Irony Today: Across Art and Popular Culture

Today, irony has evolved to function as a tool for exclusivity. To understand an ironic artwork, an audience must be familiar with reference A and reference B, placed into context C to create an entirely new meaning. Because internet culture has developed numerous microcosms and subcultures, the size of an audience that understands a post-internet artworks will vary greatly. The following examples are presented in order from descending audience size, ending in the most “exclusive” example of irony.

Kianoosh Motallebi’s 2012 work, “Transcend” places two well-known post-internet objects in an amusing context. The phone charger and USB port are both only recognizable to those who have used them. Since this is a large portion of the world, this work has a considerably large audience. The work juxtaposes two objects that cannot function together. In this way, it is a post-internet work because it is not necessarily commenting on Internet culture, but rather functionality.

Kianoosh Motallebi,“Transcend”, 2012


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