Friday, February 02, 2007

More S.S.P.

S.S.P. = Shameless Self Promotion

I have been ivited to present at the Critical Studies Graduate Student Conference
at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. The conference theme is Deaths of Cinema My title is "MyDeathSpace and Cinema: Reconfiguring Life Through Memorials." Here's my abstract:

    The popular social networking website MySpace contains over 100 million profiles, some of which belong to deceased users. In January of 2006, MyDeathSpace was launched. MyDeathSpace is a website which chronicles deceased MySpace users in conjunction with newspaper obituaries and stories submitted by friends and family; posts include links to users' MySpace profiles. When a MySpace user dies, friends and family members can submit requests to MySpace to have their late acquaintances profiles deleted from the site or to gain access to their profiles to maintain them as memorials.

    The use of MySpace profiles as memorials evokes the concepts of death and cinema on several levels: first, the memorials revolve around the deaths of individuals; second, the profiles represent the online and popular appropriation of sound and visual images by amateur content creators. This appropriation employs cinematic techniques in traditionally non-cinematic structures and spaces. Although it would seem that the death of cinema is revealed through these memorials, this paper argues that these memorials do not signify the deaths of persons or cinema, but rather the reconfiguration of the lives of each.

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