Can Jokes Bring Down Governments? Memes, Design and Politics

Metahaven is an Amsterdam-based design collective specialising in politics and aesthetics. Founded by Daniel van der Velden and Vinca Kruk, Metahaven’s work reflects political and social issues through research-driven design, and design-driven research. In 2010, Metahaven published Uncorporate Identity, a design anthology for our dystopian age, with Lars Müller Publishers. Vinca Kruk teaches editorial design at ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design, Arnhem. Daniel van der Velden teaches design at Yale University, New Haven, and at the Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam.
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thebookishomeshared an impression4 days ago
💡Learnt A Lot

Politic made by a spoon of joke and some crap things


Simple and shallow, but provides a good starting point and contains usefull links



Politicians in Europe are more afraid of financial markets than of their own people.
Jokes are an active, living and mobile form of disobedience
“governments don’t run the world, Goldman Sachs does”
And—to go a little bit further—is it possible that jokes have an untapped political power, which was historically always present but never so useful and necessary as now?
This essay is concerned with the disruption Fisher hints at in the closing remarks of Capitalist Realism. We will look for glimmers of such alternative realities, drawing on the resources of a graphic design dismissed from its former duties. The joke has the capacity to resist and overturn the frame of reference imposed by any political status quo—including that of capitalist realism. The joke has an untapped power to disrupt—a power far greater than we thought. On the internet, jokes may “scale” quickly and reach hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people in the course of a few minutes, if they are contagious enough to catch on.

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