William Schwedt

Comedy has been a huge part of my life. The modern meme, photos,screenshots, and text, have become the new jokes. The meme has been used through out history, like writing your name on a wall, claiming you were there. In Ancient Rome, graffiti has been found, translating into “(insert name) was here”, this person loves this person, among some more erotic sayings. People have been doing this allover the world that carries into today. The graffiti is similar to a running joke, or recurring joke, a type of joke one individual uses that can be used again that an audience recognizes. Many shows and media platforms use this kind of joke for dedicated and casual users that will likely get more attention.


When I first came across memes, I thought they were enjoyable, and looked at many more iterations of the same formats. Since the internet's birth, memes have been shared countless times, spanning a wide range of culture. A single format is almost universal, taking on many shapes and forms, as the name “meme” is defined, an element of a culture or system of behavior passed between individuals. In my opinion,memes reflect the art world, transforming as time moves on. Such as paintings originally calculated and near perfect representations, changed into quick movements showing work involved and held symbolic manifestations. The meme also started out thought provoking and seemingly effortless, it changed into random photos, actions, and text that make no sense. As art criticizes the world around it, memes parallel that criticism. I personally find memes to be more relatable to a mass of individuals, speaking in a solid language. With memes so popular in people aged under 40, I find many people have had similar experiences growing up, thinking they were alone in actions or thoughts, but found, through the internet, that thousands of others have shared those same actions and thoughts. Memes have connected many thousands of people, and even elements of cultures.


While meme culture has not made an impact in the art world, they share many elements. One day, art and memes may work side by side, overlapping maybe, until they are indistinguishable.