- Man cuts his books in half to make them ‘portable,’ spurs online debate Tuesday 6:09 PM
- Fans defend Lana Del Rey after she was mocked for flying commercial Tuesday 5:10 PM
- Lady Gaga fans find alleged new song name in her website’s code Tuesday 4:42 PM
- Barstool Sports deletes anti-union tweets, blog post in settlement Tuesday 3:47 PM
- The ‘can have … as a treat’ meme has come full circle Tuesday 3:09 PM
- Joe Rogan says he’s voting for Bernie Sanders Tuesday 2:54 PM
- Woman spots mole in man’s TikTok video, saves him from cancer Tuesday 2:17 PM
- ‘You’ star confirms his character is queer and ‘never will be’ straight Tuesday 1:08 PM
- This Twitch streamer pooped his pants during a broadcast Tuesday 12:17 PM
- Apple’s iCloud encryption plan halted amid FBI pressure, report Tuesday 10:57 AM
- Glenn Greenwald charged with cybercrimes in Brazil Tuesday 10:48 AM
- BadBunny rips her fans for not sending her enough money Tuesday 10:06 AM
- White rapper punched in the face for saying the N-word during battle Tuesday 9:21 AM
- Hillary Clinton blasts Bernie Sanders, says ‘nobody likes him’ Tuesday 8:57 AM
- Someone found Harry Styles’ doppelganger—and TikTok is obsessed Tuesday 8:08 AM
Are LOLCats and image macros art?
PBS’s Idea Labs makes a compelling case in this short film.
Somebody had to make the argument at some point: Image macros are art.
It seems absurd on its face. But in this video from PBS’s Idea Lab, Mike Rugnetta makes a compelling argument for those jokey images with superimposed text, which at some point seem to have displaced cats as the fuel powering low-brow Internet culture.
By its end this skeptic was pretty much converted. Image macros (not memes, as Rugnetta calls them) really can be a form of art.
What do you think of Rugnetta’s argument? Oddly enough, the top comment on YouTube has an insightful take on the question. Is this what happens when PBS viewers comment on YouTube?
“Trying to retrofit meme culture into art is an interesting thought experiment, and totally valid,” wrote porcupineschool. “But I don’t think the real question is whether or not memes are art. What interests me is how this incredibly dynamic, generative movement of visual culture sprung up overnight with almost no involvement from the art world at all. So it’s not a question of legitimizing memes by calling them art, it’s a question of whether ‘art’ is still relevant considering that memes happened without it.”
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.