Sj7g09's Blog

Archive for June 2010

Posted on: June 10, 2010

I’m coming to the realisation that I’m really, really bored. I’m writing this because I’m bored, and I can’t think of anything else to fill my time with. There’s also the expectation that no one reads my filler posts anyway, so there’s no problem.

It’s 9pm. Today I have done 3 drawings, played WoW, solicited guests on my webcam site, watched tv, listened to music, had sex, and I can’t think of what else I can possibly do to fill the time between now and going to bed. I’m being utterly ridiculous at the moment, sleeping at the most stupid times. I nap in the evening, then force myself to sleep at a reasonable time anyway, and it’s wonderfully unfulfilling.

I’m out of ideas. I’ve recently lost my all-encompassing WoW addiction, and for a few days it switched to webcam addiction, which made me over £100 in five days, which was nice. I just dont have the patience for it today though. I can’t be bothered with guests trying to make smalltalk, or members who want to see me naked and not pay me. I think it’s just one of those days… The ratings from all across the site are the lowest I’ve seen them today, so perhaps everyone’s just pissed off and not wanting to entertain boring, cheap guests/badmembers. If I could just have a chat to my regulars, that would be great, but I dont have the good nature to make any new friends today.

I want to create something, but my sketches are rubbishy, and reading the blogs of other people on my course fills me with hate. I just dont seem to have the same desire to experiment with visual art techniques that they do. And they’re condescending mousegirls who work on religion, and it’s not satire. There, I said it. ….I hear things get better in the second year. I’m too bored even for vitriol.

On a slightly similar note to my last post (tangentially), I found it funny, and sad, and infuriating, that Ben’s piece of anti-radfem theatre got criticised as not providing an alternative viewpoint, not specifying that their radfem character was a stereotype, being thin on theory. I’d like to know how many groups just provided the accepted response to the task, showing a good feminist perspective, that didn’t get criticised for not showing an alternative anti-feminist perspective as a counterpoint. Also, all of the characters in their piece were stereotypes – that was the whole point. So is there some difference between the stereotyping of feminists, and the stereotyping of the people that feminists find unacceptable? Does it have to be explained more thoroughly when a feminist is being stereotyped, just to make sure everyone knows that this isn’t what they’re really like? …. Except the quotes used within the piece seem to back up the portrayal of the feminist character. Perhaps, if it wasn’t realised that the radfem character was a stereotype, that’s because the belief is that the characters of housewives, maids, secretaries, sex workers, were all accurate portrayals and not stereotyping at all. It’s theatre – most of the time all you can do to characterise is stereotype.

Plus, how can a piece going against feminism really not be thin on theory, seeing as feminism dominates so wholeheartedly? Radical feminism is militant in trying to discredit the theories of those who disagree with them, to stamp out any opposition.

Sad sad sad. Stupid stupid stupid.

My work hasn’t been going brilliantly lately. I made a video a few weeks ago that I started off being quite proud of, but now I’m not so sure about. This is the problem with starting work at the beginning of the summer holidays – firstly, I have no contact with the school, so can’t discuss it with anyone, but mostly the problem is that by the time I go back to university, I’m going to see all of the work I’ve done in my time off as stale, old, dull and boring. And perhaps that isn’t completely true – maybe it’s just that I’ve been looking at it for too long in working on it, and other people may have a different perspective. But I’ll probably be less than enthusiastic about sharing work that I think has little or no merit. I wanted to post my video on my blog, but I dont think that’s possible unless I upload it to Youtube, and I dont feel particularly ready for scary, abusive Youtube comments.

My video is not technically well done at all, by any stretch of the imagination. I filmed it on my webcam, beginning with the idea that I would talk about some topics around the whole feminism, pornography, censorship area, and perhaps, if I was brave enough, put them onto Youtube to join what is a rather passionate, and some times brutal, debate.

When watching the videos, I realised that, if taken out of context, the things I was saying could easily be in favour of radical feminism, and so set to work cutting out every phrase and gesture that could be reframed to look like I supported radfem ideas. Everything I had said originally had been an accurate portrayal of my ideas and beliefs, but from cutting out words and taking things out of context, I became the stereotyped vulnerable, abused, disempowered sex worker, possibly only ever found in radfem propaganda.

At first, I tried to string the snippets into some sort of narrative, but they were so disjointed that this wasn’t really viable. Instead, seeing as this was the sort of feel from the clips already, I decided to frame it as the typical sort of tearjerker documentary, complete with white text on black background fade-in titles, uplifting piano music at the end (as is the staple of any documentary on drugs, mental illness, etc. that has been given some sort of false narrative for an optimistic ending), accompanied by closure-giving, hard-hitting statistics on the sex industry, and what happened to the performer after the documentary. Oh, and I also got around the issue of narrative by splitting up the scenes with text-based questions, supposedly being answered in the following scene. It all works ok as a whole… I’d probably like to work with video again some time, but, honestly, I dont want to have to learn to make and edit video in a conventional, “good”, industry-standard way.

Anyway, have some screencaps.

I thought I’d get a terrible mark for this too, as my assessors seemed pretty unimpressed by my work, even implying a lack of work because it wasn’t visual.

Studio Practice and Research

Knowledge and understanding – Pass. (Very good – 60-69)

Cognitive (Thinking) Skills – Pass. (Very good – 60-69)

Key transferable Skills – Pass. (Very good – 60-69)

Additional Tutor Developmental Comments:

Has gained confidence and conviction in the second half of the year. Careful decisions about what to look at. Thorough research has been backed up with a successful exhibition piece that is ambitious and thought provoking. Also evidenced by transcripts in the workbooks.

It might be interesting to look at Fiona Banner.

It might be worth considering how to develop a studio practice for the beginning of level 2 that deals fully with your practice as a visual artist in the broadest sense

Whenever working on projects out side of the school it is important to address any health and safety concerns

Final Mark – 62%

So I suppose somewhat better than I expected. The overall grade isn’t really that great, but at least they took into account all my research and transcripts. Not really sure how I can have a studio practice when my work is so based around research…. Even then, I meant to start writing about my visual work, but it’s so secondary to the actual research. Also, most of my visual work involves me in various states of undress or general vulnerability… I know I  get more privacy in the second year, but I dont think it will be quite that much privacy.

The bit that really made me smile was obviously “Whenever working on projects out side of the school it is important to address any health and safety concerns.” You know, I have an inkling as to what this might be about…. To be honest, I didn’t even consider a health and safety form or such like, because I didn’t have any concerns. Also, when I did try to fill out a form it seemed pointless because it’s all to do with risks that can be summed up in boxes, quantifying these risks, formulas, etc. In something as subjective as what I’m doing, I have no idea what risks people think it may have. To me, it has no risks. It has no risk to my physical health, and the only risk to my mental health is being pushed into paranoia by people convinced that my actions are potentially harmful. I also often wonder what sort of things one must notify the school about in regard to health and safety. Am I only supposed to mention this if I’m doing it specifically for a school project? Am I expected to mention it if it’s an experience I did not directly because of school, but the information gained is used in my school work somehow? Am I meant to inform the school if I’m doing any activity outside of school that may be risky, because I’m a student there so they have a duty of care to me? Essentially, this is a job. If I had a job in retail and planned to use the findings in my work, or even if I got the job specifically because of my school work, would I be expected to inform them of that and fill in a health and safety form because the shop might get robbed, or customers might be abusive, or it might be stressful and impact my mental health? Just wondering.

I haven’t re-read the essay yet, as I feel my cringe reflexes would go into overdrive picking out all the things I’ve done wrong, and I really feel that I could write it better now, but I guess, me being the critic of criticism that I am, my initial thoughts were to argue with some of the comments.

Although, if I’m honest, I’m impressed to have a half-decent mark on this essay, seeing as since handing it in I’ve been having nightmares about it returning to me with no marks…. Perhaps my subconscious picked up on that the marker of this piece disagrees with me completely, so far as to call me stupid, and so there was some doubt as to whether it would be marked impartially. I feel a little stupid for worrying about it, but I’m of a strong conviction that you can’t really understand things that you don’t agree with. I mean, you can understand their basis, principles, etc. but it’s never really going to fully make sense to you if you don’t agree, because you don’t know how people can have come to the conclusion to have the opposite view to you.Obviously that’s the same for me in understanding feminism, anti-pornography, sort of arguments – I can read endlessly about it and understand what the points say, but I don’t think I will ever be able to understand why someone chooses to believe those arguments over the opposition.

Anyway, I felt that some of my essay was a little tangential, but that’s kind of what I liked about it. If I’d stayed on the whole Bronfen/Mulvey theme I would have just been regurgitating quotes from books and not making any links of my own. Honestly, I dont really see what didn’t make sense about using Der Anatom as an image to do with the gaze – I’ve explained extensively, using quotes, how it embodies the male gaze. Why should it matter that she’s dead? If women are objects of the gaze anyway, then surely there is little difference.

I can see why the link to POV pornography may be a little strained, but… Well, not really ‘strained’, because that suggests I’m trying to make something out of something that isnt really there, and I believe that it is. I used quotes, but maybe not enough quotes – I feel I should have put more in, using the Bronfen quote to describe the painting, and then a quote from someone else describing POV pornography, and marking the similarities.

I think that the two sections of my essay are somewhat disparate, and I was unsure of whether to write it in this way, but I felt that I linked them together and made sure that these links were explicitly made. Ultimately, I think it would have been unambitious to have stayed writing about Mulvey and Bronfen – those points are clearly there. Maybe I’m taking the wrong view of essay writing, but I thought it would be more interesting to take other theories and try to link them, as the field of the gaze is broad, and pornography, mainstream cinema, fine art are all intrinsically linked, and should be compared as such.

Contemporary issues

Knowledge and understanding – Pass. (Very good. 60-69)

Cognitive (Thinking) Skills – Pass. (Excellent – 70-79)

Key transferable Skills – Pass. (Very good. 60-69)

Developmental Comments:

This is an ambitious essay, combining quite disparate theoretical sources and examples. The initial work Der Anatom bia Bronfen in combination with Mulvey was very well done but the connections became strained when the essay moved on to pornography. The argument became over complicated and unclear – particularly in relation to Bronfen. It is not clear why you have used an image of a dead woman from a book converned with the aesthetics and meaning of the dead woman in art and literature to begin a discussion of the gaze & POV pornography.

It seemed as though there were two separate (tangentially related) essays pushed together one on Der Anatom bronfen/mulvey the male gaze and the other on pornography and art or pornography and the male gaze.

There is some excellent and insightful writing here but you need to organise your thinking a bit more & work on structuring your arguments.

Final Mark – 69%

  • fred whitacre jr: they don,t have any sex invaled why are we so againce children being nude in pictures because of alll the sick fucking rapetist out there children
  • fred whitacre jr: she only 12 but it is not porn at all it is nude only only a sick person would want to fuck her not me but i will tell you the true she is a very hot
  • fred whitacre jr: i see noghting wrong just a nude girl no porn that would be wrong with a child but not worng with a grown up only nude pics of children is ok if no se