I already mentioned this in class, but what was most unexpected and interesting about these articles was the way they used gender to problematize some very basic notions that I took for granted about transformative work and fair use. Lothian asks, “who defines use as fair?”, and Russo states, “the transformative status that is so crucial to legal determinations of fair use is itself infused with ideologies of gender.” Coppa also problematizes my assumptions about what the purposes of remix and vidding might be…she notes that they can be both critical and desiring at once, which had not occurred to me.
It seems that problematizing is just about our favorite thing to do in this class (okay I’m going to try to stop saying ‘problematizing’ now), and I think it’s an incredibly essential part of academic discourse but it can also be a bit exhausting! If we undermine every taken-for-granted belief, I feel like I have to qualify my statements more and more until it’s hard to really say anything. I think I said something like this in class earlier this semester. The fact is, sometimes I’m hesitant to speak up in class because if my statement isn’t incredibly delicately worded, I won’t have qualified enough to account for all our problematizations (dammit) and my point will be quickly torn to shreds. This happened just the other day when I said something about official publications (as opposed to blogs) having the advantages of better resources, or something to that end. I don’t mean to complain, but my head can sometimes just begin to spin with it all.
To get back to these actual readings, I would say that my head did begin to spin a little bit, but I enjoyed the ride this time. I suppose having my ideas challenged means that I have to incorporate some of the new stuff and then think about why I believed what I did in the first place, and in the end I will reemerge with a stronger understanding of the concepts. I’m sorry this blog entry is more about my thought processes than about the content of the readings themselves, but this is largely what I went away from the readings thinking about.
One thing that’s really been nagging at me in the past couple weeks is addressed by Russo at the end of her article when she asks, in so many words, “can there ever be a happy relationship between producers and remixers/fans/vidders?” This problematization (I just can’t stop) of what should be a happy relationship between fans and producers is one that I just can’t quite wrap my head around — but I’m going to address that in my next blog post.