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The Neoliberal Looking Glass - ICQI 2014

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The Neoliberal Looking Glass - ICQI 2014

  1. 1.  A ‘US ethnography’ › A consequence of a family move to Tampa, Florida, from Jerusalem.  Furthering my work on tourism and recreation  On-site visual commercial operations › cruise ships › amusement/theme-parks  Bringing in my background in › language, discourse and social interaction › performances and tourism (conceived broadly = everyday life) QI 2014 2Neoliberal Looking Glass
  2. 2.  Ethnography as a primarily observational method of inquiry - allows up-close and nuanced recording of richness of human practice › Observations in crowded tourist attractions are less about ‘relationships’, ‘experiences’ and ‘community’, and more about situated conduct and interaction = what is happening › critically informed  The ‘visual turn’ in Tourism Studies › Was late to arrive  The Tourist Gaze › Overemphasized the power of representational visual media (postcards, brochures, etc.) › Relatively recently studies have added ethnographic sensibilities and observations - of practices/performances - to the traditional analysis of representation QI 2014 3Neoliberal Looking Glass
  3. 3.  I am interested in visual commerce, produced in and by settings and technologies, where tourists’ images are produced and sold back to tourists by tourist corporations › not images if Otherness › not images of tourists by tourists  At stake are the cultural, social and economic implications of these visual commercial operations QI 2014 4Neoliberal Looking Glass
  4. 4. Neoliberal Looking GlassQI 2014 5 Cruise ship portraits Roller coaster ride Prints Screens Purchase Purchase
  5. 5. 1. Takes place in enclavic (homogeneous), highly-disciplined (non)-spaces 2. Devices of production and display of tourists’/visitors’ visual images are set in vicinity to each other and in strategic locations. › production, reception and consumption are interconnected and occur in the same place almost at the same time. › strategic locations, where tourists must pass through/by as part of their activity QI 2014 6Neoliberal Looking Glass
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  10. 10.  Means and meanings of display  For instrumental reasons, i.e. efficiency in managing masses of consumers, images of tourists are invariably displayed publically (not privately) QI 2014 11Neoliberal Looking Glass
  11. 11.  Approximately 4,000 images are printed and presented at any moment in time during the cruise. › All are printed regardless  Observing these images and purchasing them is part of the visual past-time activities on board. › By observing I refer to the fact that all vacationers observe all (everyone’s) images QI 2014 12Neoliberal Looking Glass
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  16. 16.  Descending from the stairs leading from the ride, a mother looks at the screens and calls to her young son: “Oh my gosh, Ellie, look!” as she points her hand in the direction of his image on the screen in front of her.  members of large family are all looking at the screens, and the mother (in her thirties, with a heavy Australian accent) cries: “Look at me! Look at me! Oh Lord have mercy!” Her relatives instantly gather near her and join her excitement and laugh. Then they turn away and continue to talk about her image as they walk away.  A father walking together with his son stops, points at one of the screens and says, surprised (but not laughing), “Oh! There we are!”  A tall and skinny male teenager with a ‘cool’ look (sunglasses and reversed cap) points at one of the screens and turns to his father, saying (half-facing him) in a British accent, “Right here, pops”.  A group of older visitors stops to view their images. One of the women points at one of the screens (a rolled park pamphlet she is holding serves as a pointing device), where their images appear together. Another woman says, “Oh, that’s priceless!” Shortly after, the one holding the pamphlet points again at the screens and says, “Here one they are” (referring to others in their group).  A large group of some ten teenagers are looking at the screens, and one of them (a girl) is the first to recognize them and call out: “There we are!” Neoliberal Looking GlassQI 2014 18
  17. 17.  A continuous commotion near the screens: public expressions of excitement  A group of people watching group of screens showing (the same) group of people  Viewers 1. notice the screens and expect to see their images 2. publicly recognize their image via bodily and verbal gestures and actions 3. claim their image as their own 4. make comparisons and judgments (aesthetic evaluations) Neoliberal Looking GlassQI 2014 19
  18. 18.  Intentional and unintentional consequences: 1. Most tourists purchase images (at both sites) › at approx. $25-$80 per image › unintentional: commercial mediation of one’s own image › commercial mediation of consumer collectives or publics Neoliberal Looking GlassQI 2014 20
  19. 19.  Being seen, recorded and displayed publicly is an exciting part of the activity; › So is commenting on one’s image, and others’ images  The visual operation amounts to visitors’ framing and positioning into being both captivated audiences and performers › Visual management of place and of individual and collective – or public – identity  Both in the sense of observable identity and in the sense of publics’ identities. Neoliberal Looking GlassQI 2014 21
  20. 20. QI 2014 22Neoliberal Looking Glass More @: Noy, C. (2014). Staging portraits: Tourism’s panoptic photo-industry. Annals of Tourism Research, 47, 48-62. and @ :

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