Are MEME’s ART? Assignment #3 – FINAL

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Memes provide an engaging way to narrate a story, albeit not in the conventional way. They allow for a distinctive and meme-ish way of storytelling.

According to, The Harvard Crimson, “a meme is an idea, behavior, or style that becomes a fad and spreads by means of imitation.”

For instance, Kermit’s meme has been widely employed to narrate tales. Memes have emerged as a more engaging mode of storytelling because, in today’s fast-paced world, few people have the time to read traditional books and news.

Although memes may receive lower ratings from critics than traditional art forms, it shares many similarities. One of these similarities is their ability to tell stories, which I will elaborate on.


The YouTube video embedded above puts forth the argument that memes satisfy the standards for being classified as art, as defined by Leo Tolstoy. According to Tolstoy, art involves using movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms conveyed through language. As a result, memes can be regarded as a form of creative expression since they exhibit many of these same qualities.

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Art Zealous offers an insightful perspective on memes as a form of art and draws a parallel to “Andy Warhol’s work, which often involved appropriating images from pop culture, not unlike the way memes are created today. Pop artists blurred boundaries in an attempt to elevate “low” culture to “high” art.”Similarly, memes take everyday images and concepts and turn them into a form of art that is accessible and relatable to a wide audience.

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By utilizing meme art, I narrate my tale about the origins and objectives of storytelling with memes. Websites such as and are sites that offer open-source access to everyone. These sites allow anyone to copy and download free images and modify them for educational purposes without the risk of legal action, such as being sued. However, you may be asked to take down your meme by the original artist/photographer/creative or the company that owns the image.

*Tip: To create a free meme – Select an image from, copy it, upload to, add text.

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According to Digital Trends, Are memes the pop culture art of our era? “good is an entirely subjective and often fraught concept in the arts. There may be critics who deride the choice of subject matter” Ultimately, beauty is a matter of personal perception, as the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Just ask Judge Judy

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My definition of art is anything that stimulates the mind to think, wonder, recreate, and repurpose, regardless of the medium it was made with.

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When discussing Memes: Is it Art, The Courier, a British online newsletter, says, “it is interpersonal and subject to change depending on what community you ask.” It can also depend on the generation asked.

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Memes were, in fact, created prior to the recent generation. How To Geek What is a Meme (and How Did They Originate?) states, “Memes have been around since long before the internet existed. In fact, they have been around since before Dawkins coined the term, showing up as early as 79 AD in a Pompeii ruin and as late as the 1970s in graffiti.”

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Banksy, the Bristol-born street artist, creates compelling narratives and messages through his art. In the recording below, he confronts capitalist greed. This is just one of the many themes he explores in his shows.

Click on the recording above to hear a narration about Banksy’s “Festival” artwork.
The above video is a photo taken by J. Morton @ the 2023 Bansky exhibit in Tribeca, NY. The image was converted into a jpeg, added to iMovie, and paired with an original audio recording of the narration used in the exhibit.

Bansky’s politically, and socially conscious art prompts viewers to contemplate the world and institutions we exist in, not just the artwork itself. I’ve recently become a fan of Banksy’s work because it challenges and stimulates discussions about the nature of art. As a result, he is widely recognized as one of the most insightful artists of our time.

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I was fortunate enough to visit his exhibition, where I had the chance to witness this collection firsthand. If you’re interested in seeing the show, click here to purchase tickets, and you will experience this thought-provoking art for yourself.

I manipulated two images below of Bansky’s original artwork and converted those images into gifs through I also added captions to express my excitement about the new skills I am learning in CT101.

Click gif for link on “Hustler Club,” artist Bansky, Photograph of poster taken by J. Morton @ 2023 exhibit, Tribeca, NY.

I customized Bansky’s pieces into something entirely different than his intention for the art, using it for my own purposes to add to this blog. I believe that the purpose of all art should be to share.

Sharing your memes can help you gain a “following” on social media.  Memes have become a prevalent aspect of online culture, particularly on platforms like Reddit, which can serve as a community hub for meme-sharing in storytelling and satire.

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Repurposing has been a common practice throughout history, and some may argue that art is meant to be repurposed to inspire or provoke thought.

Click gif for link on “Girl with Balloon,” artist Bansky, photograph of poster taken by J.Morton @ 2023 exhibit, Tribeca, NY.

The question of whether memes qualify as art opens up a broader discussion about our definition of art rather than limiting the conversation to the digital medium used. It recognizes that memes can be a mode of creative expression and prompts us to consider how they can be situated within the wider landscape of artistic expression.

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The Verge The story of the internet, as told by Know Your Meme “argues that meme culture isn’t malevolent so much as it is amoral; it’s a mirror held up to the culture of the internet, which “increasingly does not care about the truth, and cares only about the narrative, the myth.” Similarly, creative works such as novels, poems, and screenplays are adapted, reimagined, transformed, and adjusted to provide diverse sources of inspiration and entertainment. I’m certain that there was discussion at some point in the past regarding whether the medium utilized in photography and film should also be classified as art.

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My first encounter with memes was during the era of the “Planking” trend. While browsing the website I was reminded of 2010, my Planking days. According to, “Planking is a photo fad which involves lying face down with arms to the sides in unusual public spaces, photographing the scene, and sharing the image online.”

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Although I was heavily involved in the Planking movement and planked in various locations, including stairs, streets, and fire escapes, I regret to inform you that I will not be sharing any of my Planking images. However, you might be able to find one floating around the depths of cyberspace, though.

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6 thoughts on “Are MEME’s ART? Assignment #3 – FINAL”

  1. Outstanding work on this, Jour!
    This is likely the best example of this assignment that I have experienced to date, thank you so much for such a creative, thoughtful, insightful and helpful post!
    Your post references several contextual links, quotes and resources that indeed further our knowledge and awareness about memes! Not only “what” they are, but also how they can function, and also be used as a medium to extend existing artworks!
    I love the fact that you hacked Banksy and became a collaborator with his works! Pretty awesome, not only that, you post serves as a “tutorial” on process. You added a ton of use value to this post by displaying its transparency on process.
    Thank you so much, you must give us a tour of this post in class this week!

    1. HI Professor Ryan

      Thanks for the feedback. It feels great to know I am on the right track. It’s great learning new digital tools because there will always be more to learn, and something new seems to pop up in technology every day.

      Blogging is the most fun I have ever had in a class. It doesn’t feel like homework to me. Except for the tech neck after a weekend of creating.

      I have a request. Are there any particular “audio tools” that you would recommend? I want to get familiar with posting video audio clips within the meme as I think learning how to use audio is another excellent skill I want to get familiar with.

      1. Yes, so so true, the learning curve is both ongoing and integral, which helps apply the same process to new tools and techniques 🙂
        Blogging is so much fun, especially when there a positive energy charge and rapport behind the subjects / content! Even so when the subjects are not so great!
        “Tech Neck” ouch! The term itself hurts… haha, remember to always take a break, I take breaks every 2-30 mins for a few minutes – stand up and move around a bit, so necesaary.
        Ok, so, audio in general is my weakness, haha, its all garble and distortion through hearing aids.. however, there are several applications that you can dig into that I know are popular and connect well with wordpress – look into “Audacity” – it is free ->
        Have fun!

  2. Jour, you did an outstanding job. I am amazed on how detailed you were with every point of the assignment. You were the only assignment I looked at who had a text description for their meme and I really appreciate that. You were very informative in your post, hyperlinking and definitely informing us which is always a plus. Your memes looked at the positives of CT101. Everything was fantastic! Can’t wait to see what you create this upcoming week.

    1. Oh, the pressure. LOL. I’m kidding.

      I also thought your post was excellent. I am just starting this week’s post, and since it’s a little geared toward the individual, I think it may be easier to create. We shall see.

      Thank you for the response. Let’s try to collaborate and keep giving each other feedback on our upcoming projects. It’s super helpful for me to reflect on other students’ work here in CT101.

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