Shifting Ideologies within Internet Memes

  • Abstract:

    In this paper I am examining a process of recuperation within web-based cartoon imagery. Defining the concept of recuperation from the Situationist International, not just as an interception of socially and politically radical images, but also as potential new force of pervasive repositioning implicit within the operations of web based image technology. Enquiring into the origins and journeys of recuperated illustrated content within Internet memes, this paper aims to explore a process in which meaning is informed and organised towards audiences far beyond the potential of the original illustrated material. Operating through a combination of regurgitated imagery and text, this paper explores how the function of the meme bridges groups and identities primarily through association with image, rather than any coherent discourse provided by text. Specifically I aim to identify instances in which ideological content becomes attached to such Internet based visual phenomenon. Concentrating on seemingly ideologically neutral sources of cartoon or webcomic based imagery my intention is to examine instances in which images are reused and re-contextualised within divergent and sometimes contrasting group identities.