapping out the political agency of refusal and exploring its potential to form new socio-political realities, transmediale 2021-22 concludes its year long inquiry with an exhibition at Akademie der Künste running from 26 January to 18 February, and a symposium at Haus der Kulturen der Welt on 28 and 29 January. Investigating how morality and damage are used to order the world, the festival will challenge ideas of technology as smooth and seamless, and highlight the centrality of dysfunctionality in the logics and operations of technology. With a breath of dark humor, impudence, and artifice, the festival asks what possibilities of refusal are there in confronting the realities of technology?

We are looking for creatives and thinkers that are working on similar themes, in the context of the political memetic tacticality, to host a 2-4 hour event (formats are open for interpretation and could include a workshop or panel discussion for example) with us at transmediale studio on the morning of the 27th of January, the day before the official transmediale symposium starts. 

Please note that the audience capacity and physical/hybrid/online state of both events are dependent on the current local covid measures. Some flexibility for these projects might be required.