Multiplying The Body: Gender Performance Remembered and Reconstructed




Serafin, Susan

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Our identities and gestures are transferred from our cultural memory. Photography, movies, and more recently, virtual reality, are cultural and social markers that juxtapose the "ideal image of self" with the self as experienced in everyday interactions. How do we make sense of gesture, expression, dress, and body language? If what we see gives mixed or ambiguous information about a person’s gender, how do we respond? What implications (effects) does ambiguous gender or indeterminate gender performance have on others? To what extent do we judge others based on our perceptions of their sexual identity and orientation? Multiplying The Body approaches the body as a remembered experience. Our identities and gestures are transferred from our cultural memory. What implications or cultural changes are transforming our ideals of "self" and gender identity? Are cyberspace, real-time animation, computer games, Second Life, motion graphics, and our access to cosmetic beautification adding to our ability to reconstruct images of ourselves? What is the cultural impact of seeing ourselves in virtual environments? How are Millennials and Digital Natives changing the way we see, live, and express identity? I believe that virtual experience has a long-lasting impact on the viewer. Can virtual worlds offer a place to try on ambiguous identity that isn't judged by others? I have always been interested in how our surroundings affect our behavior, our identity, and how we interact with others. We are always categorizing: instinctively we look for clues to help us categorize people at a glance as male, female, single, married, straight, gay. I am interested in capturing those experiences that go unacknowledged in our daily lives: the moments when we question what we think we know, and perhaps realize that we can 'see' differently.



Gender performance, Gender expression, Body language, Gender identity