Journée d'étude, 6 avril 2018

Why Won’t People on The Internet Let Things Die?

Ruby Thélot
Franchises et industrialisation de la culture populaire contemporaine, événement organisé par Megan Bédard, Jean-Michel Berthiaume, Catherine Côté, Fanie Demeule et Antonio Dominguez Leiva

«My talk will explore the lesser known side of “fanbases”.

The first part will present 4Chan’s /mu/ board and the edification of its musical canon. 4chan is an anonymous image-based board-type forum modeled on Japan’s Futuba channel. Highly controversial due to its /p/ board and implications with the alt-right, the forum is also host to cultural sections with their own specific fandoms and canons.

The first instruction upon entering is “Read The Sticky”: in it we learn what we need to know in order to understand, what is good and what is bad. Though it possesses an already established palette of taste, its dynamism forces new additions to the cannon as new releases are presented to the board’s anonymous members.

This new addition process will be contrasted with the board’s own franchises, two outputs in the realm of Facebook groups known as /mu/ and /notmu/.

How are cultural canons built in online subcultures?

The second part of my talk will address Facebook “blank-shitposting” groups. “Seinfeld shitposting”, “Rick and Morty Schwiftposting”, “It’s Always in Sunny Shitposting”, “Simpsons Shitposting” are a few examples in a sea of groups of which I am a member centered on the creation of original content parodying the virtual universe members love. Shit-posting is a new kind of fandom as it is based on a participative aesthetic. Creation is mandated (“OC ONLY” is on the “Pinned Post”, the Facebook equivalent of a “Sticky”): clips and images are sampled, cut and pasted, repurposed, mish-mashed, etc. The results are visual plunderphonics that themselves become tropes and themselves become object of fandom. This process evolves, devolves, continues and digresses ad infinitum. A great example of this culmination can be found in “Simpsonwave”.

What are the aesthetic implications of a participative fandom?»

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