weird drawings I’ve made … they sort of delight me. I hope you like them.
The following are examples of why I will be a bad friend for the next few months #StudioJail.
May 18, 2013
April 18, 2013
This morning’s readings began with my friend’s article on Bitch Media.
And ended with this.
To be fair, most of my days conclude with a little bit of Sophia Grace & Rosie.
The following is the weird thread between the two. They don’t seem connected. The result was me feeling a whole lot of feelings. Pride in knowing Jos, the author of the Bitch Media article. Delight, then weird shame in being so delighted by Sophia Grace & Rosie.
This is my research method: adult play, wandering the internet, and often times weeping into a very large cup of coffee.
It is also important not to scapegoat the Internet, media, prescription drugs, or any one factor that may very well contribute to the problem, but is not the single underlying cause. Rather, we need to admit to the urgency of the problem of school shootings and enact an array of intelligent and informed responses that will produce a more peaceful and humane society. - Douglas Kellner
“He can’t pick up the initiative unless she trusts him to pick up the initiative…”
… Says Jack in this video J. Jack Halberstam: Gaga Families.
Now back to Douglas Kellner:
Schools can also teach non-violent conflict resolution and media literacy courses that critique media representations that associate power and gun violence with masculinity and should cultivate alternative images to the ultraviolent images of masculinity circulating in media.
Insert Bromance here.
Or rather than simply cultivating “alternative images” of masculinity, what of presenting a more complex look at masculinity. One that is layered, one that is conflicted, one that is anxious.
Imagine a representation of gender where different stereotypes of that gender (soft male vs jock) were not separated into easily digestible boxes. Would this be an alternative image of masculinity or would it be multiple representations of masculinities located in one image, one body? What would that body look like?
And now this.
Kitsch causes two tears to flow in quick succession. The first tear says: how nice to see children running on the grass! The second tear says: How nice to be moved, together with all mankind, by children running on the grass! It is the second tear that makes kitsch kitsch. — From On Kitsch and Sentimentality by Robert C. Solomon
Once we remove from consideration those concerns that are appropriate to art and aesthetics rather than ethics, it seems to me that the real objection to kitsch and sentimentality is the re-jection (or fear) of emotions and, especially, certain kind of sentiments, variously designated as “tender” or “sweet” or “nostalgic.” (Harries: “cloying sweetness,” “sugary stickiness.”) But the rejection extends as well to the gloomier emotions, and Karsten Harries warns us: “how easy it is to wax lyrical over despair, to wallow in it, to enjoy it. This too is kitsch, sour kitsch.”
So what emotions are legitimate, “true” and undistorted? Can art evoke any ordinary human emotions without being con-demned as kitsch? Is there any room left in our jaded and sophisticated lives for the enjoyment of simple innocence and “sweet” affection? The trumped-up charges against kitsch and sentimentality should disturb us and make us suspicious. These attacks on the most common human sentiments-our reactions to the laughter of a child, or to the death of an infant-go far beyond the rejection of the bad art that evokes them. It is true that such matters provide a facile vehicle for second or third rate painters, but if such incidents are guaranteed to evoke emotion it is because they are indeed a virtually universal concern. The fact that we are thus “vulnerable” may make for some very bad art but this should not provoke our embarrassment at experiencing these quite “natural” sentiments ourselves, nor should it excuse the enormous amount of sophistry that is devoted to making fun of and undermining the legitimacy of such emotions.
I don’t know about the word “natural” here, but I am always returning to being weirded out and delighted by stuff like this.
March 31, 2013
Many of these finds are old hat, but I thought I’d put them out there…
Adam L had, had his Man Card revoked because he avoids eye-contact with tough-looking 5th graders.
Watch Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity here.
Tough Guise was made in 1999 … an oldie. Here is Katz’s article about the Newtown shootings.
Here is feministing’s response.
Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel talk “aggrieved entitlement” here.
March 22, 2013
“And so finally we reach the scale of intimacy, of skin, of shared heartbeats and feelings, the scale that goes from families and lovers to people together on a street corner, in a sauna, a living room or a cafe. It would seem that intimacy is irretrievably weighted down in our time, burdened with data and surveillance and seduction, crushed with the determining influence of all the other scales. But intimacy is still an unpredictable force, a space of gestation and therefore a wellspring of gesture, the biological spring from which affect drinks. Only we can traverse all the scales, becoming other along the way. From the lovers’ bed to the wild embrace of the crowd to the alien touch of networks, it may be that intimacy and its artistic expressions are what will astonish the twenty-first century.” Brian Holmes “The Affectivist Manifesto: Artistic Critique in the 21st Century”
Bromance is a project about navigating hegemonic masculinity. American, white masculinity is a hot topic in contemporary gender theory. It was thrust into the mainstream after the 2012 Newtown shootings when the media pointed to masculinity as a way to understand the violent acts that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December. Critics had a variety of responses to Sandy Hook in conjunction with male violence.
To quote queer artist and activist Sean Gyshen Fennell, “I have come to the realization that masculinity has an analogous relationship to the invisible mechanisms that cause systems of oppression. I plan to use this perspective and to begin investigating masculinity and how it functions in relationship to queerness.”
While hegemonic masculinity has served, and continues to serve, as the oppressor, I believe it is time not to reexamine American masculinity (yet again) but to give voice to the men who have responded to (consciously and/or subconsciously) the postmodern feminist cry for inclusion.
Bromance is a call for a different critique of white male privilege. It does not overlook or celebrate the privileges white males have over other demographics; rather, it features four men who struggle with the anxieties of whiteness and maleness. The goal of my project is to offer these anxieties up as something to be heard and valued within the feminist conversation.
I will interview four white, American males whom I have intimate relationships with: a former boyfriend, a friend, a mentor and my father. I will use the audio from these interviews as voiceovers to accompany video and live puppetry. The imagery will be visually abstract; however, the amalgamation of the actions performed with the voiceovers will generate a narrative link that will celebrate non-normative masculinities that were originally located in the four interviewees and then transformed by the performing objects and videos.
The interview questions I’m asking the men in my project are structured to mine the interviewees for vulnerable answers. What I found was a myriad of responses that ranged from vulnerable to stereotypically guarded, even macho. This spectrum of answers is at the heart of my project.
Cisgendered, white, American males while privileged, are socialized to not experience gender variance with freedom or creativity. They are taught to buck up or be a man in the face of adversity. Boys are socialized to be violent. They are not encouraged to be sensitive for fear of seeming gay, wussy or worse – girly.
However, the result of American male socialization doesn’t only resemble stereotypical notions of the high school jock, the frat boy or the Bro.
Men have responded to this socialization in a variety of ways. By relocating their voices from their white male bodies to a strange, non-gendered object, my hope is to queer their stories.
To bring the Bro into a conflicted body that is queer because of its multiplicity, fluidity and failure is an act that makes this project both, incredibly generous and subversively violent.
February 10, 2013