Michele White – The Body and the Screen, theories of internet spectatorship

Michele White

book – The MIT Press – ISBN 0262232499
Internet spectatorship is a matter of fact, after the semiotic capital has pervaded online commercial strategies with a specific use of the body in online advertising. With a combined fragmentation and confusion internet payoffs are often aimed at promising new, spectacular and often virtual body placements. White analyzes the representation of gender (white male U.S. female and non-white male bodies) basing on politically engaged film studies. As the author writes: “Looking is a significant aspect of Internet and computer use.” So the (digitally enhanced) textual and photographical manipulations on the net are dissected in terms how they affect the act of looking and gazing. The point of view is one where the user is then identified with the ‘spectator’ characteristics (Florian Cramer researched the origin of the ‘user’ term, a concept invented by industry). Finallly it’s worth to note that the chapter dedicated to ‘intentional failures’ in net art works (with Jodi obviously on the top) is able to clarify some of the perceptual shifts that machines impose.