New media poetics as a strategy for political subversion

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This dissertation examines different instances of resistance to dominant socio-cultural
regimes through new media. In order to showcase this, I focused on three case studies: the first one was the work of Amalia Ulman, a new media artist who uses selfies in order critically engage with the representations of femininity on Instagram. Ulman’s work was then linked to the feminist bibliography around what Amelia Jones defined as ‘radical narcissism’. Following that, I engage with a discussion of Grindr, a popular gay dating application. I was particularly interested in how Grindr disrupts heteronormative constructions of the public sphere. Finally, I discuss Pokémon GO, a location-based smartphone application that gained the attention of the public in 2016. Pokémon GO, similarly to Grindr, disrupts normative understandings of space by introducing an augmented reality narrative in physical locations. I expand on this idea by developing my own location-based application that inserted poems rather than Pokémon, in different places within the city. My analytical framework is informed by Lacanian psychoanalysis, with a particular focus on understanding selfhood in the context of the emergence and normalisation of new media technologies. By understanding selfhood as an inherently psycho-social construction I was able to identify the political significance of subjectivity and its relation to technological advancements.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Maclaran, Pauline, Supervisor
  • Chatzidakis, Andreas, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date1 Jun 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 14 May 2018

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