Collecting and the age of memeing

An example of old-looking memes. People use methods including screenshots and image compression to make memes appear old. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Excerpt from this article:

Well, with the growth of internet and social media culture, the younger generation has cast their eyes on collecting digital memorabilia.

The collecting of emojis, GIFs and memes has become more and more popular among many youngsters-the older, the better.

Bright, colorful high-definition ones are not popular among the major collectors. No, they want digital “antiques”, older images from the early days of meme culture. The more rudimentary and blurry the memes, the better.

One user on Stage1st, a posting bar for Animation, Comic, Game and Novel themes-or ACGN-defines the pixelation and the faded color of these memes as a “digital patina”. It is now a widely accepted term among like-minded collectors, including one who posted that the definition sounds very “cyberpunk”.

A Meme About Taylor Swift Is Being Used To Teach The History Of “Bad Bitches”

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OK, so back in early November, a fan of Taylor Swift asked their Twitter followers to “name a bitch badder than Taylor Swift.”

… Twitter began sharing and celebrating the stories of “bad bitches” and incredible women throughout history who’ve been overlooked and underappreciated.

Why didn’t people smile in old photos?

Summer Days by Julia Margaret Cameron. Photograph: Stapleton Collection/Corbis

Excerpt from this article:

Why did our ancestors, from unknown sitters for family portraits to the great and famous, become so mirthless in front of the lens? You don’t have to look very long at these unsmiling old photos to see how incomplete the apparently obvious answer is – that they are freezing their faces in order to keep still for the long exposure times…

…People who posed for early photographs, from earnest middle-class families recording their status to celebrities captured by the lens, understood it as a significant moment. Photography was still rare. Having your picture taken was not something that happened every day. For many people it might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

… Today, we take so many smiling snaps the idea of anyone finding true depth and poetry in most of them is absurd. Photos are about being social. We want to communicate ourselves as happy social people. So we smile, laugh and cavort in endless and endlessly shared selfies.

A grinning selfie is the opposite of a serious portrait. It’s just a momentary performance of happiness. It has zero profundity and therefore zero artistic value. As a human document it is disturbingly throwaway. (In fact, not even solid enough to throw away – just press delete).

How beautiful and haunting old photographs are in comparison with our silly selfies.