The Lore Zone
Memes → Memories → Micro-Mythologies
Principal Researchers
Libby Marrs & Tiger Dingsun

Advisors
Aaron Z. Lewis, Toby Shorin, Kara Kittel
For decades, researchers have studied how online communities form shared identities and beliefs. But what about shared memories? This series explores Lore: the new modes of self-mythologization developed within network media, and the forms of history and canon stored within media artifacts that online groups produce. The memes we encounter on clearnet feeds are usually parts of larger stories, stemming from semi-private sites more conducive to worldbuilding. The affordances of different types of online space change how information is produced, circulated, and remembered across platforms. What happens when platforms enable the archival of information? What happens when they encourage collective experiences versus personal, inward-facing ones?

The way we remember the events that happen on the internet is different than reading a book. Information circulates and gets stored in a way that incorporates personal narratives as documentation, combining textuality with elements of oral storytelling. Bits of text and image serve as artifacts that help piece together complex narratives. The Lore Zone seeks to help us all understand new interesting ways of reading, writing, and remembering the internet.
Chapters

Introduction: 9999
Tiger Dingsun, Libby Marrs    December 17 2021

A series on digital collective memory: how online communities create & maintain their own micro-mythologies.

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How to Read the Internet
Libby Marrs, Tiger Dingsun    February 28 2022

What does it mean to read (or misread) the artifacts of internet lore? Unraveling memes and idioms doesn’t just reveal complex stories, but new mechanics behind how we form and use language on the internet.

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I Would Very Much Like To Be Excluded From This Lore
Tiger Dingsun, Libby Marrs    July 20 2022

What happens when everything has the potential to become lore? Placing lore in context with previous and concurrent cultural phenomena helps us understand how and why people’s interioirites become lore-ified against their will.

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