Download the 2013 Press Release: meme_2013
With the help of contemporary digital technologies, we are watching the genres, conventions and meanings in visual art, sound/music, and the written word dissolve before our eyes. meme™ —MTEn-MFA Experimental Media Ensemble—is an experimental digital media performance ensemble that explores this ongoing process of cultural decay and attempts to pick up the pieces—scraps of narrative, fake 3D TV-news, visual and sonic junk, obscure and arcane artifacts of lost cultures and technologies, earnest and misguided inquiries into identity and experience, dreams, spells, and collective hysteria—and synthesize them into new symbolic and expressive forms.
Created in 2009 by Florida Atlantic University Professor Joey Bargsten as a way to integrate his teaching and research, meme™ developed out of “a desire to invite my students to explore the horizons of interactive and experimental digital media, and create an ongoing conversation on contemporary digital culture with the community through performances and presentations”.
The ensemble has performed throughout South Florida at MOA-FL (video above) and Cinema Paradiso (Fort Lauderdale), at the annual ShowTel Alternative Art Exhibit in West Palm Beach, the 2011, 2013, and 2015 Faculty Biennial Art Exhibit in Boca Raton, and at Inkub8 Alternative Performance Space in Miami. Bargsten has presented papers on the ensemble and the software he’s developed for performance at conferences in Barcelona and Madrid.
meme™ appeared at the art exhibition Ultra Mega Nano Meta, in October 2010, in the 2nd Avenue Gallery, on the FAU – Ft. Lauderdale campus. They performed, as usual, with the requisite panache, élan, and je ne sais qua, creating a bewildering yet inviting sonic and visual landscape for all those in attendance to discover and explore.
Another recent (2010) expansion of the meme™ world was meme™ Jr., videojam software for kids. meme™ Jr. challenges students to create visual art, animation, music, and narrative while developing their skills in performance, collaboration, and developing interactive software. It’s an online application that runs on any browser, and allows kids to upload their own material and play it in their classroom lab, or to even present it as a live performance!The software allows kids to mix their jams just by pressing keys on the computer keyboard, but they can also mix in live video, and live music using traditional instruments, voice, or even the iPod touch. By creating a lab environment for experimentation, meme™ Jr. is what art class will look like in the 21st century!