Memetics and the Mnemonic Mind

Ages 18 and up
April 3–24, 2023
6–8pm EST, Mondays

  • Instructor

    Esther Neff

  • Pricing


  • Dates

    3–24 April

Oriented around meme practices and theories of memetics, mnemonics, and mimesis, this class involves readings across cognitive science, communications, and philosophy of mind as well as practical explorations of meme creation and the performance of social media(tion) as artistic, political, and theoretical praxis. We will establish a class meme account to collectively share our work, and explore a wide range of meme accounts, investigating how "image+text" formats, social scores, and "viral" phenomena interface with our senses of identity, social belonging, meaning-making and reality-construction.

This class will be held virtually.

About Esther Neff

Esther Neff is the founder of PPL (Panoply Performance Laboratory), a thinktank, performance collective, and organizational entity that culminated 7 years of operation as a physical lab site with publication of the book Institution is a Verb (the Operating System). PPL has created over a dozen “operas of operations,” as well as symposia, conferences, tours, exhibitions, installations, video, and other books, and is currently developing modes of experimental philosophy of mind. Past projects have been realized all over NYC, across the USA, and in London, Berlin, Montreal, Copenhagen, Lima (etc) in performance art, theatre, dance, philosophy, music, and poetry contexts. Esther is also the convener of PERFORMANCY FORUM, an ongoing and evolving platform for performance art, and the co-founder of MARSH (Materializing & Activating Radical Social Habitus) a biocultural food-land-labor cooperative in St. Louis. Neff’s writing has been published in the Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy (with Yelena Gluzman), The Palgrave Macmillan Handbook of Queer and Trans Feminist Performance Art, and in PAJ, Performance Philosophy Journal, Paradigm, CAESURA, Content (the Bard meme lab journal), and elsewhere online and in print. The operating manual for their project Embarrassed of the (W)Hole is forthcoming in March 2023 from Ugly Duckling Presse as part of their Emergency Playscripts series. Neff is an adjunct professor at Hunter College, a PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, and the "admin" of the meme account @thefenserf.

General Information

This class is curated in partnership with The School of Making Thinking.