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Aug. 24, 2011

PBS Series Looks at Online Culture

by Katherine

Is it just me or has the pace of culture-memorializing been rapidly increasing? One day your friend sends you a link to a hilarious new video; the next day, it’s on a list of “the top 10 videos of yesterday”; and the day after you can reminisce on its hilarity by buying a nostalgic T-shirt. Self-referential blogs and snarky TV shows, of course, love to look back on the recent internet past. But increasingly, so do respected national news organizations.

Like PBS. A new PBS Arts series, Off Book, aims “to showcase new and under-exposed art forms and reach arts communities online.” Its latest installment focuses on “Visual Culture Online” — otherwise known as memes. The series’ curator writes:

For decades now, people have joined together online to communicate and collaborate around interesting imagery. In recent years, the pace and intensity of this activity has reached a fever pitch. With countless communities engaging in a constant exchange, building on each others’ work, and producing a prodigious flow of material, we may be experiencing the early stages of a new type of artistic and cultural collaboration.

The short episode below explores online mashups and remix culture (Nyan cat, anyone?). Stay tuned till the end for a handy guide to meme creation.

Watch the full episode. See more Off Book.

Follow the rest of the series at http://www.pbs.org/arts/.

Related: How to Lift a Beat

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About Katherine

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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