The essay explores the production of Fitch/Trecartin in light of its references to television, notably genres such as soap opera, commercials and reality TV, or else formats based on stereotyped subjectivities with which viewers/consumers, often unwillingly, identify. F/T will be considered the apex of a lineage of American artists who since the 1970s have dealt with similar TV-related issues via performative works, such as Chris Burden, Martha Rosler, Mike Kelley, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Joan Braderman, Michael Smith, Mel Chin and Alex Bag. References will be made also to the absurdist humor of 1950s TV host and comedian Ernie Kovacs as well as the grotesque farces of public-access TV stars such as Jaime Davidovich, Sondra Prill and Fausto Fernós. Interestingly, F/T graduated from RISD in 2004, the same year YouTube was launched. YouTube’s most groundbreaking feature has been to provide the new prosumers with a platform to showcase their productions to the cry of “Broadcast Yourself.” While F/T used YouTube and other video sharing services as an outlet for the circulation of their work, they also developed a metalinguistic reflection that has exposed how prosumers replicate and reinforce the modes and clichés originally manufactured by television. F/T’s hallucinatory masquerades—with their schizophrenic narratives and overactive characters—elicit a discussion on the confusion between audience and performing selves, precoded social life and staged reality, proper of the era of reality TV, social media and prosumer technologies.

The Schizophrenic Prosumer: Television in the Production of Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin

Francesco Spampinato
2019

Abstract

The essay explores the production of Fitch/Trecartin in light of its references to television, notably genres such as soap opera, commercials and reality TV, or else formats based on stereotyped subjectivities with which viewers/consumers, often unwillingly, identify. F/T will be considered the apex of a lineage of American artists who since the 1970s have dealt with similar TV-related issues via performative works, such as Chris Burden, Martha Rosler, Mike Kelley, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Joan Braderman, Michael Smith, Mel Chin and Alex Bag. References will be made also to the absurdist humor of 1950s TV host and comedian Ernie Kovacs as well as the grotesque farces of public-access TV stars such as Jaime Davidovich, Sondra Prill and Fausto Fernós. Interestingly, F/T graduated from RISD in 2004, the same year YouTube was launched. YouTube’s most groundbreaking feature has been to provide the new prosumers with a platform to showcase their productions to the cry of “Broadcast Yourself.” While F/T used YouTube and other video sharing services as an outlet for the circulation of their work, they also developed a metalinguistic reflection that has exposed how prosumers replicate and reinforce the modes and clichés originally manufactured by television. F/T’s hallucinatory masquerades—with their schizophrenic narratives and overactive characters—elicit a discussion on the confusion between audience and performing selves, precoded social life and staged reality, proper of the era of reality TV, social media and prosumer technologies.
2019
Whether Line: Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin
131
148
Francesco Spampinato
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/689301
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