Why Michele Robert’s keynote speech on ‘The Erotic Imagination’ marks a new epoch in the way we talk about sex

Michele Roberts’ keynote speech at the ‘Beyond the Sheets’ conference marked, for me, a new epoch in the way we talk about sex. Here was an established literary figure seeking to change the discourse about sex, addressing at the conference pre-dominantly young writers and emerging academics; the new “intelligentsia” if you like. It was an important cultural moment for me: Roberts who was moulded as a feminist and writer during the 1970s – a much derided decade – talking and advising the generation of the new millennia. She was introduced by Professor Blake Morrison who explained that he used to judge the Mind Prize for fiction with Michele and suggested that her French nationality had affected her propensity to write about sex.

Michele began her talk by talking about the “rapture” of reading, the “jouissance” of reading, suggesting that reading can be orgasmic. You can see an short extract of this part of the speech here:

She then moved on to talk about why anyone would want to write about sex. An extract of this is here:

This was followed by an interesting categorisation of the different ways that writers can write about sex:

She categorises the different ways of writing about sex as being:

  • vague (this is where sex is never properly described but only referred to in general terms)
  • metaphoric (this is where sex is compared to something else such as natural imagery which Jenny Lewis in a previous lecture had pointed out was very common in ancient Summerian poetry)
  • pornographic (this is where concepts like memory/character are rendered unimportant in the descriptions of sex)
  • clinically and coolly (this is where sex is described in almost medical, unemotional terms — something popular amongst young writers at the moment)
  • journalistic the “less is more” approach (this is exemplified by the lesbian writer Radcliffe Hall)

Her taxonomy of sex writing is a useful, clear and engaging one which points towards a new moral purpose for sex writing; that of exploring the erotic. There was a moral vein struck throughout the whole of her talk but it wasn’t a religious, repressive morality that Roberts was reaching for but a new, open-minded, forgiving, exploratory morality regarding sex, a morality which celebrated equality, fairness, “jouissance” and feminism. Her new morality is possibly best expressed in this short extract in which she says that women need to reclaim the word “cunt” away from people who have used it pejoratively:

She then discussed the writing about sex that she likes who include Ali Smith, Apollinaire, and Colette. For her, she’s never been attracted to pornographic writing about sex, rather she wants writing which unsettles, discomforts and makes the reader think again about the issues involved. Here is a clip where she talks about what she finds to be effective writing about sex:

One of the main themes of the talk was the ways in which there are still strong taboos regarding the writing about sex; she argues that there are still strong taboos regarding older women writing about sex, and even stronger ones regarding talking about incest, and the sexuality of young girls. This is a section where she talks about some of these taboos:

Her voice is authoritative here; it is tinged with rebellion but also with reason. She goes against the grain of the public hysteria that characterises the debate about sex and suggests that the writer’s job is to push against taboos: to probe and investigate them. Above all, she is keen to give the writer freedom to write about sex in the way he or she sees fit. She makes a passionate plea for metaphor and emotional discourse to be employed when writing about sex here:

When answering questions, she was asked how she felt about receiving the Bad Sex Award. Her response was strikingly honest: she talked about her anger and embarrassment, and then went on to make an important point which is often ignored when discussing the writing about sex; she pointed out how there is an upper-class, male contempt for writers who attempt to explore sensitive and emotional issues.

Overall, this was an extremely impressive keynote; utterly heart-felt and very moving, as well as brave and thought-provoking. Roberts’ ability to fuse theory, autobiography, feminist polemic and creative writing into a seamless whole made her lecture very special; the very form and genre of her lecture felt path-breaking too. Here was a creative writer and academic who has dared to speak clearly and emotionally about a very difficult topic, as well as quite consciously addressing an emerging generation. The poet Maura Dooley, a creative writing lecturer at Goldsmiths, was right when she said to me that she felt the talk was moving. I think everyone there felt moved by it. Obviously, you can never get the sense of an event from a video, but I hope you can see if you watch her full talk that it was an important one.

You can see the full talk here:

Francis’s liveblog based on the ‘Identities’ panel of the conference

This is Francis Gilbert’s liveblog:

 

12:46 Updated : 12:49

“He knelt in front of me on the bleachers”. The monosyllables are important.

12:45

The fact that a man is kneeling before another man indicates this is an erotic moment, possibly a “blow-job”.

12:44

Richard is interested in the pronoun “he”, which Richard feels is important because the poem is showing “guy-on-guy” action. Both sexual partners were male.

12:43 Updated : 12:48

If we are thinking about writing about sex, we need to think about reading about sex. Language is a lovely “slippery thing”. These nine words were so provocative and sexy for Richard: “he knelt in front of me on the bleachers”.

12:42

Doty is usually florid; Richard reads some “florid” Latinate sections from Doty’s work.

12:41 Updated : 12:48

Richard is talking about a line which really affected him: “he knelt in front of me on the bleachers”. He found these words very erotic.

12:41

Richard Scott is now reading his essay reflecting upon his reading of poetry.

12:39

Sonia finishes by explaining her reasons for writing her homage to Hemingway.

12:38

Writing the book has opened up Hemingway’s erotic past.

12:38

Is Hemingway a pimp in Sonia’s novel?

11:47

Andrea wraps up the debate, lots of clapping!

11:45

Any positives to this state of affairs?

11:43

Grace points out the main source of sex education for teenagers now is pornography. This is a problem because porn is not a realistic representation of sex, and very male-centred.

11:41

Facebook gives us a shortcut to the confirmation of our life, according to Dragan.

11:41

There is a whole branch of the sexual industry which reveals avatars having sex in various strange places and positions.

11:40

Dragan has noticed that the porn sites of today have branched out into “specialised” places, for very specific target audiences. They know that money is to be made in this regard.

11:39

A questioner says that sexuality seems mostly to do with the brain and the body…we fetishicize everything…

11:38

Dragan was one of the “Mad Men” in the advertising industry and he was very scared by the level of knowledge that the head of data mining.

11:36

A questioner says that many people live their lives as “Facebook” opportunities.

11:36

Yesterday Dragan was working with young female students, and talked to them as a group because they started competing in writing about their “open sexual memories”. He said, “Be very careful not to turn yourselves into objects. Girls are pressurised into thinking themselves as objects.”

11:35

The level of representation of sex is unbelievable, Dragan says in response to a question about the technology of video.

11:33

Dragan talk has ended. He is taking questions now.

11:32

To us, sex is a badge of bad fiction.

11:32

In the beginning, there was no porn. All representations of sex were “for Gods” and celebratory.

11:32

The internet has made the writing about sex ubiquitous.

11:31

Sex has been verbalised and turned into a virtual activity.

11:31

This “Lovense” website gives a new meaning to the “desexualisation” of pleasure.

11:30

The mechanical vagina is called “Max”, and the mechanical vagina is called “Nora”. Dragan has spent many hours figuring out why they have these strange names.

11:29

Dragan shows a slide which is an advert which reads: “Virtual Sex Beats Real Sex” from the Lovense website.

11:28

Avatars can sanitise the pain, and create bodies and identities.

11:28

A person stands in the middle of the digital street…emitting images of the “opened flesh” of her injured son through her avatar.

11:26

The field of exploration is not limited to genitalia, but to the whole body.

11:26

“The practice of SM is the creation of pleasure.”

11:25

The most important moment in modern culture is “distribution”: wireless has changed everything, changing the face of communication. Sexual experiences have never been so widely shared.

11:24

Dragan shows a slide which is a list of pornographic stars. It took Dragan 8 seconds to get to a website offering “high-quality” porn, but nearly half a minute to order a pizza. Porn has moved from the margins to the mainstream. It is a huge global industry.

11:23

Dragan talks about the old photographs that his friend produced, which were nuanced and subtle, but that his new photographs were very mainstream, very simplistic pornographic pictures.

11:22

Dragan talks about a rock photographer he has been tracking down over the years, who suddenly appeared on social media and posted lots of pictures of naked women.

11:19

Dragan is quoting Marshal McLuhan. My summary: there is a crisis in human history because our technologies demand conflicting ways of being, new memories are being created, which are neither private nor communal.

11:16

Dragan talks about Susan Sontag’s vagina being photographed by Annie Leibovitz after she died and was lying the morgue. Did Sontag lose her identity, dignity with this happening to her? The photograph has never been shown.

11:14

Dragan talks about Jake breaks his arm in the school yard, and is taken to hospital. A picture is taken of him in the hospital, posted on social media, but his face is blanked out. His identity disappears and he becomes just an injured child.

11:12

Dragan is introducing his talk ‘Avatars at an orgy’. He says he has more questions than answers.

11:11

Andrea is introducing Dragan Todorovic, his career as a writer and academic.

11:09 Updated : 11:09

A question was raised that the talk had a very “heterosexual” focus.

11:08

Grace feels very sorry for sensitive teenage boys because of the brutalised culture they live in…

11:07

Questions for Grace Dugdale now, asking about teenagers and sex education, and the need for good sex education.

11:05

Understanding helps us fight unhelpful social conditioning around sex.

11:04

Scientific understanding can provide an accurate interpretation of human sexuality.

11:01

The two faces of patriarchy: repression and objectification;

A woman is a potential mate or a sperm receptacle.

11:00

There are scary stereotypes regarding sexual behaviour within teenagers: boys are “studs”, girls are “sluts”, according  to Dugdale.

10:53

We have a male/female dynamic!

Blake Morrison’s translations of Ovid’s sex poems & Season Butler’s story about teenage sexual awakening

This is Heather McConnell’s liveblog for this session:

14:51
Third and final poem: “Shirt”

14:50
“And there wasn’t a single penis”

14:49
Hearing the language of online pornography headlines used in poetry is really interesting.

14:48
Morrison imagines Ovid arriving in the present day and encountering porn (the kind aimed at men)

14:47
The wap-wap of naked flesh…

14:46
His poems are based on his interactions with Ovid’s work. May all of my siestas end that way.

14:45
Morrison discusses Ovid and his use of the male gaze and objectification.

14:45
Humor and uncertainty, passion and distraction – such an honest depiction of sex.

14:43
I want to read this novel!

14:43
Oh, this is fantastic; “women and children first”

14:43
Wow – the internal monologue of a teenaged girl having sex is so on-point

14:42
“And sometimes it’s mundane to die a little every day”

14:42
She refers to him as her “imaginary boyfriend”

14:41
Description of mutual disrobing, and the narrator potentially trying to convince herself she doesn’t mind if he has a girl on the mainland.

14:40
The protagonist / narrator is about to have sex with her sometimes-boyfriend – the drug dealer on the island where she’s found herself. She’s 17 and feels a bit uncertain about some things.

14:39
Season is providing some context to her reading – this is an excerpt from her novel in progress that she’s working on for her PhD.

14:39
Season clarifies her earlier apology to Valentino, who felt unable to attend the conference because of the email error on the part of the conference.

14:37
Seraphima is introducing Season (as Blake has already been introduced). She’s interested in intersectionality, and is a performance artist.

14:36
Very excited to hear Season Butler and Blake Morrison read!

Ballard meets Dworkin: Andrea Mason’s scatological ‘Does she squirt?’, a video reading and liveblog

This is Francis Gilbert’s liveblog based on what he heard during this session, with his commentary on ‘Does She Squirt’ situated at the bottom:

13:38
Andrea talks about the difference between the “high end” representation of sex, compared with the more simplistic way.

Then the event finishes with lots of clapping!

13:28
Jerry talks about the opening up of self-publishing, which has led to an explosion of erotic fiction, which has then been censored by corporations like Amazon.

13:23
Richard says his mum said: “Why do you want to watch porn darling? It’s boring!”

13:22
Andrea talks about how sex works dramatically if it is used as a site of conflict.

13:22
Richard talks about a “grey area” for writing about sex, with writers like Doty who want to explore the complexities of the issue, and contextualise it within the lives and worlds of the poetry, which are multifarious and not entirely sexual.

13:20
A question: is writing about sex more difficult in prose or poetry?

13:19
Richard talks about the problem with the “I” voice in poetry because it can disguise your personal life as well as reveal it.

13:14
Richard in Q and A talks about how Doty was reacting against Walt Whitman.

13:13
Sonia talks about how Hemingway has been represented as possibly “anti-feminist” but actually the truth about him is more complex. He explored female sexuality in ‘The Garden of Eden’ in quite a complex way.

13:11
The Q and A: Andrea talks about how the inspiration for her story was L’Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L’Origine_du_monde.

13:04
Jerry points out that Andrea’s story would technically be “illegal” in the UK because “water sports” and “four-finger insertion” are not allowed by the BBFC, the British Board for Classification.

13:02
Richard finishes. Lots of clapping, returning to the importance of the words.

13:01
Richard talks about the importance of these nine words, and mentions the future. He felt we are hugely lucky to talk about these lines freely. Richard feels like “cruising outdoors” might disappear because the internet means that gay men can easily connect online. This makes the lines a “period piece”?

12:59
Richard talks about James L. White, who wrote:

“We’re bungler when it’s really good:

bow legs, pimply backs, scrawny chest hair,

full of mistakes and good intentions.”

Richard suggests the lines are erotically charged because the poetry represents the sex as ordinary.

12:55
More on Cavafy can be found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/c-p-cavafy

12:54
Richard talks about Doty’s relationship with Cavafy, the iconic gay Greek poet: http://www.cavafy.com/

12:53
Doty doesn’t make a fuss out of the “blow job”. This nine word line is fiercely political.

12:52
The line shows that gay sex is ordinary; there is no heightened language. This is an “ordinary blow-job”, it is just that it happens to be between two men.

12:52
Richard talks about his connection with the line: he shows that the line contains an entire gay universe.

12:51
Richard talks at length about the symbolic, practical and erotic connotations of “bleachers”.

DEFINITION: a cheap bench seat at a sports ground, typically in an outdoor uncovered stand. ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN LITERATURE:
“there’s a pudgy man in the bleachers pacing the aisles”
12:37
Sonia reads a passage from her novel in which Catherine becomes Peter, and Peter becomes her, the passage goes beyond Hemingway, although pays homage to his style.

12:30
Catherine’s sexual adventures in Hemingway book are represented as dangerous and hysterical. Sonia wanted to change this dynamic in her own novel, by representing Catherine differently.

12:30
Sonia reads a passage from ‘The Garden of Eden’ which has many erotic elements; it discusses the sex games a married couple play together; the role-playing and their site-seeing in Paris. “When they were in bed, they became each other…She wanted to become him, and he wanted to become her.”

12:28
Sonia talks about Hemingway’s obsession with women’s hair, and how there is a lesbian relationship in the novel; a love triangle, the Hemingway alter-ego and two women.

12:27
There are three main characters in Sonia’s novel who are all fascinated by elements of the erotic in Hemingway’s novel.

12:24
SO talks about ‘The Garden of Eden’ and her own novel: each character in her novel has a relationship with Hemingway’s novel.

12:24
How the novel works: ‘puncture holes’ through a non-linear narrative.

12:23
When a novelist deals with emotional intensity, he/she must also deal with the erotic.

12:23
Writing, reading and fantasy:

the line between empathy and experience begins to blur when fiction really works…

12:22
SO: “Writers and readers are fantasists”.

12:21
Sonia has recently written a novel called ‘Eden’ which was influenced by reading Hemingway’s novel.

12:21
Sonia is talking about her first introduction to Ernest Hemingway when reading ‘The Garden of Eden’.

12:20
Jerry Barnett introduces Sonia Overall.

12:19
The last line of the story is “Does she squirt?”

12:18
There’s a silver dildo, a banana, a carrot, and a pair of Chinese loveballs in the vagina!

12:18
A banana is being unpeeled and eaten, while it is being placed into the woman’s vagina.

12:17
This is a disturbing, amazingly descriptive story about a man putting his hand into a women’s vagina.

12:16
Andrea is now reading her short story “Does she squirt?”

Guy Stevenson’s LiveBlog about Josie Pearse & Eirini Kartsaki presentations

talesbehindtheclassroomdoor:

16:09
In response to delegate question, Eirini talks about her relationship with the audience. When does interraction become intrusion? Physical touch is desired by the performer in some way but the boundary is difficult to define

16:00
The moment when we realise that too much gives way to too little gives way to too much eternally, puts us in a position where we do not know what to do with ourselves

15:56
Desire for more but also the feeling that there is too much

15:51
Inadequate satisfaction is itself pleasurable …

15:51
To the backing track of Billy Joel, she delivers monologue from her piece. Creates an atmosphere that appears to offer intimacy but withdraws it. ‘Horny Clown’ is the title. Based on the desire to experience something like compulsive monogamy but only for a little while …

15:46
Explains that this is the basis of her performance artist piece

15:44
All of this, according to Fink

15:43 Updated : 16:06
What we want to experience will never actually occur. Desire is a constant search. Diametrically opposed to fixation. We want more desire and further desire

15:42
Dr Eirini Kartsaki ‘Not Knowing What to do with Myself: Promiscuity, Excess and the Inatiable Desire’

15:40
‘McEwan and Coetze contest [the] cosy view of sexuality’ that precludes anxiety, premature ejaculation, the mess in general.

15:38
The tension between ‘the pressure of desire’ and the burden of the task in hand

15:34
Quoting from Ian McEwan’s ‘On Chesil Beach’, he aims to illustrate the dramatic tension possible in literary representations of sex

15:27
One reason for this: good sex has a place only as a counter-point to bad sex; the assumption that good sex isn’t worth writing about in and of itself

15:26
Looking to the ‘Bad Sex Awards’ he opens up question of why it is so difficult to write good sex

15:23
Details variety of romantic writing – from heteronormative literature to the forbidden (taking Lolita as an example)

15:21
Richard English gives a brief summary of important sex writing from Odyssy through to Pamela to mills and boons. ‘Romantic’ writing constitutes 15% of book market now

15:19
She describes the liberating effect of the move towards self-publishing.’Am I back in fashion?’, ‘no’ but free to write the kind of erotica she wants rather than fitting into stale market

15:14
In response to editor’s request to write a ‘literary’ sexy novel, she went for ‘Travels with my Cunt’. Didn’t go down well!

15:12
Josie describes the flooding of women’s fiction with ‘silly’ chic-lit, 1996

15:08
‘Don’t you feel you’ve prostituted your art’ was an annoying common question from interviewers. On the receiving end of Daily Mail outrage

15:07
Her first erotic novel was a 1920′s era ‘picaresque romp’, an explicit Henry Fielding

15:05
Reflects on being considered ‘too male’ by some editors and ‘too female’ by others. Recalls the editor of Nexus saying ‘there’s no market for women’s erotica’

15:04
Josie Pearse discusses the world of erotic literature in a pre-internet age

Originally posted on I was a high-school feminist:

So! This weekend I took a break from regular old blogging and did some live-blogging of a conference that I attended.

I’d never live-blogged anything before, so between that and the fact that I was presenting my first unsupervised paper at my first non-womens-studies conference, I was SO NERVOUS.

The logo for the conference.

The logo for the conference.

However, it turned out that having to liveblog the event totally fixed my nerves. Since I had to be SO engaged with what the speakers were saying by listening, processing, and figuring out what was important to transmit to our readers, and then typing it quickly enough to catch the next point, I didn’t really have time to worry about my presentation. Plus, I think that I got a lot more out of the talks than I would have otherwise; I have a really hard time following talks or lectures just by listening, so having to…

View original 685 more words

Heather McConnell’s liveblog based on the “Troubling Division of Porn and its Audiences” panel

13:38

Lunch time! Hope you’ve enjoyed the blogging.

13:38

Applause!

13:37

Hunt points out: We’re so used to photography and video now as part of our everyday lives, that the question of whether it changes when there’s a camera isn’t totally relevant to today’s youth.

13:36

In creating porn without penetration, Kilby explores different spaces and finds his sexual imagination enhanced. Question of whether a camera there changes it; he admits that an audience changes it. But the audience has more power than his partner does, since she’s doing what she’s doing for a reaction, and the audience controls that reaction.

13:35

Audience question: “Do you think porn enhances or destroys the sexual imagination?”

13:35

Mainstream aesthetics do come through in amateur porn; reproduce the existing hegemonies

13:34

It’s difficult to define lines between amateur and professional pornography

13:33

There is an evolution of the amateur pornographer

13:33

User-generated content deindustrializes porn

13:32

We still think of porn as the industry based in the San Fernando Valley, when really it’s so much more.

13:31

Dominant narratives about what porn is and what it does are actually very outdated.

13:31

Porn is ridiculously diverse.

13:31

Speaker admits to having seen porn where a dragon has sex with a car exhaust.

13:30

Rule 34: if you can think it or imagine it, there is a porn relating to it.

13:29

Hunt invites us to become a participatory audience and ask questions.

13:29

Stumbling out into the light after hours of looking at tumblr porn…

13:27

GIF as different from video. Sarah can’t see it as causing the same kind of loss of revenue that sharing a video might.

13:26

Lines between the official culture and the fan culture are becoming increasingly blurred.

13:26

It is more difficult when it’s just a scene from a film being reproduced as a GIF. It’s still a very grey area (50 shades? Sorry, couldn’t help myself)

13:25

You can argue that memes are parody.

13:25

Include disclaimers stating “I don’t own these” although legally, that does nothing, someone can still sue. OR you can use parody laws (that seems to apply more to fanfic than GIFs)

13:23

Hunt asks about intellectual property.

13:22

If you get paid, you become a producer, no longer a prosumpter.

13:22

How does that change if she does get paid?

13:22

Jones thinks that yes, since the woman assisted in production, was not paid, and presumably watched herself. Deen would have made money from it. Would have disrupted producer/audience dynamic.

13:21

Sarah asks Bethan – thinking of prosumption, James Deen had online applications where people could perform in a porn with him; would that still be considered prosumption?

13:20

Applause! Panelists moving to the front.

13:19

He doesn’t think you can fully democratize somebody when there’s a video camera present.

13:19

He’s looking at removing the bodies and the video, and focusing on liquid.

13:18

He’s not really interested in that kind of conversation

13:18

In editing the videos, he found that things were flattened out a bit. Came out as more of a low-grade, DIY parody.

13:17

Feels that his videos didn’t capture the minutiae of the event – the awkwardness surrounding it, etc.

13:17

Included people reading academic papers, etc.

13:17

How do you bring orgasms to an academic environment? (Excellent question!)

13:16

If they’re not going to mind being masturbated by a stranger in the back of a warehouse, they’re probably not going to mind having posted online.

13:16

Participants could choose to have the video deleted, edited and sent to them, or posted online.

13:15

 

 

13:15

Wanted to set a more queer and incidental agenda, where things were more democratized (sp?).

13:14

Kilby went to a reclaimed warehouse performance space with a suitcase full of sex toys.

13:13

There are about nine videos in the series. Feature normatively attractive models, filmed in high-quality black and white. “Saccharine heteronormativity”

13:13

The more Kilby watched the videos, the more problems he had with them.

13:12

The stimulation eventually causes a disruption and cutting up of the text.

13:12

Hysterical Literature: filmed adult performers reading their favorite books as they’re stimulated with a vibrator.

13:10

 

 

13:10

(Sorry – not his videos)

13:09

Brings up his video “Hysterical Literature: Session One”

13:09

 

 

13:09

Performed at Torture Garden.

13:08

Messing with the frame that they “should have” gone on a porn website but ended up on an art website.

13:08

Moved on to create deliberately erotic and/or pornographic images.

Heather McConnell’s liveblog based on the ‘Potency & Impotence’ panel

11:46

Time’s up! That was VERY interesting and informative!

11:45

Decision to not have children is accepted but not explored.

11:45

Culturally, reproduction is framed as the default.

11:45

Fertility, menstruation, and the potential to reproduce or not to.

11:44

While Linsley hadn’t spoken about the inerect penis, she does like the idea of literalizing it.

11:44

You’re much more likely to get laid if you’re gentle and kind.

11:44

Question about literal impotence; when faced of literal impotence, women still encourage the possibility of the act

11:43

Question about feminist space and potentiality.

11:43

To deny determinism is to deny so much that it seems absurd.

11:42

It’s very difficult to dump determinism without entering the realm of witchcraft.

11:42

“it looks like science gets a lot right”

11:41

We’re not entering the realm of heavy metaphysics.

11:41

Things can and cannot happen.

11:41

Argument about potentiality is an argument against determinism.

11:40

Illusion of choice.

11:39

Mentions Bartleby the Scribener: difference between “I refuse to do” and “I prefer not to”

11:39

Linsley not using impotence to mean inability.

11:38

SM about potential for sex but sex not-happening

11:38

Frission space between inability and impotency.

11:37

Etymology of inability – not able – vs. impotence – not having the power to.

11:37

Moments of the fizz of expectation have to do with the possibility that whatever it is might not happen.

11:36

The inability to do something is different from the ability to not-do it.

11:35

(not to be blithe or facile about entrenched power dynamics)

11:35

We have the potential to not reproduce the patriarchy.

11:35

Linsley is thinking about the politics of potentiality and impotentiality. Productivity not just as ability to do things, but ability to not-do them.

11:34

Is potential a feminist space?

11:34

Reproducing as opposite of being productive as relates to feminism and economy.

11:34

Be productive, not re-productive.

11:33

Question for Linsley about potential.

11:33

People are now digitising their own personal archives so there’s more on John Sex – does that make him less attractive?

11:32

YouTube and blogosphere as adding to an archive (in the Halberstamian sense)

11:31

Question for Hunt: with artists I wish I’d known – is the attraction tied to the lack of representation?

11:31

The convention of “one time” or “once upon a time”

11:30

Archival object creates sensation of fairy-tale past.

11:30

We are allowed to tell the story instead of focusing on historical “facticity”

11:30

Hunt: the archive as future present

11:29

Can vulnerability be powerful?

11:29

Built-in vulnerability of video / song as making it less empowering

11:28

Incongruence between lyrics and visuals of “Wrecking Ball” video.

11:28

Language as a product of the image / visual.

11:27

Perry’s main concern isn’t the visual representations, but how it’s talked about.

11:27

Miley and John Sex as self-objectified through visual representation; how is objectification embedded in language?

11:26

Objectification within language of social media needs to be explored more in-depth

11:26

Our discussion needs to go further with this.

11:25

Our view of Miley as having fallen further (in her self-objectification) because of her “higher” initial position as privileged?

11:24

Is it a contradiction? A paradox?

11:23

Sexual objectification of a woman within a patriarchal structure is different from that of a man

11:23

Privileged identities vs. not

11:23

“reverse objectification” is kind of like “reverse racism”

11:22

It has to do with where power lies in the world and with who holds the power generally.