Fascinating and mostly spot-on article by AO Scott in the New York Times today about “The Paradox of Art as Work,” or what I like to call Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction. I like the film critic’s broad cultural references, especially Gillian Welch. I am particularly mulling over this sentence: “The idea that everyone can be an artist — making stuff that can be shared, traded or sold to a self-selecting audience of fellow creators — sits awkwardly alongside the self-contradictory dream that everyone can be a star.” I think I disagree with the predicate: These may be antagonistic and possibly even revolutionary notions, not complementary ones. This is actually a topic I devoted independent study to at USC, under Henry Jenkins, and may well take up again. What do you think: Is the idea that everyone can be an artist akin to the idea that everyone can be a star?
Tag Archives: Henry Jenkins
Before I ever heard the concept of Participatory Culture, I was an acolyte of the notion of artistic production as a communitarian, not a hierarchical, act. As I explained to my students yesterday, as I taught them Henry Jenkins et al. white paper on PC and New Media Literacies, the belief in Do It Yourself connects my interests in punk rock, feminism, and digital culture. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that we don’t live in a spectator society anymore; Guy Debord is dated. And then last night, I came across this passage in Violence Girl: East LA Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story, the memoir by Alice Bag.
“I’m stomping, jogging and dancing all over the stage, teetering precariously on my high heels. I spot an area of spectators in front of Patricia, my bassist. Fuck that! No spectators, we’re all participants here!”
I applaud critics standing by consumers rather than producers and reviewing Taymor’s Broadway debacle before opening. Interesting to note how Twitter and online reviews helped compel them to write. But I wonder: Are newspaper critics hung up on story, or are they evaluating the world Taymor is making, as Henry Jenkins discusses in Convergence Culture?
Fellow SJ student Jonathan Arkin wrote a lovely article about my appointment at Loyola Marymount for the USC School of Communication and Journalism online newsletter. The quotes from Henry Jenkins make me blush. It’s been an intense but incredibly productive year. I went back to school in order to teach, and that’s what I’m going to do. Isn’t it amazing when plans work?
Studying with fan studies pioneer and author Henry Jenkins has been a highlight of my fellowship at USC. If I had known people like Henry were going to knock cultural studies off of its podium pedantry, I might have stayed with academia (probably not). His New Media Literacies course exposed me to ideas about digital culture that have inspired my own research projects. So I’m extremely honored that he is posting my final paper on his blog, http://henryjenkins.org/. It’s about Shepard Fairey, punk rock, fair use, free culture, Obam, hope, and appropriative art. Let us know what you think. First part today, second Friday.