Of Value, the Internet Meme, Lacan’s mirror and Crowd Curation

JoelSocial MediaLeave a Comment

This post is on a bit of a whim. I think I have always been an aacademic at heart, and every so often, he comes out to play. I this case, I have been thinking about my  neologistic collection of C words, a concept I have been trying to get my mind around. There is no other way for me to engage the concept but by shaking off the pseudo-academic hat and asking some questions.

Collaboratively Creative Convergent Crowd-sourced Content Creation…

This is interesting to me because , the individual doesn’t exist in this equation . The motivation for creation of a shared meme, or  a pinned pinboard, is simply for the personal satisfaction of watching something you created up rise in prominence on the internet. The creation itself evolves through various iterations of crowd – curation until it takes on a life of its own.

Curation is democratized. The only measure of success is how many people deem your content  worth a chuckle and a click-to-share.

Where however does this concept of value come from? I shall attempt to put the questions down in this post. Its disjointed for sure, it is a thought process, hopefully, at some poitn we can make more sense of this.


1.     VALUE – If the creator is not known, can a piece of digital art be valuable in and of itself when disembodied from its social, pop-cultural , historical, geographical and perhaps even ideological framework. ?

a.     Does a high number of clicks or shares   validate the creator (Artist) or the art(created) ?

b.     or does the content(art) but a vehicle for the (valuable )input of the creator(artist) to represent what society may deem ‘worthy’.

c.      Or perhaps it is valuable only in its context, (cultural, historical, geographical, ideological) and is a cultural totem of sorts that serves as a representation of the state of the human condition at that place in that time….


2.     OTHERNESS – When one chooses a piece of created content(curates), i.e. I approve of and choose this content and deem it worthy,-  on what basis do I say it is ‘approved’?

a.     My willingness to choose a piece of content gives tacit approval to its ‘worth’ to me. However, does it implicitly have worth or does my approval somehow impute value into its existence.


b.     Do we critically view the piece of created content  from a personal framework of value or  do we need to take the posture of one looking in to someone elses(the artist) view of the world. Like the Lacanian mirror stage,  when one takes the place of an Other, looking in .


c.      Is Meaning related to its value? Or is the value of a piece of created work independent of the original meaning/inspiration of the creator? i.e. which modality? identification/alienation(I stand apart and view objectively)  or  recognition followed by assimilation  (I agree and buy in to …)


3.     The implications for  crowd sourced crowd curated content is that it is inherently disembodied, and ownership of the content lies with the ‘share-er’ rather than the creator.

a.     We derive joy from  being the first one to share a piece of content that has implicit ‘value’ to us.

b.     Since the creator is not known,  It essentially becomes ‘my’ share .

c.      It is valuable by being the ‘first’ one to share.


4.     What happens and what are the implications of the Other as Curator. And collective choices of the faceless crowd determines the value of  the art(content). ?

JoelOf Value, the Internet Meme, Lacan’s mirror and Crowd Curation