Blog Post 13.5: Passages for Thursday’s Class

Hi everyone,

Nice meme-ing yesterday! Here’s a thread for passages for this Thursday’s class:

By class time Thursday, you should post in this thread a passage (roughly 2-4 sentences) from the pieces by Stewart (online as well as in the packet), Jackson, and Hess. Since we’ve got three pieces for tomorrow, pick two to quote here — one from Stewart and one from either Jackson or Hess that you find particularly interesting, surprising, inspiring, problematic, or otherwise significant. Remember to cite page numbers for each of your passages where relevant.

7 thoughts on “Blog Post 13.5: Passages for Thursday’s Class”

  1. “This remixing privileges the exhibitor over the producer and echoes the power that the blogger of today yields over mass media. The blogger appropriates scenes from pop culture to present the viewer of something akin to a joke or trick. But, unlike the early cinematic innovations of the Lumiere’s Bro’s in France or the Edison Company, the GIF is not the product of well financed venture capitalists, but rather the product of the amateur.” (Stewart, 7)

    “There’s no prescriptive or proscriptive step-by-step rulebook to follow, nobody’s coming to take GIFs away. But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum. We all need to be cognizant of what we share, how we share, and to what extent that sharing dramatizes preexisting racial formulas inherited from “real life.” The Internet isn’t a fantasy — it’s real life.” (Jackson)

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  2. “Unlike the traditional photograph, the GIF is not a method of image capture, but instead a method of image iteration. It is a post-industrial image-making process that is inherently appropriative. Even if the source is not immediately recognizable, the GIF is a re-articulation of footage sourced from popular and viral culture in the specific form of an infinitely repeating loop.” (Stewart)

    “If there’s one thing the Internet thrives on, it’s hyperbole and the overrepresentation of black people in GIFing everyone’s daily crises plays up enduring perceptions and stereotypes about black expression. And when nonblack users flock to these images, they are playacting within those stereotypes in a manner reminiscent of an unsavory American tradition.” (Jackson)

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  3. “The GIF was an experimental gesture towards the replication of motion using a new technology: the personal computer. Historically and formally, the GIF is similar to the proto-cinematic machines of 19th century in that it is a loop intended not for public exhibition, but for individual viewing.” (Stewart)

    “But while these examples are particularly noteworthy for their malicious intent, digital blackface has softer counterparts, just like offline blackface. Digital blackface does not describe intent, but an act — the act of inhabiting a black persona.” (Jackson)

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  4. “Unlike the traditional photograph, the GIF is not a method of image capture, but instead a method of image iteration. It is a post-industrial image-making process that is inherently appropriative. Even if the source is not immediately recognizable, the GIF is a re-articulation of footage sourced from popular and viral culture in the specific form of an infinitely repeating loop.” (Stewart)

    “There’s no prescriptive or proscriptive step-by-step rulebook to follow, nobody’s coming to take GIFs away. But no digital behavior exists in a deracialized vacuum. We all need to be cognizant of what we share, how we share, and to what extent that sharing dramatizes preexisting racial formulas inherited from “real life.” The Internet isn’t a fantasy — it’s real life.” (Jackson)

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  5. “For while reaction GIFs can and do every feeling under the sun, white and nonblack users seem to especially prefer GIFs with black people when it comes to emitting their most exaggerated emotions. Extreme joy, annoyance, anger and occasions for drama and gossip are a magnet for images of black people, especially black femmes.” – Jackson

    “The ‘fetishized object’ in fact attains its power by being one of an infinite series and contains within it this trace of infinity. It is actually this trace of infinity, if one can speak of such a thing, which is desired and which fascinates, rather then the ‘thingness’ of the object.” (Boon, in Stewart, 8)

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  6. ” It is the technology, not the image that serves as proxy for the act of perception itself (hence the impulse to name a genre “philosophical toys”). This simulated condition between the still and the moving, along with the technology that makes it possible, is the source of fascination with the GIF.” (Stewart)

    “If there’s one thing the Internet thrives on, it’s hyperbole and the overrepresentation of black people in GIFing everyone’s daily crises plays up enduring perceptions and stereotypes about black expression. And when nonblack users flock to these images, they are playacting within those stereotypes in a manner reminiscent of an unsavory American tradition.” (Jackson)

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  7. “Like the Kinetoscope and the Cinema of Attractions, the GIF emerged during an era of innovation and the invention of a new technology. The GIF was an experimental gesture towards the replication of motion using a new technology: the personal computer. Historically and formally, the GIF is similar to the proto-cinematic machines of 19th century in that it is a loop intended not for public exhibition, but for individual viewing. It also contains mostly static perspectives, few cuts, and seeks to titillate – not narrate.”(Stewart)

    “Digital blackface does not describe intent, but an act — the act of inhabiting a black persona. Employing digital technology to co-opt a perceived cache or black cool, too, involves playacting blackness in a minstrel-like tradition. This can be as elaborate as anon accounts like @ItsLaQueefa or as inadvertent as recruiting images of black queer men to throw shade at one’s enemies. No matter how brief the performance or playful the intent, summoning black images to play types means pirouetting on over 150 years of American blackface tradition.”(Jackson)

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