In the beginning, I set a few restrictions to scaffold my civic-criticial media approach.  Each movie should be short, and I must only use free software, like Apple’s iMovie, to construct the content. 

Now, I have made hundreds of these little videos.  Editing to music, using color, framing and composition, adding text…it is all there.  And as I built this corpus of shorts, I could see, repeated again and again, the female body startlingly exploited in every manner conceivable.  This was nothing new, of course… but then little I do is ever new.  I just believe the best way to study visual media is by playing, slowing down, distilling, concentrating, re-editing, and remediating its content, which has become so profoundly familiar to us, I fear we can no longer even see it any more.  I am finding a new voice, and I am teaching that voice to communicate.

I attended:

Of Aesthetics and Ethics:

A Conference on Visual Values.

A featured speaker was the Creative Director of the influential Dove Beauty & Self-Esteem Fund for Women.  Her topic: How selling soap on TV, with plus-sized women, had liberated so many.  So, by simply adding text to focus already-important images, I made this appropriation, in my hotel room that same night and, I included it into MY conference presentation the next day.

In short, this video is about nudging the viewer to think another-step-beyond normative media readings... and to consider its production: the producers, technology, practices, and ideology.

Dove Ugly   2008  (1:00)