MeCCSA 2003 Notes Hypertexts, virtual spaces and dance: producing cultural heterogeneity or world standards on the internet Pietrobruno, Sheenagh


Dances have been discovered, globalised or ‘established’ through Internet Salsa and Transnationalism – broader context

Case: Salsa

Dance is a lived corporeal expression – cannot be regulated by rules

Internet facilitates process of standardisation Previously, only as performances – not written down

Elizabeth Eizenstein

Internet displaces cultural links

Cultural globalisation

Airports, shopping malls, internet, etc – world spaces

Internet not really a space but a metaphor

Cyberspace as a global city

Internet as a city – Jennifer light

Global city as means of commodity exchange

Cyberspace absorbs urban and national expression

Way in which this takes place can be shown by development of salsa

Internet is city in miniature – real life cities becoming more dangerous – internet seen as safer, more comfortable city -    ME: not sure….chatting to death, Pro-Ana, cyber-hacking, pornographic spam

In cyberspace, less sense of connectedness to others – less responsibility

How can internet be viewed as minature space, if so vast

REF: (see abstract) –

Virtual space of internet relates to thjis

David holmes – virtual spaces as phenomenological spaces

Fantasy and imagination – create the Internet as space -    imagine we are connected to something vast and real

virtuality: Miller and Slater – Not an assumed feature of internet, but rather a social accomplishment -    what is salsa? Mambo in disguise? -    discussion about standardisation of salsa

imagining of cyberspace as global city contributes…

Pierre Levy – cyberspace returns us to preliterate, but at different level

As users in same space, no messages out of context

Encourage corporatisation

LeFevbre – space is result and cause – product and producer Cf. Internet produced by web naviagators Seeks revitalisation of cities

Since jan 2002, net users responded to debates of origin of salsa -    whether north American styles can compare to ‘more authentic’ Cuban and Columbian salsa internet concretising debates that have previously been an oral discourse

but also records these debates

dissemination of discourse


Will dissemination lead to standardisation?

Computer games and female audiences. A study on the myth of the boy gamer Moschini, Elena

Background of research Myth of boy gamer Evidence of female and adult audiences How female audiences reinterpret t gaming experience End of the myth of the boy gamer?

Review of game magazines: edge, Games TM, Playstation 2 official mag, Moble games Review of official stats,by DRI, ELSPA, ESA, IDGA Revie of main online gaming resources:,, Academic literature Game design literature Interviewers with women game designers, producers, players

Game-based learning interest!

Why researching adult and female gamers? Lack of research on female and adult gamers Need of industry to expand t customer base Need to ustd audiences to design more inclusive games Future of women in game industry (now an opportunity for women to get into the community – ME: HOW EXACTLY? WHY NOW)

diff bw game audiences and game customers

huge presence of women players across platforms

industry bases its strategy on myth of boy gamer

audience is not primarily male, nor juvenile

Who Plays Computer and Video Games? -    ESA survey dispute by some exponents -    Chris Crawford: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics -    IGDA London many game designers have expressed doubts on existence or relevance of female audiences.

Myth of boy gamer -    constructed and perpetuated by game industry and media via: o    tone/style and content in game mags o    game ads, commercial •    e.g. difficulty of having a ‘game’ in Cosmopolitan magazine o    representation of women in games o    structure of game industry o    representation of games in media Game Mags -    survey published in 2003, Official Playstation 2 Mag – ‘unanswereable’ y number of femal readers -    same magazine recently introduced t ‘rate your mate’ comp and awards ‘handbags’ to t worst reader letter -    games mags often shelved alongside porn mags

Guild Riden ame Mom

“When I get to play, I feel guilty. I feel guilty about not spending t ‘available’ time with my children, on housework…even plucking my eyebrows…How come my husband doesn’t ffeel like that?” -

Represn of women in game -    more adv games now feature strong female charcs -    deisgned to attract male audience -    many games do not represent women at all or relegate them to secondary or diminishing roles

Women reinterpet gaming experiences -    women download or prod patches to change gender of characters -    women create online femal only enviros -    women play in groups (one controller, others advising; not all players) -    women gamers exchange ideas, experience, and reviews on female gamers websites

Genderinclusive game design? -    game designers and researchers divided on this issue -    game deisgn for women reflect stereotype of women preferring non-violent co-operative games -    hwr, certain games seem to attract stronger female audiences: Sims, strategy and adventure games, RPG o    ME: AGAIN, WHAT ARE OUR PARAMETRES OF GAME HERE?

Women in game industry -    few girls -    few female role models -    networking is imp, but industry is male-dominated -    imp to be a gamer, possibly a hard gamer (PERHAPS ‘THE’ ISSUE)

Alternative game audiences? -    v imp part of audiences missing -

Sat 9am

Towards an understanding of vernacular cinema Koven, Mikel

Italian giallo (yellow) films Disting Mass and popular cinema -    3 classes of cinema

unlikely to have heard of vernacular cinema – performed one night only would eventually get first class status – e.g. fist full of dollars

voodoo dolls (nb)

Armando Crispiano Macchie Solari (trans. Autopsy, 1973)

Ill Gatto…. Cat o’ nine tails – genetic and criminality

Four Flies on Grey Velvet Lewontin – claims about link to criminality and genes discredited Yet, the belief in this in Alien – penal coloney is for double Y chromosome inmates

New developments in the realm of the senses: film studies meets neuroscience Synmoie, Donovan

Cognitive Film Theory Philosophy Turn to neuroscience, concerned with m/b

Cultural and media studies tend towards popular forms

Brain being like a computer Cognitive turn interfaces with Bordwell and Carroll and need for more rigorous account for how people encounter moving image

Film theory allows productive interdisciplinarity. Meaning as negotiation rather than effect

Cinemergencies: Deleuze and machinic abstraction in cinemas Dowd, Garin

Politics take place in place : redistribution of the sensible

Abstract machine Techne

The textual engineering of ‘Zeitgeist Monstrosity’: appropriations of genetics in contemporary horror film Hills, Matt

Beginning with Jurassic Park, but earlier with The Fly, Species, Alien Resurrection, Mimic, Deep Blue Sea

Eugene Thacker – bio-horror -    he includes GATTACA, but this doesn’t really fit

notions of species identity

rel bw generic and genetic meanings

genetic discourses are appropriate which partly disrupt horror, but also add to it

Noel Cowall And Barbara Creed’s theories of horror

Appropriations of genetic discourses pose problems

Carroll: The Philosophy of Horror (1990) -    fusion and fision monsters: alter egos, or self-confrontation o    2 diff types of monstrous creature •    appropriations of genetic, challenge this •    visually and semiotically overlapping •    transgenic monstrosity is about an unstable monstrosity

Creed: concept of abjection -    abjection: protection of clean and proper body, boundaries of self -    argues that horror genre presents many images of this abjection -    approp of genetic discourses confuse this distinction

e.g. Alien – cloned riply doesn’t fit creed? No purification of abject

Species: Genetic becomes demonstrably Other

Contrast bw The Fly 1950 and 1980 -    contrast monstrosity of 1958 to diff geneticised monstrosity in 1986 -    in 1950, sense of atoms being mixed, denotative genetic discourse o    miniaturised man’s hed on top of fly and magnified fly’s head on man •    fits fusion idea •    almost mythological notion of XXX •    immediately coded, physically stable -    fly of 1986, do not have that immediately visible fusion o    move from mythological monstrosity (fitting with Carrol) to temporal and teleological – micro and macro levels of monster o    molecular genetic level of seth brundel, this gap is gradually closed down as film progresses o    implication of teleological, about macro level catching up with micro •    perceptible monstrosity catching up with invisible genetic change

-    fly 2 also does this o    he has to turn into the fly, so is about temporal and teleological, notions of genetic determinism

abjection -    some of these films contest gendering of abjection -    monstrous feminine (species), but in the Fly, also monstrous masculine -    fly 2 and species 2, also deal with paternal abject – what does it mean if you are the son of the Fly? Or character Patrick in Species 2 (national hero, rise to power, father wants his son to do well)

films drawing on genetic discourses in detail

they might get science wrong, but are trying to bid for forms of cultural value

Juarssic Park, not just about special effects, but plausibility of its use of genetic discourses -    often correlated with other markers of quality o    upmarket horror hybrid

genetics is drawn on partly in relation to quality horror

David Russell – cultural context of scientific represn of (genetic) scientific discourses -    power natural monsters o    but this imputes a passivity to popular culture o    instead, these films are trying to construct themselves in specific ways these films also present themselves as current/cutting edge -    using scientificity to construct alibi of cultural value

Judith Haberstam – overcoding of monster -    start to draw 1:1 – cultural context – vastly reduces complexity of monstrosity, which tries to condense o    e.g. species: fear of female biological clock, fear of accelerated growth (Selfish Gene idea – out-reproduce)

Zizek ref: high theory, low content of film knowl

The lesbian and gay magazines of 1980s Carolin, Louise


“To the journal for contemporary perverts”

borrowed from ‘The Face’ imagery, high fashion

Shocking Pink

14-23 target, 1987 mag: radical alternative to ‘my guy’ socialist worker press central books distributer 2 distinct groups of women as membership ‘subversive sister’ (Manchester), bad attitude (London)

shocking pink -    anti-abortion

Sue Johnson as support (Barbera from Royle Family)

‘there’s more to love than boy meets girl’ -    from Jimmy Summerville song

Quim magazine -    product of lesbian sex wars, ideological turf war -    debate: whether certain sex practices were authentic lesbian behaviours -    first british mag to put lesbian sex on printed page -    (really 2 people working on this)

The Manconian Gay’ Manchester based mag -    later renamed ‘Gay Life’

why has nth similar emerged since?

Charles Landry – What a way to run a railroad -    been able to promote these marginalised voices

square peg suffered from glamour role

Transgender and the internet: global movement or casualty of globalization O’Riordan, Kate

Re-contextualise trans activism in terms of global politcs

Internet as actualising agent, alternative media, plurality and conflicting voices -    site of subjectivity -    role in challenging hegemonic notions of gender/sexuality

Female to male transgender (identity)

Draft Gender Recognition Bill 2003-12-20 Maintaining a sense of difference and allowing concrete political change

Diff accounts from different countries

Naomi klein – no logo -    identity politics contribute to feeding XXX?

Cybercultural theory and transgender are incoherent

Random (or Brandon?) exhibition at Guggenheim, NYC

Tension bw virtual and -    e.g. AR. Stone:  symbolically correlated to the Brandom exhibition

Internet can facilitate ustdg of -    Bornstein

Virtual ontology and XX

David Silver: 2nd generation cyber identity

Cybecrultural theory in: identity could be detached from body -    but has v little to nothing to offer in terms of political agenc o    .e.g transgender – body centred

beyond representation -    from subjectivity to identity

use of internet described by trans individuals is used to negotiate identity -    Sally hines, Kathy Johnson -    Access to info about drugs, prosthetics, etc

Not about subjective moment of being online, but how online materials contribute to identity

Alternative media produced in circulation is essentially webbased

Individual homepages -    activist/artist, everyday people (setting up info for others) Local support groups -    maling lists

National orgs -    gender pack (US)

international orgs

what happens when brought together, have completely contesting discourses -    can say that some fall to individual rights based issues and thus, connected to revolutionary discourses -    alternatively, more human rights based discourses based around ordinariness and invisibility. (many transgender indivs do not wish to be visible)

Pharmakon – the future as supplement

Plenary on Future of fIlm (second speaker) Malady and Treatment – Pharmacia and Oreithyia -    rape or impregnation

past as origin/ the future as supplement

final speaker – Film Institute? role of cultural policy in film

Frankenstein returns: visual politics and the GM debate Murdock, Graham

GM food not about science alone -    belief systems and world trade

It is about -    science: complexity/uncertainty (Postscience) -    risk: contradictions of ‘progress’ (entered modernity from ‘fate’ to ‘risk’) -    marketisation: corporate capture (political system, food chain, funl knowl,incorporation of indigenous knowl) -    Globalisation: autonomy/annexation -    Government: erosion of public trust o    Habermas ‘public sphere’” 2: political public sphere (broadsheet and coffee houses, rational deliberation), literary public sphere (where people go to grapple with fundamental issues of life, death, morality) •    Doesn’t mention the ‘visual’ -    Political Argument: from rhetoric to imagery o    In governmental imagery (PR), and social movement, primary weapon is a symbolic weapon (staging theatrical event) o    ‘Tony don’t swallow Bill’s Seed’

Basic Classificatory Schema: human/vegetable -    (boundary crossing is what people find disturbing Christian Iconography: grim reaper The Frankenstein Story -    beginning of 19th century, surge in technology -    coming to terms with blowback of science -    progress has a dark side (can never control) modern myrh

Science fiction: Alien invasion/abduction

Nuclear Power: destruction/contamination -    clean machine going awol

Food Scares: BSE -    framed t way in which people ustd food modification

Image of the vegetable

Blair as the vegetable

Grim Reaper (includes letters GM)

Private eye no. 971, 5/3/99, p.22 – image of grim reaper in GM crops

‘It came from the grocery store’ – image of woman, Monsanto ref.

Connection bw notion of contamination and GM

‘The Prime Monster: Fury as Blair…’, The Mirror

what does this tell us?

If we want to understand political discourse

What’s the problem with GM food, the prob is that it is like these other, deeply embedded cultural anxieties

Led to arguing that we are moving into an age of visual politics Meaning of image is fundamental part of persuading process

Politicians need to know how these chain reactions of image work

If so, then need to think about public sphere as space of deliberation but also a cultural space, which are not always argumentative or rationale, but which provide resources we draw on to imagine something you haven’t yet experienced

How do we imagine something, when we do not have the evidence?

Discourse is only half the story, the visual must also be noticed

People are not anti-science, they are anti-corporate science -    Science used for the wrong purposes is what is alarming -    Capture of scientific agenda

The crisis of information age journalism: isolated, international or imaginary? Campbell, Vincent Senior Lecturer in Media Studies, De Montfort University

KEYNOTE: ‘The Nature of Culture’ Elizabeth Grosz

Forthcoming books: ‘The nick of time’, politics evolution and the untimely time travels: feminist essays on temporality

organisation of matter shapes human life

biological evolution and becoming, influ how we understand and conceptualise culture and its products, technology and media

not a new socio-biology: i.e. model of social that reduces it to biological

biological bases of rape or war

instead of reduction of culture to nature

interested in ways in which nature incite and produce culture -    ways in which biological conditions enables, rather than limits and directs cultural ilfe

not reduce to binary nature vs. nurture rather natural invigures cultural variation perpetual transformation time, movement, change, and irresistible push to future, affect culture and technological

uncontrolled becomings

nature encourages culture to transform

not t natural that limits t Cultural natural produces rather than inhibits

attempt to redress foreclosure of ontological or metaphysical and thus, ironically, of materiality in its most complex forms

focus on cultural construction rather than the natural

era of constructionisms of various tytpes

culture as artifice product of communities and their interests institutions as means by which these constructions are produced -    while ustod as cultural constructs

constructionism as reaction to prevailing forms of naturalism (division of labour as natural order) -    enable us to consider change/upheaval, revolution in new ways -    understanding of radical politics -    culture as equivalent of changing

nature is fixed and unchanging -    background against which culture elaborates itself

culture tames nature

culture writes on nature

culture scripts the natural and manufactures it

hunt for incriminating traces of naturalism …relentless anti-essentialism

essence/fixity/nature/biological – ahistorical and biological -    raw material for culture

what is regarded as living/human is on other side of this distinction

Hegel and dialectical models

Givenness of nature is to be overcome by human labour

Model of inertia of nature enthuses Marxist writings

Labour for marx is t historical rather than inherent transformation of a collective

Politics consists not in ways in which nature is transformed but in social structures

Notion that nature is a passivity, evident in structuralism and phenomenology

Kinship system – strauss

Satre’s account of nausea

Lacan’s understanding of the real (given as outside symbolisation and outside of culture)

From psych – feminst – to class and racist theory, view that nature must be overcome appears to be ubiquitous

Exception of ecologist movement

All forms of contemporary politics continued contempt with body

Nature/culture opposition seems foundational to cultural analysis

Can we consider rel between natural and cultural in different terms?

If nature not the other of culture, but its condition, then rel is much more complex

Natural is not the inert, passive, unchanging element against which culture elaborates itself, but is the nature of culture

How we understand natural/cultural opposition relies on our notion of nature

Culture as remaking of culture

People in biological sciences, trying to elaborate on Darwin

Remains indebted to its particularieis, culture as gift of nature

If understand rel between nature and culture as rel of emergence or complexity, rather than opposition, then nature providing means and nature providing forces, then cultural studies cannot ignore inputs of natural sciences

Saussure: culture is self generating system, but cannot explain how it began

May be time to consider culture in terms of nature

Need to understand what is outside of culture

Understand, contra Derrida and following Deleuze, that culture and natujre have an outside -    conditioned rather than conditions

models derived from natural sciences (non reductive evol biology) provide fruitful resource for understanding culture itself

culture is not what we add to natre, but what we subtract

culture diminishes nature, rather than makes nature over

nature should be ustod as perpetual evolution

Darwin: first great theorist of difference -    eth living as a mode of differentiation

Bergson following Darwin is right to claim that human activities diminish rather than augment natural world

Culture not magnification of nature, but selection of only elements of natural -    diminuition of natural order

Nietzsche – natural world of forces that provide energy to overcoming politics of life

Events generate problems

We have to address ‘events’ – they impinge on our daily lives

For Deleuze, this ‘outside’ is t force that induces thinking – shakes life from automatism

Outside, composed of competing forces, can call it outside by different name: nature, time, memory

Force of outside that insights culture and induces subjectivity

V feature that culture seeks o privilege – change , different – is charac of natural

Nature, since Darwin, cannot be seen as passive, inert, and unchanging

Why designate human sphere as cultural, but reluctant to understand animal sphere as culture

What we share in common with animals is capacity for self-overcoming

Cultural studies founded on rift between human and rest of natural life

Human stands outside natural order

But what if all those characs as uniquely human are all simply difc of degree, rather than difc in kind?

Instead of rift, there is a continuity?

How read culture’s immersion in nature as part of cultural analysis?

Virtuality of natural world

Culture not as completion of nature, but as natures open product?

Poss or productive to understand culture as way in which nature reflects on and articulates itself?

Is culture, nature’s way of thinking itself, of gaining consciousness of itself?

3 charcs that nature bestows on culture -    ways in which the outside irresistibly impinges on life

1.    forward pull of temporality a.    compels acknowledgement fo human finiteness and mortality 2.    gift tht nature bestows of force of variation/proliferation of natural difference a.    how to live in world with its resources to provide resolution b.    culture as varying innovative resources that nature poses to living c.    biology construed as realm of generation of producing merely difc 3.    biological .. of sexual difc and racial difc a.    sexual difc is irreducible and if time always b.    different between sexes grows over time c.    every culture must address this in its own way d.    rel between sexes and creation of family group networks is coidtion of racial and class difc (Irigaray)

no culture can solve these problems – there is no solution life is an elaboration of how we direct ourselves to these problems

must deal with each of these

these are non-normative imperatives must address them even if cannot control them trace of our debt to the natural natural incites the cultural by generating problems and events to be negotiated cultures disting selves from each other by questions most pressing, but also resources that each culture has to help with these problems

cultural identity linked to natural world

culture can be regarded, not as active agency it constructs, but that which slow down…

(institutions: fn is to slow down events)

nature is endless generation of problems

insistence of these intractable problems that generate living and the conditions for self-overcoming

cultural life does not assimilate natural, but expands it

culture as part of ongoing evolution of the natural

If nature is dynamic and active, not alien to culture, but ground that makes culture possible, then what would a new conception of culture refusing to sever it from natural, look like? What would study of culture look like?


Racial difc produced by sexual difference -    Darwin: racial difc, dominate theories of racial difc is that is result of natural selection (e.g. nature selects body types suitable for flourishing). May be a question of sexual selection that develops racial difc. Aesthetic taste dictates who one’s sexual partner is and this helps structure biological makeup of future generation o    Aesthetics that have been augmented over time, form natural o    Racial difc is founded on sexual difc o    Aesthetics of Taste •    Argument against quantitative analyses of difc in genetics

Status of conditionality? Pragmatism: sexual difc is a problem to stay, only q is how we live with it Scepticism of theoretical physics arriving in cultural studies Deleuzian trope works best with imagination.

A: dynamism of text is what they have extracted from world of forces

Ontological claim not a textual claim

Dewey, James, ..


Interested in a Pragmatism of the future -    ie. Darwin’s explanation of life

do not know conditions of our humanness, since are all in process of evolution