December 12, 2008
Act 38 is Cherished, originally by Emily Maquire, the last of my remix my lit remixes for Viola’s Bookshelf. This is my favourite of all the remixes so far, I loved the original story to begin with, the beautiful way it uses so few words to craft a picture of self love and acceptance. But I love the remix even more because it completely queers it, and for this reason I find the self aceptance and comfort the stories subject has being in their own skin even more profound.
November 28, 2008
The New Feminine–Flickr group and tagging project
As we are coming to the end of the year and I am beginning to wrap up the 52 Acts project I have been looking back on some of the previous Acts and thinking about some of the ways in which I have wanted to further the knowedge I have gained from them. Early on in the project I had a look at Flickr images and the way in which they were tagged (see Acts 5, 6, and 7. I feel this was an important element of my work because the idea of ‘tagging’ (attaching several descriptors to an item for the purposes of searching) rather than categorising is central to the concept of web 2.0.
November 24, 2008
Act 35 is another installment on Viola’s Bookshelf, courtesy of the remix my lit project. This time I used the gender exchange formula on Kim Wilkins’ horror short story, Dreamless. As with all the Viola’s Bookshelf stories it will show different things for different readers, but for me I think that this time something is lost in the exchange. The original story described the fate of two young boys, and 11 year old and a toddler, and the peril that faced them as they lived as vagrants in a car wrecking yard. So much of the story’s emotional currency is in the vulnerability of the boys. There is such poignancy in the gap between the desire of the 11 year old to be a grown-up man able to protect himself and his young sibling, and the weakness he actually feels.
When the genders are reversed I think that the vulenerability of young girls is more of a given, and what is less of a given is the assumption that given the chance to grow up girls will cease to be vulenerable–as is the assumption about men being played on in this story.
In any case it is a well crafted story, but be warned, it is a horror story and is an excelent example of the genre.
November 23, 2008
Living in a networked world–Failure to connect
Yesterday I opened a ‘floating art gallery’ in the middle of my city. I took with me my bluetooth enabled phone loaded up with miniature jpg versions of previous 52 Acts art works, a note pad and a pencil.
The idea was to find a central location, sit myself down, start beaming out images to other visible bluetooth devices, and see if I could interest any networked city dwellers in some free random art.
November 12, 2008
Watching Women Street Art–Part 2c WOC Edition–Turkish Gold
One of the biggest offenders in the gender ads WOC gallery seemed to be cigarette advertising. The Virginia Slims ads are particularly bad using stereotypes to sell the sexiness of their cigarettes while using the tagline “find your voice”. Firstly, cigarettes have long been proven to damage and actually remove your voice, secondly, using a stereotype and calling it individuality is just plain baffling.
I chose to use this camel cigarettes advert as the basis for my third and final stencil in part 2 of the series. It seems representations of Middle Eastern women are either belly dance/mysterious/spicy/sexy or completely veiled. It is the virgin/whore trope taken to extremes.
November 12, 2008
Watching Women Street Art–Part 2b WOC Edition–Reebok Geisha
Following on from the Aunt Jemima stencil I became interested in other representations of women, and particularly women of colour, in advertising. I found GenderAds.com which is a fantastic resource, particularly useful was their WOC exotics section. I was inspired by this old reebok ad depicting a shy geisha girl stereotype wearing reebok sneakers.
November 12, 2008
Watching Women Street Art–Part 2a WOC Edition–Aunt Jemima
Back in March I worked on Act 12, Watching Women Street Art, a set of three images that I shared on the Internet for use as street art stencil and sticker templates. The images were created using iconic images of women in western art, women whose images were created purely for the pleasure of the viewer. Inspired by the recent creation of the Hollaback Australia site I had repurposed the images as viewers themselves.
In the comments of Act 12 Mehitabel Moody Moss Said:
In my city we would need some African-American iconic women for such a project. For the US I’d suggest Queen Nefertiti, Aunt Jemima, Angela Davis.
I decided that I really wanted to take this on board and to include some images of women of colour in my next watching women street art set (I had always intended to do three sets of three images for this project).
October 31, 2008
Viola’s Bookshelf–Renovator’s Heaven, Gender Exchange Remix
A gender exchange remix of Cate Kenedy’s Renovator’s Heaven is now up at Viola’s Bookshelf. The original was published as part of the remix my lit project. I was moved to remix this story (and a few others that I will post in coming weeks) partly because the original author is female, and the previous stories on Viola’s Bookshelf have had male original authors–I thought it might be time to redress the balance.
I think it is an interesting remix due to the main character’s relationship to minutiae and materialism (not in a comercial exploitative sense, but rather in an attachment to the physical), and hints that they are more comfortable with this relationship than with interpersonal relationships that they have had in their life.