Multimodal patterns of visual online communication: Understanding Online Memes

Prof. Dr Marion G. Müller, Dr Christof Barth, Katharina Christ, M.A.

Duration: since June 2019

With support from Patterns funds, various corpora are being created for research on patterns in visual communication. In the first funding phase, two corpora and their taxonomies were created — 60 online videos and over 1,000 Corona-related Internet memes. Both types — online videos and Internet memes are examples of patterned communication in cyberspace.

The aim is to explore, typify and compare multimodal patterns in current and politically relevant online videos on different structural levels (image — moving image — text). The approach is interdisciplinary in that it compares multimodal patterns in politically relevant online videos with already known and / or historical patterns from, inter alia, visual communication, science communication, journalism, propaganda, crisis and conflict research. The purpose of the work with the Corona corpus is to explore multimodal patterns of interpretation and meaning of Internet memes.

Applications to funding institutions to work with these corpora are in preparation, as are publications.


Müller, M. G. (2022). Video killed the political star? Muster visueller politischer Kommunikation im Cyberspace [Patterns of visual political communication in cyberspace]. In Ulla Autenrieth & Cornelia Brantner (Hrsg.) (2022), It’s all about video. Visuelle Kommunikation im Bann bewegter Bilder [Visual communication under the spell of moving images](S. 21–43). Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag.


Müller, M.G. (2020). Video rules the world! Visual intimacy and surveillance online. Presentation at the 70th Annual Conference, International Communication Association (ICA), Golf Coast, Australia, 20–27.05.2020.

Müller, M.G. (2019). Video killed the political star? Cyberbildlichkeit und ihre Folgen für Politik, Gesellschaft, Kultur und Wissenschaft.   [Cyberimagery and its consequences for politics, society, culture and science].  Antrittsvorlesung at the University of Trier, 11.12.2019.