Memory is encoded with semantics, moving images, pattern recognition—all of which carry deep cultural implications.
Our contemporary social communication slips into private prompts, direct messages (dm)s, shared memes, and search/discovery through hashtags. This common form has evolved from the 1960s landline and instead lives on through the screens of our mobile devices.
DM Meme is a work inspired by the original Moscow - DC hotline established in 1963 where both critical and cultural communications were relayed between the two superpowers. Popularly referred to as the “red telephone”, this hotline has served as a cultural signifier of the exchange between the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States.
Through DM Meme, we invite participants to engage in a real-time morphing of the contextual and semantic meanings imbued in image-based memes. The definition, description, or response to a meme in one’s native tongue will serve as the starting point to a transcontinental collaboration with another participant. Once two participants respond to the same message, likely in different languages, a pseudo-collaborative poetic and encoded response will be generated that repositions the meaning of the meme at hand. This 3-way collaboration between two participants and a computational system seeks to connect the global and local through questioning the cultural transmission of memes and how their meaning evolves, morphs, and transforms through the digital ether.