Marijn Bril

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The (political) power of memes has moved beyond virtual images. The distinction between the virtual and ‘real life’ no longer applies, or perhaps was never really there. Their effects (or should we say affects?) are moving through digital infrastructures, policy, regulations and bodies. If memes are used as a tool by the alt-right to mobilize people to storm the Capitol and play a substantial role in the Ukrainian war, can they also be used by the left to spark a revolution, as memetic warfare is more immediate and accessible than real-life demonstrations? What kind of labor would that require? What ...
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Memes are bastards, and we love them for it. But memes are bastards in the sense that they are born from two seemingly incompatible ontological registers: an unholy matrimony of semiosis and virality, sense and nonsense, signification and circulation. More on that later. First, let’s acknowledge that the meme is also an infantile and laughable term, as are all words that repeat themselves. Yet—encountering its own stupidity, and making this into its generative principle—it is not ashamed; like any self-respecting idiot savant, it never ceases to persist in its own convoluted wisdoms. ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and ...
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This book is an adapted version of my PhD dissertation titled ‘Hospitality and Its Other: Migration, Media and the Divided City’ defended in the summer of 2015 at the Division of Media and Communication (now renamed Division of Philosophy, Art and critical Thought (PACT)) of the European Graduate School (EGS), in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. The thesis is renamed to better reflect the notion of satellites in two ways. First, the notion of divided city in the original title can be implicated in the term satellite city which I explore in a variety of ways in this book, and to refer to ...

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