Tuesday 7th March 2017, 8:00pm
Session 171: “Can Jokes Bring Down Goverments?” by Metahaven – Kunsthalle Zürich
For this Theory Tuesdays session, the first of nine held at the Kunsthalle Zürich as a part of the exhibition “Speak, Lokal”, Leila Peacock selected excerpts from the book “Can Jokes Bring Down Governments?” by Metahaven (Strelka Press, 2013).
“In a world where ‘there is no alternative’, how do you dissent? Once upon a time, graphic designers would have made political posters and typeset manifestos. Today, protest has new strategies. Enter the internet meme. With its Darwinian survival skills and its viral potential, the meme is a way of scaling up protest. Hackers and activists have learned to unleash the destructive force of a Rick Astley video. They have let slip the Lolcats of war. Pranks have become a resistance strategy. As the rise of Beppe Grillo in Italy testifies, this may be the hour to fight nonsense with nonsense. Jokes are an open-source weapon of politics, and it is time to tap their power.” -Book Cover
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.