EMILIA–AMALIA Session V: Memes/Fungibility

In collaboration with Gallery 44, Trinity Square Video is pleased to host the sixth session of EMILIA–AMALIA.


Monday, 14 November 2016, 6–9 PM
Facilitated by Yaniya Lee and Merray Gerges

Taking Aria Dean’s essay, “Poor Meme, Rich Meme,” as a starting point for a discussion about the relationship between black culture and the Internet, this session continues the group’s ongoing conversations about the politics of practices of citation by thinking about how modes of knowledge circulate online, and how this circulation appropriates black creativity. In her essay, Dean roots memes in blackness to examine how spectatorship, appropriation, surveillance, privacy, circulation, and representation come to bear on it.

By looking at examples of memes, and at contemporary artworks that employ their mechanisms, the discussion will address questions of authorship, appropriation, black fungibility, internet aesthetics, representation, and context, and will invite participants to adopt the form of the meme to consider how these forms provoke spectatorial discomfort, relatability, or both.

To participate in this workshop, please RSVP to Leila Timmins at leila@gallery44.org.

Text: Aria Dean, “Poor Meme, Rich Meme” (2016). Please note: participants are asked to read the essay prior to the session.

Conversation: Illustrative memes online and in contemporary art that addresses intersectionality.

Writing activity: #relatability. Drawing on examples from our own lives, this exercise will ask participants to adapt a meme to respond to the critical issues raised by Dean’s essay. Please come to the session with a meme or an example from the online circulation of culture that speaks to the themes in Dean’s text.


EMILIA–AMALIA is an exploratory working group that employs practices of citation, annotation, and autobiography as modes of activating feminist art, writing and research practices.
Through readings, screenings, discussions, and writing activities, the group will investigate historical and intergenerational feminisms, as well as relationships of mentorship, collaboration, and indebtedness between artists, writers, thinkers, curators, and practitioners. In tracing these lines, the group aims to elucidate the histories of feminism that have been obscured and overlooked in the narratives of 1970s, or “second-wave” feminism that we have inherited.

EMILIA–AMALIA will critically examine how we fit in with those past iterations, and also, how we might update and extend them so that they can respond to contemporary questions.Motivated by a desire to think through these questions collaboratively, each monthly meeting will be structured around a text, a conversation, and a writing activity.

EMILIA–AMALIA is an open group that invites all levels of engagement. We are all experts. No one is an expert. Expertise is not expected.

EMILIA–AMALIA is initiated by Cecilia Berkovic, Annie MacDonell, Gabrielle Moser, Leila Timmins and cheyanne turions, and is hosted by Gallery 44.