anne-marie on Thu, 21 Jun 2001 04:43:09 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Snow Blossom House critiqued

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>Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 00:40:50 -0500
>From: Patrick Lichty <voyd@VOYD.COM>
>Subject: <thingist> Snow Blossom Houze
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>I've reviewed the notes recently posted, and I have a logorreal logjam for
>which I may not be able to relieve myself.
>First, I'd like to address the SBH site itself.  ALthough it was primarily
>compi8led to look at the KISS doll culture and its cultural matrix, I have
>misgivings about the references and selections included.  For example, the
>broader set of erotic art in electronic media as defined by this show has
>definite holes (ah! a pun) in it.  For example, no reference to historical
>entries, such as Leisure Suit Larry, Virtual Valerie (1 or 2!), or even the
>venerable Fifi's Whorehouse.

was aware of those(arent most people?) but wish to diverge from the 
male herterosexist nature of this history and much of current 
porno--same reason real doll was not included and also rejected more 
than a couple pieces submitted by some known (male)net artists 
because if i did not do so the show would easily have been taken over 
by such (there are already more than a fair share of sexy girls made 
by men in the show)

Snow Blossom House is not a historical overview of erotic games, it 
is a constructed collection of interactive erotica, digital games and 
art with an intentional "girlish" japanime flavor. some of the art 
pieces also work against the objectifying visual (male heterosexist) 
mechanical bias of western pornography, hence the sound piece by meta 
and the abstracted love sculptures by entropy8zuper! and the 
disjunctive narrative of doll yoko...(see .else portion of curatorial 
note) Snow Blossom is what it is intentionally and happy to not be 
what it is not.


>   For me, I think that the cultural
>contextualization of the show is very shaky, and I think that this is what
>Joseph is sensing in his criticism.  The genre definitely not flat, but
>from the way the metanarrative is structured in this show, you would not be
>able to tell.
>However, this is my harshest critisicm of the show, as I would have liked
>to have seen a tighter focus of works around the Kisikae and hentai genres.
>  Also, I was SHOCKED to not have seen ANY mention of the Virtual Idoru
>movement or the RealDoll website.  There are obviously some pieces in this
>show that really are weak links in regards to the topic, but then I'm sure
>I will commit the same sin in my upcoming curatorial project.
>Blackhawk does well in his essay, although I would like to clarify that not
>all doujinshi are hentai in content (a conclusion he infers in his essay).
>Far from it.  Doujinshi, whther graphic or textual, I believe are tools of
>self-empowerment (through self-fulfillment, objectification, etc, depending
>on your subgenre) in creating narratives for one's favorite characters
>through these forms.
>After this, I enjoyed the 'art of the future' speculation, as it raises
>some interesting theories/proofs about the strength of an open source art
>community.  I'll leave it at that for now.  Discuss amonst yourselves.
>As for many of the critiques voiced on this list regarding the nature of
>the show, I'm also surprised, but then I now realize how much I have
>immersed myself in this cultural genre.  For example, no one is mentioning
>the Shintoist indistinction in life between the animate and inanimate.
>Under that rubric, the computer is just as alive as you are, and the
>computer game is a 'real' form of life experience, you are playing doctor
>with a synthetic character, and so on.  the mode of experience and
>representation is what is different.
>I think that Joseph's misgivings are a cross between a lack of cultural
>referents both from a personal and curatorial standpoint.  Also, there;'s
>this conflation of concepts that since this body of work was on the Net,
>it's about the Net, and I disagree about this wholeheartedly.  It's about
>electronic representations of the erotic, but I think it does so in a
>rather bizarre fashion.
>In regards to the Mai image, she is most definitely human, but that is not
>her only nature.  She is a broken sign, at once objectified and
>transcendant at once.  Her humanity is fractured by her reconstruction in
>the sushi boat, and this alludes to the android quality that Blackhawk
>However, as with many artists of the hentai genre, she is also meant to be
>a disemboweled human girl that was used as an Iron Chef-esque sushi boat.
>A common gesture of a subgenre of doujin artists is to make quasi-naive
>references to mayhem and unspeakable taboos (such as rape and
>dismemberment) as subversion of the ubiquitous obscenity laws, and thus
>also of the monolithic culture of Japan.  When read within the Japanese
>cultural matrix, these atrocious scenes lose their potency, and become
>abject cultural critiques, and all reference to the subject matter becomes
>simple surface content.
>In short, I think this show misses out on the amount of punch it could have
>had, although it's far from weak.  It's just good, rather than excellent.
>I wanted to know more about the culture of the Kisikae phenomenon, its
>spinoffs, it's larger social matrix, and what I got was a fine essay about
>Kisikae, a couple nice dolls, a couple pieces about kissing, some hentai
>(of which I really would have liked to have seen some really good dolls on
>the subject), and some electronic eroticism.  Although I liked the
>SimLesbian hack, I'm not sure it belonged, as well as the MP3 sound. 
>Although the curatorial statement included all of the given genres, I feel
>that a tighter focus on the ironies inherent in the kisikae culture, as
>well as doujins, hentai, shoujou, Yaoi, the 'Triumph of the Cute" and their
>inversions and subversions would have been infinitely more interesting to
>me.  ANd this is not to jus tlimit to Jpop culture, either; to have shown
>the juxtapositions across the Big Ditch and how the cultural translations
>of all said genres interlock would have been brilliant.
>Snow Blossom House:
>Nice design,
>Good essays,
>Content could have been arranged better (works themselves are not 
>bad, though),
>Missed mentioning some big ass cultural contextual points.
>Sorry to be bitchy - I had a screaming match with a guy who's giving me a
>hard time about buying urethral sounds.

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