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It could be argued that template-style exploitable memes are the bread-and-butter of image board communities like those found on 4chan. Taking a popular, strange, or funny image and editing it down to the simplest components allows them to be photoshopped into a variety of contexts. It's easy and allows for a wide range of iterations, many of which gesture back to previous memes to construct intricate networks of reference that require elaborate explanations and complex genealogies to decipher. Some of the most popular template memes come from 4chan's Cartoons and Comics board /co/, and usually involve stripping a drawn image to it's most basic outlines so that it can be adapted to various popular cartoon or comic characters. Popular examples include Optimized Gif Dude (2006), Gentlemen (2006), fsjal (2008), and X Everywhere (2010).


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[The Original Image]


Handsome Face is a image that first appeared in mid-September of 2010 on /co/ and was quickly made a template by 4chan user Shore Leave !!T2UdrWkLSWB. This original image is taken from a scene from the 2010 animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. The face was generally regarded as "handsome" in a way that seemed comical and overly sincere, as though he were about to say something heartfelt to another character. Soon it was coupled with the text template "X, I . . ." where X is a character, concept, or object that could be humorously paired with the original. An iteration using the Joker might be captioned "Batman, I . . .", or one made to look like Shaggy from the group Insane Clown Posse might be captioned "Magnets, I . . ." in reference to the much-parodied ICP music video Miracles (2009).

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[The Template]

The meme points to the complex network of reference that makes up the template format, as well as the call-and-response solicitation that helps to propagate ...

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Background Tiles (2010) - Jeff Baij

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From Jeff Baij's collection of Background Tiles

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NY Art Book Fair 2010

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A Young Kim, We Listen to Bach Transfixed Because This Is Listening to A Human Mind, 2010
(from the studio alabaster booth)

Printed Matter's annual contemporary art book extravaganza The NY Art Book Fair opened last night, and I dropped by today to take some shots of the festivities for the blog. Easily one of my favorite yearly art events in New York, the fair hosts an overwhelming amount of booths, lectures, screenings, performances, and more by 200+ participating independent publishers, booksellers, zinesters, and artists. The fair is at PS1 in Long Island City, it's free, and it will be open today until 7pm, Saturday from 11am-7pm, and on Sunday from 11am-5pm. Also, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for a round-up of media art and digital culture-related highlights.

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Booth for Swiss independent publisher Nieves Books

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"You Are Her" a mini-exhibit of 1990s riot grrrl zines, organized by San Francisco's Goteblüd

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Brooklyn-based Cinders Gallery's booth

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Artist Sto Pit's Facebook at the Cinders Gallery booth

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Editions by Trevor Paglen and Starlee Kine at The Thing Quarterly's booth

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The third iteration of Dispatch's "RE: 1975-76 New York Art Yearbook" at the Dispatch booth
(Dispatch did another version of this project at No Soul For Sale at the Tate Modern, which we covered on Rhizome, here.)

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Promotional prints for Laura Owen's book Fruits and Nuts at independent LA boutique Ooga Booga's booth

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e-flux drew a thematic table of contents (of sorts) to all the essays published in their journal on the walls of their project space

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Really gorgeous paper editions by Tauba Auerbach, at the Printed Matter booth

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Another one of Tauba Auerbach's editions

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Issues of Dutch magazine Open, which covers art and the public domain.

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The art ...

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SPEED SHOW vol.4: Super Niche - NYC

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Artist Aram Bartholl's roaming exhibition series SPEED SHOW descended upon New York last Wednesday. The concept is simple: rent all the computers at an internet cafe for an evening and show a bunch of online work. So far, it's been organized in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, and now here! See some shots from the show below, all photos by Aram Bartholl.

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Sunset (2007) - Hector Llanquin

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This is a series of digital photographs of sunsets altered by a controlled download error. These files where bitmap transferred via personal messaging software (adium) from one place to another. After the file was completely downloaded the transfer is aborted. The final result is that the bitmap repeats the last horizontal downloaded pixel to complete the image dimensions. This was administrated by monitoring the downloading process to stop the transfer in a certain point of the image to create some relation between the image and the error.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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asdfbmp (2010) - Kim Asendorf

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Created by Kim Asendorf, asdfbmp is a pixel art generator app for iPhone and iPod Touch. It creates a pixel structure by using a spatial partition algorithm resulting in fields populated by pixel patterns.

You can choose from 16 bitmap patterns and 32 colours. You can adjust the minimal field size, the probability of a new division and the proportion between horizontal and vertical division.

In the draw mode you decide which field is going to be divided. The auto mode divides until there is no more field left.

Additionally there is a mode menu where you can choose extra blending modes such as pattern, fill, outline, empty, random.

-- FROM THE ASDFBMP SITE

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Body Flux (2010) - Sara Ludy

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Originally via Computers Club

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Different Strokes: A Report from Abandon Normal Devices 2010

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The latest edition of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival has jumped across the Northwest UK from Liverpool, where it debuted last year to Manchester. In its second major urban manifestation, after a small rural retreat in the Peak District, the festival followed its previous format and presented exhibitions, performances, cinema screening, talks and workshops across cultural venues in the city. Seeking to agitate, AND’s theme of questioning normality in various forms was represented in Manchester with a focus on identity.

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Plateau (2010) - Tabor Robak

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boundary lair (2010) - Rene Abythe

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