Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet

Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet

Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet

Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet

Synopsis

In an era where digital media converges with new technologies that allow for cropping, remixing, extracting, and pirating, a second life for traditional media appears via the internet and emerging platforms. Pink 2.0 examines the mechanisms through which the internet and associated technologies both produce and limit the intelligibility of contemporary queer cinema. Challenging conventional conceptions of the internet as an exceptionally queer medium, Noah A. Tsika explores the constraints that publishers, advertisers, and content farms place on queer cinema as a category of production, distribution, and reception. He shows how the commercial internet is increasingly characterized by the algorithmic reduction of diverse queer films to the dimensions of a highly valued white, middle-class gay masculinity--a phenomenon that he terms "Pink 2.0." Excavating a rich set of online materials through the practice of media archaeology, he demonstrates how the internet's early and intense associations with gay male consumers (and vice versa) have not only survived the medium's dramatic global expansion but have also shaped a series of strategies for producing and consuming queer cinema. Identifying alternatives to such corporate and technological constraints, Tsika uncovers the vibrant lives of queer cinema in the complex, contentious, and libidinous pockets of the internet where resistant forms of queer fandom thrive.

Excerpt

Along with the hegemony of computers comes a certain logic, and therefore
a certain set of prescriptions determining which statements are accepted as
“knowledge statements.”

Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition

Criticism serves two important functions: it lays bare the conditions of
exclusion and inequality and it gestures toward alternative trajectories for
the future.

Heather Love, Feeling Backward

Queer is always an identity under construction, a site of permanent
becoming.

Annamarie Jagose, Queer Theory: An Introduction

In April 2014, Brendan Eich tendered his resignation as ceo of the Mozilla Corporation, a software outfit best known for its web browser Firefox. the designer of the dynamic computer programming language JavaScript, Eich was a prominent, if not exactly munificent, supporter of Proposition 8, donating a mere $1,000 to the 2008 campaign to ban same-sex marriage in the state of California. While Eich’s relatively meager contribution, exposed to public scrutiny, might well have embarrassed him on its own strictly monetary terms, it was its discriminatory objective that created a firestorm of controversy—one that fed on the ostensibly ironic contrast between JavaScript’s status as a versatile, multi-paradigm language and its creator’s apparently heterosexist single-mindedness. When, in early 2012, Twitter users first caught wind of Eich’s relationship to Prop 8, it became a trending topic, and tweets highlighting the disjuncture between JavaScript’s groundbreaking “openness” and Eich’s personal “repressiveness” began to proliferate. “Apparently @ brendaneich, father of #JavaScript, isn’t as versatile as his language,” tweeted one user, while the Los Angeles Times, operating in an equally facetious mode, posed the question “Has your 4-year-old contribution to an anti-gay marriage law suddenly resurfaced on the Internet?” Other responses were far more sobering, with several gay Mozilla employees and their partners expressing outrage over Eich’s appointment as the company’s ceo. Hampton Catlin, the computer programmer . . .

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