Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Freeport 1: Meme Manifesto

Registration deadline
Until 15 November 2020
A laboratory on memes as hyperstitional technology, between identity politics and conspiracy theories (led by Clusterduck)

The Meme Manifesto laboratory is an exploration of the potential of memetic symbolism and its elusive meanings. We will dive into the history of weird esthetics and consider memes as hyperstitional technologies that uncannily delve into identity politics, the esoteric and conspiracy theories. Surprisingly (or not), from this vertiginous vantage point we are able to get a glimpse of the depths of the web, but also inspect the strange and sometimes disturbing ways in which internet cultures become politicized, and how this politicization can mutate into incomprehensible, or overtly toxic, phenomena.

The Clusterduck collective will introduce you to their collective field research methods in order to discover, track, observe, collect, and reassemble live material from different places of the web, from Google search to Facebook Groups, Discord Channels, 4chan threads and many other social media platforms. Taking Clusterduck’s own Meme Manifesto as a starting point, you and your team will be encouraged to choose your own thread of investigation and start your own visual and cultural “detective hunt”. The final output will be a mix of visual and textual notes, a “detective wall” where hints of every kind will be digitally “hung” and unexpected, unstable connections will be drawn between the dozens of pieces. 

The ultimate aim of this laboratory is to map collective creative production and develop new strategies for aesthetic and cultural intervention through networking and cooperation. Eventually, the output of this laboratory will become part of the #MEMEMANIFESTO ecosystem, an ongoing transmedia project that each time is taking different shapes: a website, a series of fanzines, an artwork, a series of collaborative workshops and finally an art book. 

Led by Clusterduck, an interdisciplinary collective working at the crossroads of research, visual communication and transmedia, focusing on the processes and actors behind the creation of Internet-related content.

In the last couple of years they curated the online exhibition #MEMEPROPAGANDA, hosted by Greencube Gallery, which was presented at several international festivals such as The Influencers (Barcelona), Tentacular (Madrid), IFFR (Rotterdam), Urgent Publishing (Amsterdam, Arnheim), Radical Networks (Berlin) among others. 

Clusterduck is currently developing Meme Manifesto, a physical collection of printed memes and a web-based collective project aiming to show how deep the web can go. The first stage of the project has been developed at IMPAKT (NL) during the EMAP / EMARE residency programme this year and presented at Ars Electronica 2020.

Clusterduck is also creating the new participative exhibition format #MEMERSFORFUTURE, investigating the role of memetics in the global climate justice movement. The exhibition has been shown IRL at re:publica 2020, and to other locations around the globe.

Curated by Bani Brusadin, co-curator of Matadero’s own Tentacular festival and co-founder, together with artists Eva & Franco Mattes, of The Influencers, a festival of unconventional art, communication guerrilla and radical entertainment (CCCB Barcelona, 2004 - 2019). He teaches courses related to art production, digital cultures, technology and society at the University of Barcelona, Elisava Design School and Esdi.