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Continued: Funky photo fads flourish thanks to social media

  • Article by: AIMEE BLANCHETTE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 23, 2013 - 4:21 PM

“How long are winters in Minnesota again?” Wilmers asked.

Remixes (noun): a popular video or photo that has been changed, added to and reposted to the Internet.


Some memes went viral because they were remixed, localized and re-shared. Remember “Gangnam Style”? Who could forget? The 2012 Korean dance pop single spawned hundreds of parodies and knockoff videos on YouTube, raking in more than 1 billion views.

Other popular remixes are of photos, not videos. “Texts From Hillary” is a single image of a serious-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton texting on her phone. The photo has been reproduced with dozens of silly captions and reposted. And reposted. And reposted.

“Today’s memes are a manifestation of the remix culture that’s permeating art, advertising and media right now,” said Weber Shandwick’s Greg Swan. “Many discount the impact on pop culture that [they] have, but I challenge you to find someone who doesn’t know the chorus of Rebecca Black’s “Friday.’ ”

LOLCats (noun): Images and videos of cats, often accompanied by humorous text.


Grumpy looking cats. Babies laughing at cats. Cats playing ping-pong. While cat memes aren’t new, they are peculiar — and increasingly popular. According to, cat-related media took a leap forward beginning in 2006, with the growing influence of websites like LOLcats and Caturday.

Last year, the Walker Art Center hosted a one-day film festival dedicated to online feline videos. Curator Katie Hill said the event was an experiment, of sorts.

“The whole point of the festival is to see if this community exists in real life,” she said.

That question was answered when more than 10,000 people came to see the outdoor show.


Aimee Blanchette • 612-673-1715


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  • Photo gallery: Picture this

    Wednesday January 23, 2013

    Photo fads

  • A curious squirrel was an unknowing photobomber in this photo by Melissa and Jackson Brandts of Minnesota; it became a global sensation.

  • Kelly and Ryan Lampe of Excelsior unknowingly joined the "frosting" fad last year when they posed for this photo on Lake Minnetonka. Ryan's family was celebrating Christmas in Florida and rubbed it in by sending photos of themselves on the beach. The couple decided to put on their swimsuits and show the family that you don't have to be in Florida to enjoy a little sunbathing.

  • Tom Johnson and Holly Halter of Minneapolis subjected their cat to a popular meme, which involves balancing a pancake on a subject’s head. was trained by his owner to balance objects on his head, including a pancake.“I’m a fan of memes that are so stupid their humor has an almost transcendent quality,” Johnson said. “They’re so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t seem them because they literally make no sense. But once you ‘get’ them, it’s hysterical.”

  • Last summer the Walker Art Center decided to capitalize on people’s obsession with cats. A festival projected YouTube cat videos on a giant screen for 10,000 cat video lovers.

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