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Technology & Innovation

Is It Meme You’re Looking For?

What’s the Big Idea?

Lionel Richie is a meme phenomenon. His music video “Hello” has inspired countless people to share both image and video pastiches of him all over the internet. The three most popular Lionel memes feature a juxtaposition of him, a biscuit, a teapot and a missing persons poster. We have also fallen under the influence of “Hello” by giving it a new twist. A sculpture entitled the Lionel Vinyl Head has been made from wood and a Lionel Richie 7-inch record. Now we want to take this art piece and make it bigger.

Our aim is to make the Lionel Vinyl Head 10 feet bigger and transform it into a Public Art Installation. The big idea is to have a giant vinyl record spinning while a phone rings in the centre of his head. One by one people enter this Lionel experience, pick up the phone and hear the sound of his voice singing “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

We plan to honor a singer that brings joy through music and meme anomalies. Our goal is to present the Big Lionel Vinyl Head to Lionel Richie in his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama. We want the people of Tuskegee to see this interactive sculpture and publicly celebrate the achievements of one it’s most famous sons.

Besides paying tribute to Mr. Richie we are also interested in the physicalization of an internet meme. To physically capture something that’s ephemeral would allow people to interact with it differently, thus creating a whole new type of shared experience. The proof is already out there – people like Lionel Richie memes and this project wants to build on this. Literally build!

We are funding Make Lionel Bigger through the Kickstarter platform and are putting this creative project to the all-or-nothing funding test. We are sharing the big idea with friends, fans and the public. If they back it they receive a selection of custom created rewards. For $10 they receive a personal “Hello” postcard sent from Tuskegee. For $35 they can have the Lionel Vinyl Face wall art. There is a limited edition Lionel Vinyl Head for $100 featuring an original 7-inch record. Finally, five people can have their names permanently engraved on the Big sculpture. As an added bonus those lucky five will receive the limited edition Lionel Vinyl Head with a Gold Record inserted.

What’s the Significance?

The question of whose responsible for public art and its funding is addressed through Kickstarter. This community can create beautiful things from big ideas. Will this collective Make Lionel Bigger? If enough Lionel meme fans see it in these final days then yes, we definitely believe so. Life’s too short for small. Join us and let’s make Lionel bigger together.


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