The "I" behind the image : mobilizing subjectivity through film, video, and new media / by Broderick Fox.
The aim of the traditional historical project and of film practice at large (both narrative and documentary), has predominately been one of effacing the “I” behind words and images, in favor of seamless, ordered, transparent transmission. My project seeks to investigate ruptures and breaks within this tradition—moments in which the “I” of subject, filmmaker, or videographer is foregrounded, clearly announced, and in certain cases, made the subject of the work itself.This project is therefore very much about bodies. Objective, disembodied accounts of the world and of “reality” obscure locations of power, content control, and authorship. My goal is to locate alternative sites of embodied subjectivity in the visual record and investigate their potentials for historical revision, personal expression, and political action. Such instances come via modes such as autobiography, testimony/witnessing, confession, “home movie” subversion, and the utilization of emergent digital media. What are the political, historiographical, and discursive implications of entering such personal registrations into the public sphere? What are the future potentials of such acts, given that new media advancements are closing the gap between “amateur” and “professional” to a degree unprecedented in the history of modern communication?The first half of the project—Embodied History—questions what place amateur images can hold in our understanding of history, utilizing the World War II contexts of Japanese-American internment and the European Holocaust. The second half, Embodied Politics, asks what it means to say the personal is political, investigating ways in which individuals have used their own bodies, specifically to challenge binaries of gender and sexuality and to confront taboos about discussing death and dying.Given the focus on subjectivity throughout, and the critique of disembodied history and media, the methodology of this project would be flawed were my own subjectivity not acknowledged and foregrounded. Such a choice will be facilitated by the fact that the discursive realms I have chosen are ones to which I am deeply connected not only as a scholar but also through my work as a filmmaker and video artist, as well as simply through my daily existence as a politically engaged “I/eye”.
Record last modified: 2018-05-16 16:14:00
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