Sunday, 10 June 2018

dankest of the dank or early modern memetics

We appreciated this overview from Public Domain Review of the way woodcuts for woodblock print illustrations were recycled—sometimes with little alteration—and used in several different publications and contexts contemporaneously.
These common images weren’t just early stock photography collections but were reused for the malleability for any number of messages, much like the way the longevity of contemporary memes depends on their versatility, like this repeating image from the playbill for the seventh century Beggars’ Delight—also appearing in print as a broadsheet and a miniature in a bound volume, whose variations recall that meme still in circulation (I guess) of the boyfriend with the wandering eye (which too began life as a stock image) for its mutability.
Be sure to visit Public Domain Review at the link up top for more exemplars that were frequently sampled and the effects that printing was having on broader society and culture in significantly increasing the horizons of shared experience (even if vicariously) and the rapid pace of re-appropriation lead to the formation of copyright protections for creators.