Tag Archives: media

Internet memes, Icebergs and Visual Culture

Today’s blog will be about the definition of visual culture. I guess most of you will have an idea about what it is or might be, but honestly; would you be able to explain what it is and what it includes? Well, I couldn’t. But luckily, there is this thing on the internet called Google. After researching,  I came to the conclusion that visual culture means the following:

We all know what culture means, right? Think about and iceberg floating the sea –for example the one that caused the Titanic to sink, as we probably still recall the scene in the movie that was filmed underwater and the iceberg appeared to be gigantic. This iceberg represents culture, with the largest part being under the sea level and therefore invisible. This part exists out of norms, values, educational background, history and tradition. However, the tip of the iceberg can be seen. That tip, symbolizes visual culture. Examples? Media, fashion, film, advertising, internet memes, graphic design, videogames etc. Visual culture excists out of a mixture of technology, creativity and anthropology which seems to be different wherever you go. But what is happening at the moment when it comes to visual culture?

When I was looking for examples for you that would illustrate visual culture in modern daily life, I realised I went to visit a festival last month called Gogbot (www.2012.gogbot.nl ). This festival is about Art + Technology with internet memes and websites such as www.9gag.com and www.icanhas.cheezburger.com as one of the  main themes.

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If the visual and performing arts are about expressing emotions, providing entertainment and sharing political views, internet memes certainly have similar characteristics although creating memes can be done by anyone I suppose.  Remarkable in my opinion was that people with all kinds of different cultural backgrounds and all ages post on these websites and the memes can be found all over Facebook and Twitter. So actually, the internet does not only play a big role in the globalisation of the planet, but also affects visual culture in a way that it becomes more corresponding on a global level. Interesting to keep an eye on this development!

A.S.

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