if i am forced to describe my “writing philosophy”, this is what it is. (not to distract from her amazing thoughts, but the term “girlcore” was created by me, and a lot of the ideas etc about it were also inspired by me…just saying this so people don’t think i’m just clinging onto her thoughts/ideas.)
meghan (o’neill) and i were talking about this. meghan made this amazing computer collage with screen captures of text messages between herself and i, textedit diary entries (didn’t know other people did this - i have hundreds of textedit diary entries saved on my computer), stills from photobooth videos she’d taken of herself where she’s trying on outfits or checking out her boobs, etc. we tried to think of a name for this kind of art (or writing, etc) but couldn’t come up with one. i think we were trying to describe “girlcore.” we think it includes people like you, shelbi chew, bunny rogers (i think a good example of a predecessor would be hiromix). i guess it could include non-internet stuff, but the internet/social networking/online friendships/posting pics of yourself on tumblr,fb,youtube seems like an integral part of it. basically a “personal brand” that is so deeply embedded into people’s conception of the artist that her work becomes completely inseparable from her life. specific ways of typing/talking (zzzz for example, or using all lowercase), idiosyncratic status updates, music taste, etc are all make an impact on the girlcore artist’s work, sometimes even making an appearance in the work itself. or vice versa - for example, you made an fb post about being in a trashy motel and a few hours later posted the videos/photos on your tumblr.
motifs include “girly” products (pretty designer dresses, false eyelashes, sparkly nail polish), the colour pink, indiepop/twee/shibuya-kei, and diaristic explorations of romantic relationships, sexuality, body image, ‘hipster’ and youth culture, the nature of artistic production, feminism. what’s most exciting to me is the kind of feminism that comes into play here. i don’t really know what it’s called… i guess it’s related to sex-positive feminism, lipstick feminism maybe. but when we show our bodies, turning people on isn’t the main goal. i think it’s more implicit, like we understand people might look at the photos and say “that’s hot” and welcome that reaction in a way. we’re not dumb, we know about the male gaze blahblahblah and internalizing the male gaze to the point where we think that showing naked pictures of ourselves is a form of self-expression but it’s actually just a result of late capitalism blahblahblah etc. there’s a rather romantic idealization of the body, feeling that showing pictures of our naked bodies is another form of expression, the same as writing about our day or making a drawing. i think of william blake (his valorization of the human body, sexuality, even of polyamory, as a normal and even positive part of life that we should not feel ashamed of) maybe ryan mcginley is a good example of this attitude.. but instead of hoping to lose weight, do coke with art people in new york and go on mcginley’s road trips, we take the pictures ourselves. maybe it’s sentimental in a way… i constantly take photographs of my day and write diary entries/notes. i’m afraid of forgetting. i want to have a record of everything in my life, what happened and what i looked like and felt like.
also, there’s an interesting interaction with sexual orientation here… a flirtation with lesbianism? maybe we’re just bi-curious and going through college and “everyone goes through that phase.” but maybe it’s more. there’s a sense of deep closeness, even love between us (not just you and me, but bunny, other bloggers or girl artists). the relationships i have with other girls often feel more fulfilling than my romantic relationships. in these relationships, i feel completely honest, open, understood, connected, cared for. bunny is visiting toronto soon and i want to share my bed with her. and hug her for a long time. i think of doing a performance with her and wonder how people would react. would it just look like lesbian porn made to turn on straight (yet homophobic) guys? and i wonder if the lesbian flirtation comes from that partially, just knowing guys think it’s “hot” when two pretty young girls get naked together.
but yeah today i dreamed about an art show with me you bunny maybe someone else where we all take videos of ourselves performing the pencil test (the one where you place a pencil under your breast and wait to see if it falls or not, it’s supposed to let you know if your breasts are “saggy” or not) and play them at the same time.”
—i guess this is by dragonauttt. there’s a lot going on.