World Star Scopophilia Supercut Extravaganza! Group A6

We as a group will be creating a mashup supercut hybrid between amateur videos of fist fights and the feature length film Gamer to explore the effect scopophilia and a viewer society has on violence. As David Lyon explains, within a viewer society “as much attention should be paid to viewing as being viewed.” Lyon expands on the value of being watched by referring to Lacanian psychoanalysis where he draws the explanation “to see ourselves as others is key to identity formation.” With this in mind, our project will raise the question of how someone’s perception of him or herself shift when they are being praised for attacking someone else.
There is a quantitative way to measure how much public support or, at least, reception a recording of a fight gets on a site like Youtube or World Star Hip Hop, through the number of likes and views the video receives. Some of the 30 second to two minute videos that we want to include excerpts from in our remix have garnered upwards of a million views implying that these fights- even for the viewers who don’t know either of the people in the video personally- provide viewers with a pleasurable experience. Apart from how these videos of violent skirmishes are received on the internet, my group wants to consider another dimension of how the subjects’ behave when they’re conscious of the attention that bystanders are paying to them. Much like someone viewing a video of themselves inflicting pain on someone else causes a subject to reflect on who they are, could the awareness of a third party watching cause an ordinarily heated argument to come to blows?
What my group intends to argue is that a viewer society can project malice on those being viewed and propagate it to the wider society. Where the synopticon is defined as the many watching the few to encourage self control and good behavior viewer society and, more particularly, the perverse love of viewing can lead those subject to the view of the many to act indecently.

This video demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of a supercut video that we wish to make, however we are aiming to make a supercut/mashup hybrid by including clips from the film Gamer and any other example that helps our argument. The argument that we are trying to make along with the footage we plan to work with, the form of a supercut remix works the best due to its ability to repeat a common action almost to the point of redundancy, providing plenty of proof for the argument.

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2 comments on “World Star Scopophilia Supercut Extravaganza! Group A6

  1. This does a good job of clearly setting up both the style and raw materials of your video, and I think the quote you’re drawing on from Lyon is a great provocation for this video project. Where this gets a bit muddled is in the argument you’re making. First, you need to be attentive to how you’re deploying the term scopophilia here- yes, it broadly means the pleasure associated with looking (which you’re critiquing here in terms of what, precisely, the viewer society is viewing and why they take pleasure in it), but this more often than not is associated with sexual or erotic pleasure, which I don’t think you’re claiming here. Second, and more importantly, because you’re merging footage of real-life violence with a film that is critical of video game violence, I’m a little concerned that your argument (which appears to be more about why these particular videos are so popular on youtube and other sites) might be misinterpreted as “video game violence makes us more inclined to treat incidents of real-world violence as entertainment.” So, I’d be curious to hear the rationale of why (and how) you’re planning to use footage from Gamer. The portion of your argument/analysis in which your question if the awareness of a third party watching might cause an ordinarily heated argument to come to blows is going to be difficult to substantiate, so I think you need to collectively sit down and work through what it is that you’re trying to say- is this a critique of video sharing platforms broadly? What’s popular on them specifically? In either case, how does this tie back to a broader point about the viewer society and surveillance? You have a good foundation here, I just think you will need to be attentive to visualizing the videos’ popularity, not just the video footage itself (e.g. rising view counter or something similar).

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  2. Follow up to our meeting- specifically the passage from danah boyd’s “Why Youth Heart Social Media” that I was referring to is from page 124-126, discussing the qualities of networked publics.

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