Aumm: the interpretation of memes.

This is an example of Aumm. It’s a weird online aesthetic that seems to exist inside two facebook groups and one tumblr. It’s insane, doesn’t seem to have any point, and endlessly hovers over ideas of harm, pain, social isolation and mental illness. It seems divided into those who make entirely original content and those who use found images and found text in order to generate an experience of jarring dissonance

from a selection called “animals”

It is routine to see profound quotations overlaid on images of dog shit or children’s parties; threatening messages copied over the night sky in lurid colours; pictures of families or animals going about whatever it is they do with some hideous non-sequitur placed over or under it. When you look at Aumm you can find examples that are compelling, full of subjective truthiness, that revel in the weirdness of isolated oddballs and the secluded withdrawal of the awkward and insane. It is never knowingly not hilarious.

from “horizons of terror/satanic praxis”: http://aumm3.tumblr.com/htsp

Aumm is obviously DIY. It lacks the savvy glitch or the happiness of the new aesthetic. You couldn’t imagine it producing its own surrealist philosophers, although it might generate some sub-Dada quasi-Situationist non-happenings: a cultural terrorism of shouting “I need someone to kiss my asshole right now!” into a crowd before standing absolutely and unnerving still for a few moments too long.

From- “terrestrialmutants” http://aumm3.tumblr.com/terrestrialmutants

The effect is one of a schizoid dissociation of text and image, word and representation, that effects a deflationary deconstruction of the pretence that language or art can covey any secure or effective meaning. It is heretical insofar as it is a mockery of art. It doesn’t pretend to be high-art. It doesn’t attempt to destroy high art. It doesn’t have such grand desires.

Ultimately this aesthetic feels like an attempt to capture to depressed and anxious nihilism of the digital era. It’s playfulness is the lightness of a generation mocking its own despair and extracting some enjoyment- some jouissance- from it’s own descent into senseless, purposeless sickness. For these reasons Aumm is about a thousand times better than half the shit I see hanging in contemporary art galleries.

from closed group

This is the authentic post-internet aesthetic. This is the grotesque underside of our bright and shining retro-futurist dreams. It’s the logic of a meme pushed to the point of explosive idiotic intelligence.And it’ll make you laugh like a lunatic at the end of time. This is the end of our memes.

4 comments
  1. David Goldberg said:

    Don’t ask what Aumm is. Ask what it isn’t

  2. Bob Dobbs said:
  3. barfknecht said:

    what do you call the opposite of history

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