Practicing Platforms



Jay Owens 09-05-2018



Post-Authenticity, or the Culture & Business of Irony on the Internet

‘Authenticity’ died in 2015, consumed by a process of corporate commodification that stripped all meaning from the word. (Did you want fries with your McDonalds artisan grilled chicken sandwich?) Since then, things have taken an ironic turn: or rather, teens are really into memes. This talk will examine this transition in popular social media culture and explore the various dank, wholesome, & otherwise meta ways people are using GIFs and image macros to tell the truth about their lives — while simultaneously investigating the business models of both social media platforms and content creators underpinning the viral, #relateable content we see.


Jay Owens is a researcher and writer from London, otherwise known as @hautepop. She is interested in digital media and dust: both complex, ambivalent ecosystems where grand technological projects come to clash with the messier realities of people and the world. Her work on dust – through the ‘Disturbances’ newsletter – has been featured in WIRED and BBC Radio 4 ‘Fourthought’. She works as Research Director at audience intelligence platform Pulsar, helping media & technology companies (and every major social media platform except Snapchat) understand the present state of things.