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Mc1week 9 09



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Mc1week 9 09

  1. 1. Celebrity/Stardom in Virtual Worlds Media Cultures 1 Week 9, 15 September 2009 Tracey Meziane Benson
  2. 2. You can’t keep a dead man down Film Stardom and Celebrity Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  3. 3. Film Stars <ul><li>‘ Actors become stars when their off-screen life-styles and personalities equal or surpass acting ability in importance… they mean something to their audiences…’ </li></ul><ul><li>Gledhill, Christine (1991). Stardom. Industry of Desire </li></ul><ul><li>London & New York: Routledge, pp xiv-xv. </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  4. 4. But What Do Stars Mean to Us? <ul><li>An Actor Acting </li></ul><ul><li>A Product of the Star System </li></ul><ul><li>A Marketing Device </li></ul><ul><li>An Object of Desire </li></ul><ul><li>Intimate Access </li></ul><ul><li>to the body and life of another person – an authentic person </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  5. 5. An Actor Acting <ul><li>Acting </li></ul><ul><li>using your own body, </li></ul><ul><li>its history and skills to </li></ul><ul><li>find ways to play a </li></ul><ul><li>character </li></ul><ul><li>Role Playing </li></ul><ul><li>playing a part in a story </li></ul><ul><li>Being Watched </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing your own private body with all its markings to be seen and heard, allowing people you don’t know access to your body sometimes in quite intimate ways and close up. </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  6. 6. The Star System <ul><li>(drawing on Richard Decordova, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>An emphasis on acting ability and acting itself. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Picture Personalities’ when names of actors are identified in different films. </li></ul><ul><li>The Star: a combination of public and private lives. </li></ul><ul><li>The regulation of information by studios, distributors, agents and actors. </li></ul><ul><li>eg. </li></ul><ul><li>Who was Marilyn Munroe? The woman we see in her films, the woman talked about in magazines etc, a woman who is an actor living an everyday life? </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  7. 7. A Marketing Device: your body is your business Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  8. 8. An Object of Desire <ul><li>A personal relationship through image and fantasy. </li></ul><ul><li>- a role model? </li></ul><ul><li>- a new identity for you? </li></ul><ul><li>- dissatisfaction with who you are? </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  9. 9. Johnny Depp “stars in virtual space?” <ul><li>What kind of Star? </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  10. 10. The Professional Depp <ul><li>Great to look at and watch, photographs beautifully: perfect visual image --beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>Has acted well in a large range of ‘interesting’ rather than commercial films ---quirky, alternative </li></ul><ul><li>He is good at using his face and facial gestures in his acting, can make great use of close-ups </li></ul><ul><li>---vulnerable, intimate </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  11. 11. The ‘authentic’ Depp <ul><li>Self presentation: </li></ul><ul><li>Self deprecating and full of fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>( Oprah Noodlemantra and his hats and fancy clothes ) </li></ul><ul><li>A bit of a </li></ul><ul><li>‘ wild child/man’ </li></ul><ul><li>( a history of 1 trashed hotel room, relationships with Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, the Viper Room) </li></ul><ul><li>But also able to be ordinarily domestic : lives with 1 woman and has 2 children (mind you the woman is French and a singer) </li></ul><ul><li>A rock musician too </li></ul><ul><li>Exotic, different: a Cherokee heritage and lives in France </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible but selectively – not too much of him on Special Features DVDs of his films. </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  12. 12. <ul><li>DEPP THE STAR …… </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes </li></ul><ul><li>& Cultural Meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream, Subversive, Fantastic (i.e. the stuff of fantasies too): </li></ul><ul><li>A good actor who embodies limitless and wild possibilities professionally and yet also lives a recognisably every-day life. </li></ul><ul><li>Safe and dangerous all at once </li></ul>Slide credit: Catherine Summerhayes
  13. 13. Celebrity in real and online contexts – controlling the image Slide credit: Tracey Meziane In many cases, celebrities do not have control of how their image is used. For example, images of ‘stars without makeup’ is a regular feature in many women’s magazines. In the online environment there is even less capacity for stars to control their image. The images on the right have titles with the words ‘Paris Hilton’ but none of the clips in this screen dump have anything to do with Paris Hilton. Her name is used in the title to attract viewers as it is a popular search term.
  14. 14. Artists who become online ‘stars’ John Halcyon Styn has been exploring the idea of online celebrity for years. He has a number of online personas and he plays with ideas relating to identity and intimacy. His web site is at: Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  15. 15. Artists who have explored ‘identity’ and ‘celebrity’ <ul><li>Di Ball is a digital artist from Qld who has a number of online and performance ‘identities’. </li></ul><ul><li>This is Fleur Ball – a Country and Western Superstar. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of her other identities are ‘Krystal Ball’ an online psychic and ‘Meet Ball’ an online dating agent </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  16. 16. Di Ball cont… <ul><li>&quot;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.” </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  17. 17. Di Ball cont… <ul><li>As part of this search for identity, I explore my own flesh. I have an ongoing body of work (pun intended) entitled &quot;Pink Bits&quot;, where I map various regions of my body and use devices such as drawing and sketching as well as the digital to record these &quot;bits&quot;. I scan, photograph, touch, document and project. I am a large person. This is a large project. Is there an end? </li></ul>Slide credit: Tracey Meziane
  18. 18. 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol made this statement in the 1960s: “ In the future everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” Do you think this is true? You Tube certainly would have you believe that being famous is a ‘real’ possibility. Slide credit: Tracey Meziane