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Media Cultures 1week 6 09, Lecture on Identity by Tracey Meziane Benson

Media Cultures 1week 6 09, Lecture on Identity by Tracey Meziane Benson

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  • Virtual utopia…. Ashley Dawson comments: “We frequently associate a highly dubious notion of status bracketing with internet-mediated identities. Simply because on-line communities do not feature visual markers of difference such as race, class, gender, age, or physical ability does not mean that there are not substantial preconditions to accessing such communities--computer literacy, leisure time, and wealth, for instance. Moreover, too often ideas about status bracketing are assumed to imply universal, open access. In a world in which three-fifths of the 4.4 billion people in underdeveloped countries lack access to basic sanitation, let alone computers, the forms of literacy required for fluent use of the Net are clearly the privilege of a numerically small global elite. The fact that English is by far the dominant language on the Net seems a relatively peripheral issue in relation to this much broader question of literacy. Nonetheless, many cyber-theorists continue to talk in terms that imply the universal availability of the Net and other electronic media of communication.” A 90s argument….

Transcript

  • 1. “ Who Am I?” Identity/Identification Media Cultures 1 (NEWM1001) Week 6 Tracey Meziane Benson
  • 2. Key Ideas
    • Identity
    • Identification
    • Sex/Gender
    • An imagined self – serious ‘play-acting’
    • Resistance to Fixed Identities
    • Celebrity
    • Stardom
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 3. Identity
    • A very structured way of categorising people based on ideas of difference
    • ‘… identities can function as points of identification and attachment only because of their capacity to exclude, to leave out, to render “outside”…’ (Stuart Hall 1996:5)
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 4. Identification
    • ‘ the production of self as an object in the world’ (Hall, 1996: 13)
    • ‘ a process never completed – always “in process”’ (Hall, 1996: 2)
    • A process based on ‘choice’/agency
    • A shifting sense of belonging in different ways to several ‘structures’ of identity at different times
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 5. Sex ….. Gender Is there a difference?
    • ‘… the current theoretical distinction between sex and gender differentiates between biological, anatomical givens on the one hand, and social or cultural norms of behaviour and attitude on the other.’(Buchbinder, 1998: 39)
    • Individuals negotiate between sexual attribution and the social boundaries and fantasies involved with gender attribution.
    • Sexuality – the ways in which humans use their bodies and their ‘genders’ to have sexual relations with each other
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 6. An Imagined Self
    • The idea that our senses of self rely on what we know of the ‘outside’ world – we ‘try on’ various identities – a serious form of ‘play-acting’ – ‘the experience of pop music is the experience of identity’ & identification
    • See Simon Frith (1996), ‘Music and Identity’ in Questions of Cultural Identity , Eds. Hall, Stuart and du Gay, Paul, London, Thousand Oaks: Sage,121-2.
    • We use our likes and dislikes, our identifications with others to construct stories about ourselves which we tell ourselves and other people by the ways in which we present and represent our selves.
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 7. Resistance
    • Confrontations
    • Role Reversals
    • ‘ Queer moments’ (Buchbinder)
    • in reading gender
    • Subversion -staying within the dominant discourse BUT undermining its stereotypes by ‘playing’ with them, changing them slightly
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 8. Identifications with …
    • People we meet and places we have been to
    • People and places that are represented via many kinds of signifying practices : music, cinema, television, visual art, internet communication, photos, books, printed news, websites and on and on…
    • The bigger, stronger and glossier the representation the more powerfully we identify with or against what is represented eg CELEBS
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 9. Film Stars
    • ‘ Actors become stars when their off-screen life-styles and personalities equal or surpass acting ability in importance… they mean something to their audiences…’
    • Gledhill, Christine (1991). Stardom. Industry of Desire
    • London & New York: Routledge, pp xiv-xv.
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 10. The Star System
    • (drawing on Richard Decordova, 1991)
    • An emphasis on acting ability and acting itself.
    • ‘ Picture Personalities’ when names of actors are identified in different films.
    • The Star: a combination of public and private lives.
    • The regulation of information.
    • eg.
    • Who was Marilyn Munroe?
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 11. A Marketing Device Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 12. The ‘authentic’ Depp
    • Self presentation:
    • Self deprecating and full of fantasy
    • ( Oprah Noodlemantra and his hats and fancy clothes )
    • A bit of a
    • ‘ wild child/man’
    • ( a history of 1 trashed hotel room, relationships with Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, the Viper Room)
    • But also able to be ordinarily domestic : lives with 1 woman and has 2 children
    • A rock musician too
    • Exotic, different: a Cherokee heritage and lives in France
    • Accessible but selectively
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 13. DEPP THE STAR ……
    • Stereotypes & Cultural Meanings
    • Mainstream, Subversive, Fantastic:
    • A good actor who embodies limitless and wild possibilities professionally and yet also lives a recognisably every-day life.
    • Safe and dangerous all at once
    Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  • 14. Artists who have explored ‘identity’ and ‘celebrity’
    • Di Ball is a digital artist from Qld who has a number of online and performance ‘identities’.
    • This is Fleur Ball – a Country and Western Superstar.
    • Some of her other identities are ‘Krystal Ball’ an online psychic and ‘Meet Ball’ an online dating agent
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 15. Di Ball cont…
    • "We are all the sum of our selves, but I have started to name some of my selves. As of now, there is Di Ball (myself), Fleur Ball (a cuntry and western singer), Krystal Ball (a sooth sayer), Meet Ball (an introduction madame) and Polly Vokhal (a feminist theorist) who exist both in the real world as well as in cyberspace. These personae act as filters for my past. They set up the instruments for my exploration and interrogation of identity. Identity is the subject of my artwork.”
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 16. Di Ball cont…
    • As part of this search for identity, I explore my own flesh. I have an ongoing body of work (pun intended) entitled "Pink Bits", where I map various regions of my body and use devices such as drawing and sketching as well as the digital to record these "bits". I scan, photograph, touch, document and project. I am a large person. This is a large project. Is there an end?
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 17. There is a myriad of ways to engage conceptually with notions of identity….
    • To signify a relationship to a place
    • To signify a connection to a culture
    • To signify displacement from both of the above (the migrant experience – culture and home land become objects of desire and fetish)
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 18. Identity, culture and place William Yang Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 19. William Yang
      • Is an artist who explores his cultural heritage and identity as a 4 th generation Chinese Australian. In his performances, he weaves together the personal with the political
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 20. “ Nobody here”
    • Jogchem Niemandsverdriet
    This web site has been going for around 8 years and it is an ongoing investigation into identity and notions of loss, place and space. On a technical level it has always been challenging – at first it used JavaScript and CSS in an innovative way, now it is a fantastic example of the broad scope of Flash. This work was included in ‘ 360degrees ’, a project I curated for MAAP in 2000. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 21. Keith Piper “ Relocating the remains ” A Smudge, A Fragment & A Whisper. In the case of this project, the act of 'relocation' takes on multiple meanings. In a literal sense, the relocation becomes from physical to virtual space. The remains of objects, activities and idea's which at one time exclusively occupied the cold space of galleries and other places designated for the display of art, have become disembodied, recoded into digital form. At points these remains are compacted onto CD-Rom , at others they are set adrift onto the virtual expanses of the Internet. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 22. Keith Piper “Relocating the remains” cont… We have the choice of relocating the remains which lie beyond three virtual gateways. The first gateway is called "UnMapped". The Second is called "UnRecorded", the third is called "Unclassified". Beyond "UnMapped" lies an investigation of the various perceptions of the black body as defined beneath the dominant gaze. "UnRecorded" examines the gaps in historical narratives which continue to distort and obscure black presence. "UnClassified" centres around an examination of the impact of new technologies on surveillance and policing, especially in relation to notions of community, nation and cultural difference. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  • 23. Credits:
    • Thanks to Cathie Summerhayes for providing the original presentation
    Slide credit: Tracey Meziane