Merle Cooper

WHAT DOES IT MEME? is a collection of internet memes that push the boundaries of what one traditionally thinks an “internet meme” is by applying Dadaist-style collage and photomontage with motion animation. Merle Cooper's internet memes go against the grain of artistic and societal norms through cut and paste creations that are absurd, nonsensical, crude, and ugly. Like Dadaism, her memes are “anti-art”.

Merle Cooper

I am an American graphic designer whose artistic practice involves collage art, print making, and illustration.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

I have absolutely no idea where I see myself in 20 years. I am a changeling, constantly in flux and life is full of unexpected twists and turns.

What is a good design for you?

Good design is design that challenges and contradicts the collective notion of what good design is. Good design is disruptive and subversive.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

The most challenging experience for me, as for most, would be studying abroad and online during the Covid pandemic.

Who or what inspires you?

Frankly, going down 3 hour long rabbit holes on the internet is something that gives me a lot of inspiration.

How do you approach a new project?

I comb through the internet for inspiration for hours and hours.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

My advice would be to create as much as possible. Create work outside of the creative projects that your assigned in school and even if you hate what you are creating, keep going. Do not wait for the perfect idea or concept to come along. The best work comes from obsessive constant creation, I think.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

I have become more confident in my artistic practice. I feel that I am becoming closer and closer to finding my authentic voice in visual art and I am so excited for what is to come next for me as an artist.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

It has always been my dream to live in Berlin and blossom as a graphic design artist. UE’s communication design program felt like a perfect fit for me in this respect.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

I am going to miss interacting with international artists and living in Berlin.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

I am going to celebrate by drinking a whole bottle of champagne!

Say hi!

Sandra Gonzalez