EX NUGIS SERIA: THE INTERNET MEME AS CONTEMPORARY EMBLEM
Keywords:memes, emblems, juxtaposition, intertextual, multimodal
AbstractThis article highlights a number of significant formal and conceptual parallels between Renaissance emblems and modern Internet memes. Both emblems and memes physically frame their pictorial subjects with texts. Both are profoundly multimodal and intertextual. While the juxtaposed connection between text and image is often subject to the arbitrary wit of the maker, there are rules to producing both that must be honored. In addition, both play upon the distinction between in-groups who 'get' the message and those who do not; and both exploit possibilities in their respective new media contexts. Makers of emblems and memes have both considered their work trifles, but with an undercurrent of seriousness to them, while their products have simultaneously enjoyed wide popularity and equally widespread disdain. I argue that academic discussions of memes discount the visual side of their subject. The result is that we struggle to notice parallels with close parallels from a past that equally attempts to express something heartfelt, make a performative statement, or simply share an in-joke.
How to Cite
Drainville, R. A. (2021). EX NUGIS SERIA: THE INTERNET MEME AS CONTEMPORARY EMBLEM. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.11903