With the development of the Internet and social networks, the artist loses his monopoly on the artistic statement itself. This is a very serious process that many are afraid to pay attention to. This process changes the value of the art system in society.
A meme is a unit of cultural information. It can be any phrase, idea, symbol, image or sound that is communicated from person to person. The whole mechanism of the emergence of a meme is built on the process of imitation. As a unit of cultural information, a meme does not depend on a specific situation. In practice, this is manifested in cases where the same meme is used to explain very different situations.
At the same time, the meme is an integral part of the art. The Internet meme, in particular, is nothing but a kind of network folklore.
The study of memes as a phenomenon has been the subject of many scientists since the 1970s. In 1976, English scientist Richard Dawkins published the book The Selfish Gene, which marked the birth of memetics as a science. The term "meme" appears in Dawkins' works as an analogy with the "gene" in genetics.
The concept of the meme is developed in the works of another scientist, Douglas Rushkoff, who transferred it to the media space. Rashkoff is the author of the book Mediavirus, which describes how pop culture affects our minds. He developed Dawkins’ ideas and outlined the notion of memes in a media environment.
Memes are created and distributed by people. A meme, in its broad sense, can be anything, any element of popular culture, any popular brand, a line from a song or a famous person.
The memes have many classifications. They can be divided according to various signs. For example, according to the mode of origin we distinguish:
Internet memes are surely an art object of modern folklore. They have a personalized content character. Memes can hold misprints, various homophones, etc. Such a personalized and “socially pointed” meme’s nature connects it with the tradition of “parlor jokes” and even with an ordinary anecdote.
On the one hand, anonymous Internet creativity is increasingly invading the territory of modern art, on the other hand, modern artists are more often turning to the Internet for inspiration and draw ideas from it, sometimes passing it off as their own.
Nowadays, it becomes difficult for an artist to compete with a huge army of Internet users armed with digital cameras, text and graphics editors and broadband Internet.
Having an enormous impact on people, taking not only themes and visual images away from the "professional" art, but also the audience, Internet culture makes the institution of art once again rethink itself and its objectives in society.
“An Internet meme is a hijacking of the original idea. Instead of mutating by random change and spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, Internet memes are altered deliberately by human creativity. There is no attempt at accuracy of copying, as with genes - and as with memes in their original version.” Richard Dawkins