The ROFLCon III Panel Descriptions — Saturday

SATURDAY

SUPERCUTS

Panelists: Rich Juzwiak (Fourfour / “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”), Aaron Valdez (Wreck & Salvage), Duncan Robson (“Let’s Enhance” / “Tumbleweeds”), Andy Baio (mod – Waxy.org)

In the ever-transient world of the internets and image macros, the phenomena of the supercut stands out as a unique herculean effort: obsessive, comprehensive, and one-hundred-and-ten-percent amazing.

Hosted by Andy Baio, the blogger who coined the term, this panel will gather together the video artists behind some of the most impressive supercuts to date. They’ll tackle the art, process and deeper meaning behind these giants edifices of video production. We’re vaguely hoping that they strip every use of the word “meme” from the conference video stream (current count: a bajillion).

LOLITICS: MEMES AND POLITICS

Panelists: Dan Sinker (Mozilla / @MayorEmanuel), Biella Coleman (McGill University), Latoya Peterson (Racialicious), Molly Sauter (mod – Comparative Media Studies)

With Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, the Republican primary and more sweeping public attention over the past two years, memes have expanded past the realm of lolcats, philosoraptors, and AutoTune to become overtly political.  How has emergent cultural phenomena online (cute cats included!) become more closely intertwined with serious political discourse?

Bringing together Dan Sinker of @MayorEmanuel fame, noted Anonymous researcher Biella Coleman, Latoya Peterson of Racialicious, and moderated by Molly Sauter of the Center for Civic Media at the Media Lab, this panel will explore the intersections between internet meme culture and the broader political dialogue.

How do political  memes begin, and how are other, potentially innocuous memes (like those “Shit X Says to Y” videos) subverted to take a political role?  How did groups like Anonymous make the leap from meme to political movement?  And what does all this mean for the internet as a platform for political speech and activism?

DRUNK VEGAN BLACK METAL SCANWICH CHEF

Panelists: Hannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen), Brian Manowitz (Vegan Black Metal Chef), Jon Chonko (Scanwiches), Stephen Bruckert (mod – MemeFactory)

HEAR! The delightful Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen craft a spectacular lunchtime treat in a special non-drunk appearance!

FEEL! The dark shadow of satan shroud your heart as the Vegan Black Metal Chef brutally eviscerates vegetables!

SEE! The creator of Scanwiches Jon Chonko masterfully demonstrating his process and sandwich theory on their (non-)drunk vegan sandwich!

These giants of internet food culture will give you a thrilling, chilling, drunk-at-heart live vegan scanwich demonstration that you will never forget!

They will also answer questions from the audience! DON’T MISS IT

FANGIRL CULTURE

Panelists: FemmeQuixotic, Beth H (http://bethbethbeth.livejournal.com/), Kori Michele (Fandom Matters), Alice (@alicexz), Flourish Klink (mod – MIT Comparative Media Studies), Kimberly Chang (mod – Wellesley)

Fanfiction writers go on to write wildly popular novels, cosplayers have costumes that rival Lady Gaga’s, and fanartists are probably responsible for making Rule 34 work at all.

We know that fangirls are a big part of online life, but they rarely have a seat at the table when people are discussing internet culture. Why is that? Should we even have a word like “fangirl” when online fandom is so diverse? And what happens when fangirls collide with the rest of the internet?

CHANNELS KILLED THE (INTERNET) VIDEO STAR

Panelists: Matt Harding (Where The Hell Is Matt), Judson Laipply (The Evolution of Dance), Liam Sullivan (Liam Show / “Shoes”), Deshawn Raw (Parody Rap Battle), Christian Sandvig (mod – University of Illinois)

With publishers, TV producers, and agents nipping on the heels of every bit of internet fame, web culture is increasingly getting professionalized. And, with platforms like YouTube moving to emphasize regular, original, predictable “shows,” the routes to internet fame and the kinds of people getting internet famous are also  morphing in big ways.

This panel brings together some of the stand-out elder statesmen of viral video stardom to discuss this changing ecosystem. How have things been changing? Is it more difficult to make it nowadays? Are the internet celebrities of the future going to look different than the way they look now? How?

THE GIFS THAT KEEP ON GIFING

Panelists: Alana Post (Each Day Is A GIF), Aaron Meyers (3Frames), Olia Lialina (Artist), Jonny Vingiano (Le Meme), Ethan Marcotte (mod – bukk.it)

Native and unique to web browsers, the animated GIF is perhaps the most quintessential object of the internet. It is terse, constrained, yet endlessly expressive and mesmerizing. No wonder we all have such large collections on our hard drives despite web 2.0’s best efforts to wipe them out.

We’ve assembled this love letter of a panel of collectors, curators, and platform creators of GIFs to talk about the file format and what it means to them. Why is the GIF so great? What explains its continuing dominance of internet culture? What are The Best GIFs? And how can we restore them to their proper place of respect on the web’s various platforms?

HONEY I MEMED THE KIDS

Panelists: Laney Griner (Success Kid), Sammy Griner (Success Kid), David Devore (David After Dentist), David A. Devore (David After Dentist), Alice Daer (Arizona State University)

The internet works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, you get famous because you jammed some whistle or some nonsense into your exhaust pipe and end up on the local news. Other times, a short, funny personal video results in your child suddenly being seen more than 100,000,000 times on YouTube for — apparently — no reason at all.

This panel brings together the parents and children behind two of the biggest kid memes to tell their stories. What’s it like to be famous in the school cafeteria? And what’s a good parent to do when your kid becomes an accidental internet celebrity?

ADVENTURES IN ACA-MEME-IA

Panelists: Kate Miltner (London School of Economics), Whitney Philips (University of Oregon), Jordan Lefler (Louisiana State University), Patrick Davison (mod – NYU)

It’s a big crazy internet out there, and someone’s gotta study it. While you can’t minor in Goatse Studies just yet (we’re “bummed” about this), a number of researchers have been hard at work parsing the ins-and-outs of the internets.

This panel will bring together the emerging minds of meme research in the wild and wooly world of academia. What’s it like doing rigorous research on memes? Is it possible to parlay this sort of research into a real job? What would Advice Dog say to aspiring students hoping to get a PhD in lulllllllz????

METAMEME

Panelists: Lindsey Weber (Buzzfeed), Christopher Price (Tumblr), Graydon Sheppard (Shit Girls Say), Kyle Humphrey (Shit Girls Say), Nick Douglas (Slacktory)

Memes spawn memes. Submemes themselves proliferate levels, layers, and micro-genres faster than anyone can track. This much isn’t new.

The interesting question is why memes take the particular patterns of remixing and change that they do online. Does it have something to do with the content? The platform? Both in different measures? What specifically?

This panel brings together people sitting behind the curtain on some of the most fertile platforms online for the spawning of metamemes. We’ve teamed them up with the “Shit Girls Say” guy. Set phasers for awesome.

BECOMES AN ADVICE ANIMAL; TALKS ABOUT IT

Panelists: Scumbag Steve (Scumbag Steve), Don Caldwell (mod – Know Your Meme), Amanda Brennan (mod – Know Your Meme), Brad Kim (mod – Know Your Meme)

Advice Dog. Bachelor Frog. Socially Awkward Penguin. Courage Wolf. Karate Kyle. Annoying Facebook Girl. Good Guy Greg. This pantheon of archetypes has come to represent the best, worst, and weirdest sides of all of us, but how did it happen and what’s it like, well, being one?

Internet research scientists from Know Your Meme will launch an in-depth investigation of this phenomenon with the internet’s most beloved Scumbag. The session is starting–better drink your own piss.

DEFENDING THE INTERNET

Panelists: Alexis Ohanian (Reddit / Breadpig), Tiff Cheng (Fight For The Future), Derek Slater (Google), Elizabeth Stark (Stanford / Yale), Anil Dash (mod – Think Up)

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to defend These Internets from those that would take away its freedoms. On the heels of the SOPA/PIPA debacle, we’ve assembled this final boss panel to scheme and plan for the next time some baddies come around the corner.

Join seasoned Awesome People in discussing how we can better coordinate to clobber enemies of the internet into the future. How do we define what the internet wants and push for the goals? If Reddit is the Department of State, and 4Chan is the Department of Defense, then what role can other platforms and communities play?

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