Weaponization of the Carnivalesque: Breaking Down 'Alt-Right' Meme Culture
Lecture by Florian Cramer
This lecture will map the network and history of the large white suprematist subculture of the "Alt-Right" along with related currents and subcultures, break down its deliberately hermetic linguistic and visual codes and explain their relation to popular visual culture on the Internet. The "Alt-Right" presence has grown on Internet forums such as 4chan through its appropriation of the meme, elements of cyberlibertarianism, anti-feminist, and anti-minorities sentiments into one hegemonic operation. Unlike older attempts of the extreme right to gain cultural hegemony, these interventions deliberately employ humor, transgression, the grotesque, and even the absurd as rhetorical devices. From Pepe the Frog, to Kek the Egyptian God of chaos, and Red Pills, the lecture attempts to go beyond superficial discussions of fake news and ‘post-truth’ and investigate the popularity of ‘fashy’, or ‘fashionable fascism’.
Florian Cramer is a reader in 21st Century Visual Culture at the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. His publications include Exe.cut[up]able statements. Poetische Kalküle und Phantasmen des selbstausführenden Texts (Wilhelm Fink, 2011) and Anti-Media (NAi010, 2013).
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