T. Luke & J. Hunsinger (Eds.). Putting knowledge to work and letting information play. Boston: Springer.
In discussions of online culture, nobody has yet given sufficient consideration to the importance of cute animal pictures. While there are perhaps obvious reasons for this aspect of online culture being and remaining understudied, from an objective stance we should consider it both surprising and noteworthy that, once given the means of mass communications and internationally accessible publication, a primary activity that people are interested in and committed to is the sharing of cute and funny pictures, especially of cats. This presumably unforeseeable outcome is made stranger yet by the relative lack of commercial motivation for a communications category that approaches the ubiquity of spam and pornography. This chapter investigates three possible explanations of aspects of these phenomena.
Original Publication Citation
Wittkower, D. E. (2012). On the origins of the cute as a dominant aesthetic category in digital culture. In T. Luke & J. Hunsinger (Eds.), Putting knowledge to work and letting information play (pp. 212-221). Boston: Springer.
Wittkower, Dylan E., "On The Origins of the Cute as a Dominant Aesthetic Category in Digital Culture" (2012). Philosophy Faculty Publications. 14.