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date: 20 August 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. During the ascension and commodification of Web 2.0, online music videos became host to a new kind of glitch: the digital stutter of insufficient buffering in Adobe Flash Player and other streaming media software. Some female performers recognized the potential of this electronic disruption to interrupt the male gaze and the traditional objectification of the female body. Working inside the genre of corporate music video and the logic of the glitch, performers like Madonna and Lady Gaga make visible their ambivalent relationships to patriarchal, heterocentric video culture through simulated freezes and drop outs in the streaming image. These “errors” open up intervals of frustration—and potential critical reflection—in the playback and, by extension, in the temporal structures of fantasy. In so doing, they remind the viewer that although she may perceive female music video stars as objects of fantasy, as fantasies they are not always under her control.

Keywords: glitch, music video, streaming video, feminist video, video culture, Web 2.0, YouTube, Lady Gaga, Madonna, to-be-looked-at-ness

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