DAT401 Intervation- Meme

Posted on Updated on

INDE401 Project 3 Intervention and Mashup.

Meme Reality Intervention

Richard Dawkins invented the word “meme” in  The Selfish Gene published 1976. The word meme describes a behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. However internet parlance has taken the idea to mean an  image, video, piece of text, etc, typically funny in nature.

i know what you did there clean

Our aim

What we wanted to show through our piece was how  you can intervene with the material world by bringing a principally digital medium into the physical environment that people operate within. Memes were chosen as they are familiar to internet users and we felt that this would reinforce the contrast that we aimed to show ,when the meme is introduced into the mundane world.

Photo of the basic meme face construction using polystyrene and laser prints
Photo of the basic meme face construction using polystyrene and laser prints


We made four meme heads that could be manipulated to appear beside the unsuspecting subject’s face. The aim was to film the memes appearing from various angles, on smart phones at location within the University of Plymouth.  The next step was to mash-up the videos into a sequence showing memes appearing, backed by a known meme/ youtube song, to take away any sinister connotations.


Above is the uploaded final youtube film

A still from our film above using the troll face meme
A still from our film above using the troll face meme
LOL face Meme exiting from Roland Levinsky
LOL face Meme exiting from Roland Levinsky, still from our video.

Our invention demonstrated;

  • How taking meme into a real world actual adds to the understanding of how memes work.
  • The physicality of the project memes reinterpreted the space and gave new dimension to how we may view their use.
  • That memes are translatable into real world application


What could have been done to alter or improve the project:More footage, better filming,different MEMEs for better context,more editing time and better post production technique and pre filming preparation.

We later considered other ways of introducing our memes to the environment with ideas such as, life-sized Meme, Meme T shirt or masks. It was certainly felt that the poor quality of the filming meant that the act of meme insertion was  somewhat lost in translation.

In conclusion the project was not polished, but did offer something of the original rusticated filming techniques that appear across youtube. Within the lecture group the “meme on a stick” was very popular and students felt that,commercially, here maybe some further  in developing the faces in the future.


Bibliography:The Selfish Gene (2015) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene (Accessed: 23 October 2015).In-line Citation:(The Selfish Gene, 2015)

Bibliography:Richard Dawkins on the internet’s hijacking of the word ‘meme’ (Wired UK) (2013) Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-06/20/richard-dawkins-memes (Accessed: 23 October 2015).In-line Citation:(Richard Dawkins on the internet’s hijacking of the word ‘meme’ (Wired UK), 2011

Bibliography:Gleick, J. (2011) What Defines a Meme? Available at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-defines-a-meme-1904778/?no-ist (Accessed: 23 October 2015).In-line Citation:(Gleick, 2011)

Bibliography:Victor, E. (2015) The Benefits of Memes in Marketing and Why It Has Gained Popularity. Available at: https://www.brandwatch.com/2015/04/marketing-creating-memes-that-help-your-online-marketing-efforts/ (Accessed: 25 October 2015).In-line Citation:(Victor, 2015)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s