Originally published in the catalogue of the group exhibition Eternal September – The rise of amateur culture, this essay by the Slovenian art collective Smetnjak is an excursus about Internet memes, especially about the kind known as the image macro. The image macro – a picture combined with superimposed texts in order to produce a humorous effect – represents one of the most popular means of expression on the Internet for years.
The assemblage of an image and a caption seems to respond to the call Walter Benjamin made in his book about Charles Baudelaire The Writer of Modern Life, a call for a new form of literacy more native to the image-saturated society of spectacle.
Smetnjak have responded to this call by trying to practice critical theory within the pop form of meme, often focusing on the Slovenian cultural celebrity Slavoj Žižek. Here they explain why and how.