Richard Dawkins does psychedelic Internet-Memes live on Stage
Richard Dawkins hat gestern auf dem Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity den New Directors Showcase mit einer kleinen Rede über das von ihm geprägte Wort Meme eröffnet und wie es heute durch das Netz millionenfach jeden Tag neu mutiert. Dann explodiert die Bühne in Regenbogenfarben, alle schmeißen eine Runde Acid und Richard Dawkins spielt Flöte. Das LSD wirkt im Video oben ab Minute 5. Psychedelic Memetics FTW!
Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in his 1976 bestseller The Selfish Gene. The word — which is ascribed to an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture — has since been reappropriated by the internet, with Grumpy Cat, Socially-Awkward Penguin and Overly-Attached Girlfriend spreading virally, leaping from IP address to IP address (and brain to brain) via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.
In recognition of this, advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has recruited Dawkins to participate in the theatrical piece alongside installation artists Marshmallow Laser Feast. The aim is, presumably, to create a piece of content that will itself become a meme, as happened with last year’s performance involving 16 flying robots. Within the piece, Dawkins explains how an “internet meme” is a hijacking of the original idea and that instead of mutating by random change and spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, they are altered deliberately by human creativity. Unlike with genes (and Dawkins’ original meaning of “meme”), there is no attempt at accuracy of copying; internet memes are deliberately altered.