• The drifting gaze: Sexuality and spectatorship in the Internet age

Li, Yushi, 2024, Thesis, The drifting gaze: Sexuality and spectatorship in the Internet age PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

‘The Drifting Gaze’ investigates the fluidity of the power inherent in the gaze in the scopic field of digital social networks, seeking a new discourse around the question of the gendered gaze outside of the existing dichotomy of active men and passive women. Using psychoanalysis as my main theoretical framework, this power relationship is scrutinised and elaborated through an exploration of the concept of desire in relation to gender and sexuality. The photographic medium is both an observing tool for the investigation of the representations of men as an erotic subject and also a screen for projections of my fantasies, in which the power structure inherent in the gaze is questioned, deconstructed and examined. By putting myself inside these fantasies/photographs via different digital methods, I become a combination of director, observer, protagonist – and sometimes even prop – in the image. The fluidity of my position is facilitated by the Internet and digital technologies, questioning how the accessibility and ubiquity of images today blurs the boundaries between subjectivity and objectivity in the Internet age and how the constant connection provided by the Internet fundamentally changes the perception of the gaze. In this essay, I explore these themes through research involving psychoanalytical and philosophical theories, analyses of my own and other visual artists’ work and accounts of my own dreams. Across writing, dreams and photography, we drift between the conscious and the unconscious, the virtual and the corporeal, approaching an altered form: a theatre of sexuality and spectatorship.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gaze; Gender; Desire; Sexuality; Psychoanalysis
Date Deposited: 24 May 2024 12:59
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 12:59
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/5855
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