Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Luck!!!

I just wanted to wish everyone good luck with school and whatever else they have planned for this semester!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

check out this sidewalk art

This is just amazing, eye boggling, and totally awesome. I would totally try to do this.

I do not know the name of the artist but these are on flat surfaces and are simply amazing.

sidewalk cinema

AJ -- are you interested in showing your video on the sidewalk for a month beginning with the gallery stroll this Friday? If so, I will need to get your video in quicktime tomorrow. sorry for the late notice. I have been away and just got back.


And I will try to get an e-mail to you as well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

About Doug

During our individual meetings, many of you expressed an interest in Doug's health. Doug was diagnosed with lung cancer the last week of our class. We decided not to tell you at the time since everyone had much on their minds. I am attaching the link to Doug's blog, which was set up by his best friend, Paul, who recently came to SLC to visit Doug, and includes information about his health. I'm telling you this now because tomorrow night, Friday, there will be an event to honor Doug and help raise money for his medical expenses. It is being held by his friends and colleagues at Westminster in the Honor Building from 5-8...just in case any of you would like to attend. The details are on his blog (at the end of it) I know Doug would love to see you or hear from you or get notes. He is in amazing spirits, funny as usual, and forever aware of all the small and beautiful things around him.

I hope everyone's summer is off to a great beginning.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Astonishing Katie Paterson

This astonishing young Scottish woman explores ideas in an exciting combination of art and science -- coding the "Moolight Sonata", firing it at the moon and discovering that it returns with a few notes missing; a phone number that will connect you to a microphone beneath an Icelandic glacier; a map of all the dead stars in the universe...and so on. Exciting and creatively inspiring!

Monday, May 18, 2009



Sunday, May 17, 2009


Is it just me or is Anne being slow with the grade posting routine? I'm getting pretty anxious. We all know the grade is all that really matters, right? 

:) Kidding, Anne. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a cupcake proposal




Thursday, May 14, 2009

I promised i would so here it is...

I promised Anne that I would post this thing I do in my journal on the blog. If you have seen the sixth sense, there is that part when he comes home from school and his mum asks him what he did that day and he makes up this amazing perfect day and she said she won the lottery blah blah blah. well basically sometimes i write how i wish my day would have gone.
So one of my entries went like this...
How I wish my day would have gone: I walk into Muller's class and she returns my fourth abstract to me. She rants and raves about how it is the perfect abstract. It was so good that no matter how bad my final essay is, I will still receive an A in her class.

Thats just part of it. If anyone knows Muller, you know that this is the most outlandish dream EVER. haha

hope everyone's having a fun summer!

good stuff

free music for your videos (or whatever) at --
and pigment on sale at Reuels downtown (and they have blue)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Summer plans??

Hi all! In my meeting with Anne, she said most of us had expressed interest in keeping the blog going, which I think is fabulous. I'm interested to hear about your summer plans, and see some more posts! I know I'll have some pictures to post--at least I darn well better considering I am lucky enough to be spending two months in Europe (mainly Ukraine) this summer. Hope everyone's finals went well!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I wanted to give everyone in a class a huge thank you!!! Everyone had inspirational ideas and projects. I especially want to thank Jeremiah. Because of Jeremiah's work I have decided to do Computer Science for my major. :) I had already been looking at computer science as well as art and other majors. I really liked how Jeremiah showed the process of making his thesaurus and I think it is something I would enjoy. I have looked more thoroughly into Computer Science and I am going for it.

Thanks to all of you again and I hope to see you at the cupcake party!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

make a documentary about someone....

Copied and pasted ... for the brillance among you...

Here is the website --

Here is the description --

Some people get to be well known and other people live their lives in obscurity. For this project you get to choose and present someone that you think other people should know about by making a documentary about them. Your documentary can take any form that can be presented on the web — video, sound, images, text or any combination of those things. The hope is that this will eventually become an archive of interesting people that previously were not well known, from all over the world.

Monday, May 4, 2009

a little global inspiration

to make you pause, listen and feel

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

individual meetings

Just plan on coming to the honors building conference room -- unless you hear otherwise from me.

Amazing -- spadubious event. BRAVO!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Work Team.

We did it. 

And I think it was successful. 

Spadubious Clouds?


Monday, April 27, 2009


Some information for you after a visit to the new media wing this morning. sorry i didn't get this posted earlier today...there are details you will need to know for tomorrow. also i got strawberries, brownies, water and some veggies. I'll also try to remember my video you don't have to. a good day ahead....and my notes about tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I think we will need a truck to get the bars from my basement to the New Media wing on Tuesday. Does anyone have a truck?

Assignment list and grading criteria

Creating, grading and cupcakes.....

So looking forward to Tuesday!!!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Found objects and final project.

I've always compulsively held onto scraps of paper over the years. Posters, flyers, bits of trash, notes from friends, drawings, they're all in the back of a filing cabinet. Once in a while I make a collage out of them.

This one has a newspaper from 1942 that was under the floor in the 337 building, as well as a ripped-up copy of J.D. Salinger's 9 Stories I found once. It's one of my favorite books.

My senior year of high school I had posters floor to ceiling in my room. I took them all down and made cd-sized squares out of all the images, the images that informed my life.

I've kept the poster with me ever since through 4 years of college, It's time to let it go.

See you on tuesday.

Individual Review Schedules

Okay I've looked at my schedule and this is what I've found.
I'm available:

28 Tuesday 9-noon
30 Thursday 11-noon and again from 1-3:30 (Anna will come from 2-2:20)
1 Friday 9-11:30, 2-4
4 Monday 9-3
5 Tuesday 9-3
6 Wednesday 9-3
7 Thursday 9-3

I would like to meet with each of you for 20 minutes. You can start working out the times on the blog. Please try to cluster them as much as possible. And sorry Kelly and Mercedes that the times we worked out yesterday don't work for me. Tomorrow, I will post a list of the assignments which we will review, and a grading system.

I'm super excited about the FINALE!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Spadubious Event - April 29, 2009

Hey all,

Here are two versions of the invitation, I only sent my favorite one with the email to Anne, so if you would prefer the other one, right click and save the image you like from the blog and attach it to your forwarded email invite.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

sound arts

This is really interesting and complex sound experimentation.

And Jessica what is the name of the radio site where you found the podcast you shared with us today?

Monday, April 20, 2009


This is number 6 on the art observed/created. My room was a mess and i had a ton of dasani water bottles, so like a child i tried to stack them as high as i could. they are easier to stack with only a tiny bit of water in them.


So, there is this boy on campus who just has amazing fashion sense and is really cute. He will sometimes visit me in his dreams. Since I love his style so much, I figured if I saw him in a dream again, I would give him this certificate.

Accidental Art

I know rainbows aren't accidental BUT they are tight, and I believe it is "existing art."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Adventures and Woes of the Little Prince's Flower (post it story)

She watched the Little Prince depart and let out a heavy sigh. Perhaps she had demanded too much of him. But afterall, she didn't have legs--how could she have fetched her own glass? A few days after the Prince left, a passing star pointed out to her that there were three small baobabs growing on the other side of the planet. She thanked the star and he tipped his hat to her and continued on. The next day, a small meteor struck the planet so near to the flower that it grazed some of her petals and knocked one of her thorns off. "I'm terribly sorry," said the meteor as it bounced back into space. The flower tried to examine the damage but could not bend enough to see. The next day the damaged petals fell off and drifted to the ground. The flower began to weep. When she opened her eyes she saw a young star peeking at her from behind the extinct volcano. "You are lonely," he said. She nodded. "Then I shall stay with you, and pick your baobabs until whoever it is you are missing returns." And because of his good deed, the little star became a sun and watched over the flower until the day the Little Prince returned home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

class Tuesday

I'm sort of into quotes right now, and I liked this one from Joseph Campbell, "Jump." Needless to say it also reminded me of our in house Yves Klein.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Sometimes it seems like this century, through no fault of its own, is going to try and squash you down in the tension between the enormity of the world and the fragility of its human structures.




Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thinking and watching

Random thoughts for this week:

1- If there are two drunk people in the living room, four in the kitchen, and eight in the basement, how many bottles and cans with I be cleaning up in the morning?
2- I think my eyelashes are falling out at an exponential rate.
3- There's no such thing as happily ever after.
4-I hate the phrase "Enduring to the end." Makes me feel like life always needs to be a struggle.
5- What's the use of bugs that bite, anyway?

I was sitting in the computer lab trying to observe people so I had something interesting and witty to write, but instead I ended up person watching. Of all the interesting characters to choose from, it was the hunched little old man in the gray cap and thin sweater that caught my eye. What's he doing here? I thought. He stood in the middle of the room looking slightly lost for a minute or two while more spry students whizzed around him. He finally selected a computer that was worthy, sat down, and suddenly realized his seat was wrong. He stood up, walked around to the back of the chair with a scrutinizing eye, put on his eyeglasses, and continued to stair at the underworkings of the chair that no doubt millions of dollars went in to designing, manufacturing, and exporting a hundred chairs just like it to our campus. After a few more minutes of the old man eying and prodding and turning the chair he finally sat down again. With his eyeglasses precariously balanced on his nose, head tilted back, and pursed lips, he pulled the computer screen closer to the edge of the table, almost pushing the keyboard into his lap. He then began typing, slowly, each key carefully pressed by an index finger. He continued to type for the two hours I was editing photos, the half hour I was checking email, the ten minutes it took me to run downstairs and get a coffee, and another fifteen while I was reading the class blog. I have no idea what he was writing. I imagine that he was sending a letter to an old friend, possibly his best mate on the lacrosse team he was the captain of in high school. Or his newest grandson, with advice on how to tie a fly to a line and the best way to cast for the very biggest trout, to be opened promptly on his eleventh birthday. Or perhaps he was writing to his love, a rhetorical message of tenderness and affection, never to be returned or read by anyone in particular, unless the technologies of this library manage to loose his words and they get tossed out into the stars for all the little princes to enjoy.

Framing; human symphony; Ricky Fitts

Sometimes I frame several people at once, and the lines of their experience and movement seem like melodic lines, which, when seen together, can form a beautiful polyphony.

I was sitting in a bookstore coffee shop when two women in their forties walked in and sat next to me. One was disabled, moved very slowly, and never spoke. The other, probably her sister, was restless and busy caring for her, handed her a book, which she slowly inspected, then replaced it with a magazine, rose and went off to look for something. He sister remained, silent, slowly looking over the pictures in the magazine.

Two women in their early thirties sat several tables away, and one talked continuously in a strong, level voice, which she occasionally punctuated with crescendoes expressing her surprize and puzzlement. No dramatic or violent emotions, just her stunned response to bewildering episodes.

Six pre-teens came in, moving in sporadic swirls. Four went to the counter as a boy and girl split off and sat at a table in front of me, laughing, distracted and light, and moving in ways that will soon beome flirtations.

And framing them all together I think, "Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in." (Ricky Fitts to Jane Burnham, watching his film of the plastic bag dancing in the wind. American Beauty; 1999.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Child in a box.

After our discussion in class today I thought I would post this photo of my son Joseph in a box. He was about 1 year old when this was taken. Hope you enjoy it!

Little Prince Post-It story

Stick-it Prince

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Kiss smells like...

A bad kiss smells like old, stale chinese food. it smells the way mexican food sits in your mouth after a few hours when you ate it. 
wet dog. 
or old food crumbs on the corners of your mouth. 

a good one smells like chapstick. 
minty or fruity lipgloss and gum. 
cool fresh air after a day inside.
unexpected rain. 
it smells like good DNA.

5 Random Thoughts

1- I wish I would burn calories for deep thinking.
2- I am so pissed with Mother Nature.
3- He has good style, I wonder if he is single...
4- I know this meat looks old, but if it tastes okay then I'm sure I won't mind.
5- grrr, art is not only defined in terms of talent

Friday, April 10, 2009

video art links

At long last....

How do I make my Post-It stories look like Post-It notes?


I seem to remember you posted a post it story on the blog and the way you did it made it look like a real post it note. Would you mind helping me, or anyone for that matter, learn how to post my stories like that? Thanks for any advise.


5 random thoughts

1. If time travel is even possible, then there would be time tourists and there aren't any of those around so....
2. Chocolate covered grapes are way more delicious than you would imagine.
3. Goggle tans are only sexy to people from park city.
4. Tattoos are my weakness.
5. Hot Sauce + Sour Cream = A serious taco

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Missed Out

Dear Class,

I must say, I have had very few classes that I actually regret missing for reasons other than falling behind. I was out of town this whole week, but thought about our class a great deal of the time. I spent the week taking pictures of naturally occuring faces, picking up random objects for my found-art piece, and writing lots in my journal, not to mention contemplating my word project almost obsessively. I read The Little Prince, and will probably read it again on my way home. I feel like I missed out a lot this week, but the lessons in creativity certainly have infused my trip with a plethora of interesting experiences. So thanks :) see you all Tuesday.

beautiful decay

more at

a beautiful tribute to Plath

Check out the site,, for more of this...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

nothing is boring.

My 5 favorite thoughts that occurred over the last few days:

1. In certain lights, Kiefer Sutherland looks a lot like Brain of "Pink & the" fame.
2. I just used the word "kinfolk" in everyday conversation. And present parties found nothing amiss.
3. With chunky peanut butter, do they just not process it as much? Or is it just creamy peanut butter with extra peanut bits added in?
4. Bed too warm. World too cruel. Not getting up.
5. I am probably the only person who watches an award-winning bird documentary with a sickening sense of dread.

Clarification, perhaps

Both Jeremiah and Maggie asked me to explain the interview assignment so...
listen closely

Visual Thesaurus as one BIG image file!!!

Hey all,

I managed to get my visual thesaurus to export to a .jpg file. It is nearly impossible to read unless you zoom in, but you will be able to see exactly what the structure is and how it looks as a whole. I was unable to upload it to the blog, so I am hosting it on my personal webpage. You are welcome to save the file or just use your web browser to view it. You should have no trouble zooming in to look at items close up and read them with any image viewer, or just click on the image with the magnifying glass in your web browser to get a closer view. Let me know if there are any difficulties.


Visual Thesaurus

Some Word Excersises: Music

The necessity to make the inspiration of the privileged world communicate to the real world.

Quite a mouthful for a word, but I hesitate to trim it down as I described earlier. Rather I'm fairly certain it will be through trying to articulate this bugger that I will eventually create my presentation. "The idea becomes a machine that makes the art." Or so Sol Lewitt said, and he's pretty smart, so here we go.

1. My first attempt to convey what I'm getting at coincides with a musician called Kutiman who I wrote quite a bit about. His videos basically take many many different samples and create a unified musical piece based off a collective effort.

I love this stuff, as you can probably tell from my personal blog post. I wanted to try to re-create it, but have yet to find a good way to snatch the Youtube clips off the internet to import into video editing software. Any ideas?

In the meantime:
The necessity to make the inspiration of the privileged world communicate to the real world.

Open them all at once and you might get an idea of what I'm after. Be sure to watch the dancing one and the Charlie Chapman clip, they're the best.

Sunday, April 5, 2009



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Drawing with Steel

This guys art is crazy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jeremiah's Visual Thesaurus is coming soon!

Hey all,

Thanks you for your understanding and patience with my visual thesaurus, I am planning to show it in class tomorrow in class. I have a few more things to do before I can post it on the web, but I plan to do so when I figure out how to make it a stand alone application. I hope it does not disappoint and is as fun to view as it was to make.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Here's my thesaurus - sorry for posting it so late.

the material is canvas fabric and the words are with marker.  i asked the person who knows me best, my twin sister, to do a word web of me. with some of my additions, here is what we came up with.

[the top two photos are enlargements]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More Male Gaze

I don’t know where to start. I think I’ll just talk. In list form? Here goes.

1. I read the article that Jill noted, the essay by Laura Mulvey. As Jill mentioned, part of the essay claims that “as viewers, we are almost always forced to identify with the "male gaze"--the hero.” This is how Mulvey puts it. I find it interesting:

According to the principles of the ruling ideology and the psychical structures that back it up, the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification. Man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like. Hence the split between spectacle and narrative supports the man's role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen. The man controls the film phantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense: as the bearer of the look of the spectator, transferring it behind the screen to neutralise the extra-diegetic tendencies represented by woman as spectacle. This is made possible through the processes set in motion by structuring the film around a main controlling figure with whom the spectator can identify. As the spectator identifies with the main male protagonist, he projects his look on to that of his like, his screen surrogate, so that the power of the male protagonist as he controls events coincides with the active power of the erotic look, both giving a satisfying sense of omnipotence.

Hm. Interesting that “man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like,” but females don’t seem to have issue with it. But this is psychoanalysis, so we accordingly learn to do so. ? Also in the essay is the statement, “There are circumstances in which looking itself is a source of pleasure, just as, in the reverse formation, there is pleasure in being looked at.” How very true this is. Perhaps the pleasure of being looked at is what started the whole ordeal. Our society is male dominant and has been from the beginning of time (original sin, woman at fault for the fall) but could this fault be seen as a power? Sure, the power of physicality, sexuality, but is it a bad thing?

2. As Jill brings up at the end of her thoughts, Buber and Levinas “both suggest that as human beings, we are capable of seeing ourselves seeing one another. And that would be a good kind of gazing.” Last year at the new Center for Interdisciplinary Arts there was a displayed project where we walked into a dark, curtained off room/space where a film showing different body parts moving, dancing almost, was projected on a screen. At the front of the room was a camera unseen by the viewers, and outside of the room/space was another screen displaying the room as seen by the camera. So the project was set up to watch people watching people. It was pretty interesting. I spent 15 or so minutes in the room watching the projected film, not knowing that others were watching me. When I left the room I realized the real intent of the project. I watched the viewers for a while, noticing dominantly the blank stare that most of the viewers had. Sometimes the film would expose a body part or movement that made two friends joke with each other, made someone tilt their head a little, or made people smile. Being watched unaware kept their reactions, their gaze, perhaps, very unguarded. Hm..

3. As Colin, the male photographer I originally posted, said, “Who is on top? The one who looks or the one being looked upon?” This makes me think about my own eye contact. When I meet eyes with a male, I usually look away somewhat quickly, feeling odd. If the guy was cute I’ll look at him again, sometimes to be met with a second glance from his direction. And we all know (or know of) the intense TrIpLe TaKe?!? By looking at someone for the second or third time, I am giving him permission to look at me, right? It’s only fair? I’m encouraging the mutual lookage, if you will. By not looking back a second time (or at least not being caught doing so) I don’t give that permission. Am I on top? Do I give him power or take it away by returning a gaze? I think so. In advertising, I suppose the model/photographed woman gives permission to be shot and published, but isn’t she usually representing a group of women? Is the model giving the viewer permission to look upon all women the way he/she is looking at that advertisement?

4. Does talking about this male gaze encourage/feed it? Women might project the male gaze on innocent passersby and feel objectified by simple eye contact. But men might become more aware of it and try to be less a part of it? Jordan might argue that to not talk about it is just another way of denying its presence and that we will never work through it if we ignore it. I personally do not think about the male gaze very often as I go about my daily routine. I don’t assume that passing males are objectifying me. They might be looking at me, but I look at them. I’m just curious. And looking at people is fun. If they Are objectifying me but I assume they are not, does it matter that they are? I know I know, individual denial of the gaze is no way to get rid of it, but I really do feel that we feed the fire by discussing it. Does that opinion make the length of this comment ironic? Yes.

5. Kara Walker was 13 years old when her father moved his family from California to Georgia. “The girl who had tripped through life without any thought of racism now encountered a community carved into black and white. Experiences of racism, both pointed and casual, caused her to begin questioning her identity.” (Thanks Marcia, for turning me onto this article on Kara.) I suppose this resolves my question above. Just because a person isn’t exposed to/aware of the male gaze doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and/or we can’t kill it by ignoring it.

6. So what? Can we expose it for what it is brutally and explicitly as Kara Walker did with racism and slavery? What would that be? Pornography? Pornography is too successful, too widely viewed, to be used as an eye opener. Unless we threw it in somewhere jaw-dropping?

7. Male dominance is built into our society, even our language. “Mankind,” “fireman,” “mailman,” the dominant use of “he” over “she,” and further, words like “master” and “mistress.” He is the dog’s master, she the dog’s …mistress? Hm. Male dominance will not be removed unless we destroy ourselves and start over with a new language and perhaps a female god :)

8. Finally, a small comment on Jill’s statement, “perhaps the real struggle is a psychic one.” Definitely. I don’t regularly think about the male gaze. Then again, I don’t watch television, I don’t read magazines, and I don’t know a thing about Hollywood. I feel that I rightfully demand the respect of men and women alike simply by dressing myself reasonably and by having confidence in the way I carry myself. I don’t walk around flaunting the female form as eye candy, but I certainly don’t walk around with a scowl, threatening all eyes that glance my way. And yes, this is probably a global issue more than anything, but in application to my personal life I simply choose not to assume the worst. Maybe I do so mistakenly, but I generally feel comfortable and safe by doing so.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Information about 2nd half of semester

The assignments with the due dates and weekly assignment schedule.

And the schedule of classes. (well except for the class on video art????)

Peter Stempel -- this thursday

Peter will talk about the work he does in Southern Utah, his work as a sculptor and video artist and what creativity means to him.

Two sites with Peter info: -- his architectural firm -- one of his sculptures

Davey's Visual Thesaurus

Simple, but I like it. It's based out of a graduation speech I submitted.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Visual Thesaurus - AJ

Here is my visual thesaurus.....
It's a little hard to navigate but you can look through it by going to the the upper right hand corner and clicking the arrows through the pictures....


So about the visual thesaurus.....
how exactly are we presenting it?
Are we showing them all in class or just handing them in?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Venessa Beecroft VB65

Thursday, March 12, 2009


We've talked a little about video art in class, and hopefully we get to finish, but in the meantime I found this little gem by a man named Reza Dolatabadi . It's a movie made up of 6000 individual paintings. The final piece took over two years to create, and I've gotta say it was time well spent.

Khoda from Reza Dolatabadi on Vimeo.

here is some music?

Mirror/Dash (I thought of how this becomes music because of John Cage and ..... )

Mirror/Dash plays Dan Graham: Beyond from MOCA on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

looking forward -- after tomorrow

Just a little information -- which is subject to change (ah time??!!! we just need more -- so much out there that is so wonderful and you would love....)

thoughts on the gaze...

hello to all,

i'm new to this blog. professor watson invited me to join. so let me introduce myself. my name is jill dawsey and i'm the curator of modern and contemporary art at the UMFA on campus.

i have to say that's it's been some time since i've encountered such an engaged and intelligent discussion on this issue of the gaze. jessica, i think that BOTH of your friends are right.

maybe this has already been discussed in class, but i think it's important to have an understanding of where this term "male gaze" comes from. "gaze," as your friend suggests, is a historical term, and quite different from "spectatorship" or "beholding," for example. gaze implies that someone in particular is being gazed at.

but the issue of the "male gaze" (and do forgive me if you know this already) gained popularity in the late 1970s, in the wake of film theorist Laura Mulvey's important (canonical, even) essay entitled "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema." you can wiki it, but the upshot is that (keep in mind she is talking about classic hollywood cinema) as viewers, we are almost always forced to identify with the "male gaze"--the hero (think john wayne, think harrison ford, even) who moves the narrative forward--and the images are all shot from his viewpoint, and the women in the picture serve as moments for pausing, for beauty, for...objectification. their bodies are fragmented by the editing, and what's worse, for Mulvey, is that it's a matter of either being a good mother or a femme fetale. don't be put off by her psychoanalytical approach: it was the 70s, and Freud was useful for feminists even if he wasn't one himself. what he suggested is that we *learn* how to be sexual creatures, so there is a readymade critique of essentialism or biological determinism.

since 1975, there have been HEATED debates about the so-called "male gaze." what about gay men?, as your male friend, jessica, rightly points out. don't viewers identify with images and characters in their own eccentric, idiosyncratic ways? why else would judy garland be so popular (actually, she is amazing, regardlesss of one's sexual orientation.) what about lesbians? there is agood article on the lesbian gaze, but i will have to look it up. let me know if you are interested in further reading.

and yet, the problem persists. as far as i am concerned, if you are born white and male in this society, you can be the nicest, most empathetic person in the world, but you automatically have more power than everyone else. unless, maybe, you are really poor. things may be changing (we'll see...). but white men still have "the phallus" (which is a Lacanian term, and not at all the same as having a penis. it means having power.)

jessica, your female friend suggests that women participate in their own objectification. indeed we do (straight women, but maybe gay women too). we are cultural creatures. over the holidays i was watching television with my mother (i don't get cable; she does) and this show on the E channel or something comes on: "The Girls Next Door." the playboy girls who live with Hugh Hefner (talk about patriarchy!). and my mother, despite being the religious lady that she is, had already seen the show, and exclaimed to me: "one of them has a master's degree in psychology! why is she doing this?" and i said: "mom, you think women get rewarded and affirmed more in our society for doing psychology or for having big boobs? it's the latter."

women have to fight a double-consciousness. laws have been changed, and certain advances have been made, but perhaps the real struggle is a psychic one.

this is not to say that women are the only ones who struggle with objectification. the great psychoanalist and colonial theorist Franz Fanon (DO wiki him) once described "the crushing objecthood" that he experienced when a white child in a market called out something to the effect of, look mother! a negro! if that's isn't objectification, i don't know what is.

but there are other ways in which we are all turned into objects. we sell ourselves, we sell our labor. artists, if they are lucky, have a more creative relationship to their lives and to other people. but most of us show up, we clock in, we put in our time, and it all seems natural. Marx, for one, would have it otherwise.

but to return to the gaze. i like the ideas of Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas, who both suggest that as human beings, we are capable of seeing ourselves seeing one another. and that would be a good kind of gazing.

thanks for listening to my thoughts.

very best,

Male Gaze, Objectification

In the Art department as of late, specifically in the photography side of town, there has been a debate, pretty heated at times (so I've heard) about advertising, the objectification of women, and the "male gaze." [five commas in one sentence. Beat that.] Anna and Doug touched on the whole idea briefly between presentations last week, but the subject was hardly delved into. Doug wanted to talk about the word objectification and how it is used. He said to me yesterday that he feels the word is used incorrectly too often. If you read this, Doug, would you expound on that?

I have a two friends, both in photography, with differing opinions on the matter. The first bit is written by the female photographer, the second my the male. The photos are (or are similar to) a couple advertisements mentioned in the first piece.
I don't know what I think of the matter yet. Thoughts? Opinions? Reactions? Anything?

"While reading “Ways of Seeing” I was able to relate to the section on tackling they way men and women see one another and themselves. Berger implies men are the surveyors and women are the surveyed, and in turn women must survey themselves are men survey them. In my mind I was saying, “yes, yes, yes” to the small text and obvious script of what I had always known to be true, only this time it was worded so well right in front of me. I had constant flashes of advertisements, movies, magazines, television, and personal history going through my head, validating Berger’s words.

I purchased three magazines for this assignment and had expectations from each to further convince me of what I knew to be true, which they did; however, I was discovered other things in addition. Sure enough there were advertisements of scantily clad women, with the booties puckered, backs arched and waiting for the male gaze to ravish their bodies. It was apparent the sex appeal of this beautiful women was selling the product, pushing men to the outskirts of their imagination, and then it hit me, this was a magazine is directed toward women. This woman suddenly had her back arched and legs slightly apart for me, demonstrating the sex appeal I could have if I was dressed as she was dressed, or carried the purse displayed in foreground. I unexpectedly felt as accountable as the male viewer I had been resenting for endorsing this behavior. This woman is beautiful; however, she is no longer a woman, but a commodity to both males and females.

Advertisers know their audience, and they try to build a lifestyle their audience would accept. Women want to be desired, but this does not mean they want to give up their identity in the process. The previous advertisement discussed demonstrates a woman as a sexual object through the male gaze, but in turn women have to view this woman as an object as well because we have to observe not only ourselves through their eyes but other woman as well. Being aware of this forces women to make a choice, to be viewed as a merely a sexual object or insist that men see more. One add by Banana Republic shows a beautiful female playing the piano, giving the viewer more information than just a beautiful face, giving us a glimpse of her soul, and it is difficult to immediately defile someone when you are aware they are a person.

The thing that surprised me, was the objectification of men as well, they are put on the same pages as woman and are there as a visual stimulant, providing sex appeal for the product once again. Men are displayed for feminine desire as well; however, we do not need to see a man with his shirt off to know he is attractive. A little scruff, and hands tucked nonchalantly in his pockets is enough for the female viewer. The male’s magazine also had more text and political references then than the female magazines did."

"This Male Gaze has been quite the topic as of late. But never in my life has it been such an annoying topic. I agree that there is a method in advertising and media that objectifies women, but does it not also objectify men? The term Male Gaze is a feminist term but the Gaze is a historical term. We are talking about interactive voyeurism. If someone is looking at you isn’t it your reaction to see if they are sexually, mentally, physically, or any other way compatible with you, or you with them. Who is on top? The one who looks or the one being looked upon?

If you are being looked at as an object and not as subject you are being objectified. But if you are in power you are capable to objectify everything, this is not a one sided ordeal, but it is if only looking through a feminist lens. In modern times, which I consider a women’s world, I am objectified when the term male gaze is used, because I am being stripped of my human being and being told that because I am male, I am objectifying women, because it applies to heterosexual males and not to homosexual men gazing men or homosexual women's gaze on other women.

This term is not very objective, not in the least bit. Why should I have to take on the history of men just because I was born a man? Do I objectify women from just being male, or being attracted to women? It is of great value to know that the Gaze exists but to claim that the male gaze is the only gaze in existence, or only the one topic worthy gaze, seems strange and negates the whole purpose of making men, women and all kinds of people equals.

I am a man who was raised by a single mother, not knowing my father until the age of eleven, my stepfather never seemed to know or understand men, or himself (he was the only son of an abusive father with four sisters), I have surrounded myself by women, not because of my sexual prowess or need for nurturing, but because I am more compatible with them than I am with any other man. I do not understand MEN or masculinity. I do not understand myself. I do not know what MALE is, other than it means I have a dick and balls.
We shouldn’t be talking about the outward gaze but the inner gaze. Look inside yourself. Look inside of others. Is there a way to objectify the person inside the body?"