Calendar of Events

Spring 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012
Alexis Lothian (English, University of Southern California)
Futures without Closure: Queer Fandom and the Reconfiguration of Media Time
4:15 pm Curtin 175

Participants in the digital remix subculture of fan vidding re-edit footage from TV and film to music, making intricate arguments by cutting images into new contextual meanings through the sonic environment of the song that organizes them. In fan vids, familiar imagery from popular film and television gains a new life, affectively reframed and recontextualized when a vidder borrows a song’s sonic temporalities to queer a media text’s narrative flow. The recent turn to theories of temporality in queer studies has called attention to the ways in which historical timelines and the rhythms of everyday life are saturated with dominant straight, white, capitalistic temporal norms yet can be occupied differently by those who defy those categories. Critical fan videos use digital remix to reoccupy and reconfigure media time, creating alternate histories and futures for sound and image.

In her talk, Alexis Lothian draws both on the growing body of scholarship on vidding and on her own participation in the artform to explore the processes of juxtaposition, repetition, choreographic editing and audiovisual suturing by which vids make meaning within their subcultural community. She explores the queer temporal possibilities vidding contains by drawing on interventions into the TV series Battlestar Galactica made by members of a loose group of vidders of which she is a part, the Cylon Vidding Machine, between 2008 and 2011. Videos created by members of the group not only made the show’s marginal queer characters central but also rerouted its reliance on reproductive and colonial temporal narratives. In refusing these foreclosures of media futurity, the practices of vidding and the networks of queer critical fandom play with the possibilities of queerly remaking on and offscreen worlds.

From Alexis Lothian's posting on "Vidding," from her blog Queer Geek Theory.

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