Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dracula: Metaphor Analysis


Vampirism stands throughout the novel as a metaphor for promiscuous sexuality. Both acts involve desire, penetration, the flow and exchange of bodily fluids (blood, in the case of vampirism), and have similar physiological effects – namely, a temporary healthy-looking flush which soon gives way to feeling drained. The Count’s threat to society lies in his ability to turn previously respectable and pure women like Lucy and Mina into voracious predators; and as an indirect consequence, to drive respectable men out of their minds with desire. It is noteworthy also that women who have been corrupted by the Count, like Lucy and the three vampire women, show anti-maternal behavior in preying upon children, thereby striking at one of the sacred aspects of Victorian womanhood.

By implication, what gives the Count such power is his great sexual prowess. One episode especially drives this home: the scene in Chapter 21 in which Mina is discovered hungrily lapping blood from the Count’s breast and later admits that she had no desire to “hinder” him from drinking her blood; her husband, meanwhile, lies powerless next to her in a stupor. This picture makes clear that in awakening sexual desire and aggression in women, the Count renders their men impotent. It is no wonder that the men find it necessary to eradicate all trace of the vampires. They do so with the guidance of Van Helsing, who teaches them to destroy vampires by driving a stake (a phallic symbol) through their hearts. Symbolically, Van Helsing is restoring the men’s lost manhood.

The three vampire women
The three beautiful vampire women who try to seduce Jonathan Harker in Count Dracula’s castle are simultaneously the ultimate fantasy figure and the ultimate nightmare. Sexually aggressive and insatiable, they bend over the passive Harker in a pose suggestive of an act of oral sex. He is overwhelmed with both longing and loathing. He is saved by the intervention of the Count, who tells them that Harker is “mine” and placates them with a child to devour. The fact that these women eat children links them with the vampire Lucy’s behavior in preying upon children and sets them in direct opposition to the maternal ideal of Victorian womanhood. The vampire women, like the Un-dead Lucy, threaten the fabric of society and are destroyed by Van Helsing with the usual phallic stake, which re-establishes male predominance.

The stake driven through Lucy’s heart
The scene in Chapter 16 in which Holmwood destroys the vampire Lucy by driving a stake through her heart is filled with the symbolism of violent sex (some critics have likened it to gang rape): “He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it.” The stake is a phallic symbol, and it is fitting that Holmwood, Lucy’s bridegroom, is the one who wields it. Her body contorts wildly, and blood flows, as would happen with the ‘deflowering’ of a virgin bride. As vigorous sex would temporarily satiate the voracious vampire Lucy’s lust, the staking of Lucy destroys for ever her predatory behavior in draining the blood of innocents. Lucy must be destroyed not only because she is a death-dealing vampire, but because she has the ability to drive honest men out of their reason with desire. She therefore poses a threat to respectable society and to its control by men.

The lunatic asylum
Seward, the director of the lunatic asylum, is hindered by his rational prejudices from understanding the threat posed by the Count – as Van Helsing, Seward’s former teacher, points out: “You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear.” It is significant that Seward and the other men – who are similarly handicapped by their over-reliance on scientific rationality – choose to run their campaign against the Count from the lunatic asylum. They live upstairs, while downstairs are the ‘official’ lunatics such as Renfield, who is, ironically, more aware than his master of the Count’s machinations. The men’s over-identification with rationality leaves them out of touch with the dark forces represented by the Count, which they cannot comprehend. Hence Seward’s stubborn resistance to seeing what the Count is up to, even in the face of evidence. Rather than believe something that lies outside his scientific mindset, he would prefer to invent fantasy explanations for which there is no evidence, such as accusing Van Helsing of being mad.

The result of such ‘half-witted’ prejudice is a great vulnerability to the irrational and unconscious side of reality. Seward is paralyzed by emotion – grief and incomprehension – after Lucy’s death, and only Mina’s intervention in insisting that he makes his diary records of her illness available to the other men sets him back on a more constructive course.

Harker is also made vulnerable by his rational prejudices. He enters a state of denial during his stay at the Count’s castle, in which he consigns his experiences to the world of dreams. The result is a nervous breakdown. Mina follows her husband’s habit of denial when she reads his diaries. While the characters remain determined not to believe in the existence of vampires, they cannot take action against them, and the Count can pursue his plans unopposed.

The lunatic asylum is divided in the same way as the modern psyche: the half-witted rational people upstairs (in psychoanalytic terms, the conscious mind), and the half-witted irrational people downstairs (the unconscious mind). Only Van Helsing, at home in both worlds, can draw upon the total power of the mind, which is why he alone has the knowledge to defeat the Count. (2005) Dracula: Metaphor Analysis [online] [Accessed 30th November 2005]


During are lecture on our special studie we were told about a program called Processing. Its an open source software and so Free the site is

It lets you create things via programming and there is also a bit for doing things for mobile phones. Im going to explore it. As this could be a cool tool for me to use for my project.

I have found one little glich tho. When I look at the code for some reason my laptop is showing it very oddly. This is something to do with my OS as it does it in Dreamweaver and my Text edit as well as some emails. I need to fix this.

Quick thought IMPORTANT!!!!

The keyloger keeps a copy of everything I type and so if I delite a line or paragraph of text it is lost to the viewer looking at my blog or what ever I am typeing but If you view the log from the keylogger the paragraph still excists. This in its self is an interesting thought.

The other thought is there are famouse works of art that we see but when they have been investigeted and x-rayed there is secret stuff underneath. Things that the artist did not want you to see. This is like the paragraphs of text I dont want you to read but that are still logged via the keylogger.

Buffy madness

This weekend just gone I spent the Friday to Monday watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my dissertation and research for my project.

I have found and been told of some disterbing effects that have happened to me.

One I did not see or speek with any other people during these 4 days and so was in total icelation and in afect I was in Buffy Land.

The things that happend to me was that I started to think Buffy and her friends were reall. I went to bed one night thinking that Vampiers exsisted as they are show in the program. I have also aparently started talking like one of the characters (Anya) and not even the one im studieing.

I was told by a close friend that my manarisums have change along with the way I talk. He also said that I was doing the stumbaly muttering thing that Willow does. So I have taken on her trates as well.

I do no that I pick up peoples accents very easaly this is a family thing as my dad will do it as well but much faster than me. This could explane me talking in a new way.

Looking at it deeply I feel I relate to Willow however the Character Anya has more freedome and my subconsious like Willow must want to aspire to be more like her with the way she can be more blunt and forth right and not worry what other people think of her.

This could be something interesting to look into and research more into for my project as it makes up part of me.

mouse track

Monday, 10 September, 2001, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Reading your mouse movements
Teenager using computer PA
Some mouse movements are common to all
By BBC News Online's Alfred Hermida

A website that can read your body language and know what you want before you have even clicked on anything may sound like science fiction.

But this is what researchers in the US are working on.

A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, US, say they have developed a way to record mouse movements on a page and learn how people behave when they are on the internet.

They found that certain movements of the mouse are common, allowing them to predict how someone uses the web.

This sort of information would be invaluable to content providers who are looking for ways of increasing the effectiveness of their websites.

"Just by looking at the way the mouse moves, I can tell whether you are reading a web page," says Ted Selker, an MIT professor focusing on context-aware computing.

"I can tell because when you read a webpage, you do one of a couple of things. You either shovel the mouse off to the right so that it is out of the way, or you will walk down the page with your mouse," he told the BBC's Go Digital programme.

Follow the Cheese

The system developed by the team at MIT is called Cheese, since they are following the mouse, like a mouse follows cheese.

This is incredible. Can you imagine if I can actually tell that you wanted to press a link but didn't

Ted Selker, MIT
It provides the means to find out exactly how people navigate a webpage.

The researchers say that if you could analyse in real time how someone goes through a website, the content and navigation could be adapted to create a more personal experience.

"This is incredible," says Mr Selker. "Can you imagine if I can actually tell that you wanted to press a link but didn't.

"And 75% of the time, I can tell that you were looking at a website but you didn't click to buy a vacation but were thinking of taking a vacation, while doing your travel plans."

"I can change the way the travel site prepares material for you based on what intentions and interests you've demonstrated through your actions that aren't even recorded in the links you followed."

Current technology

The system developed at MIT works by including mouse movement data automatically with embedded scripting. The information is analysed and stored on a server.

This collection technique is implemented using current technology and does not require any additional software on the user's browser.

For their study, the researchers took a group of 17 people familiar with computers and web browsing, but from diverse backgrounds.

They recorded the mouse activity as people performed a list of tasks common in web browsing, such as ordering a CD.

The data was evaluated by redrawing the mouse movements on each page for each user and then visually comparing the patterns on mouse behaviour.

Predicting choice

In one case, people were asked to buy a CD or DVD of their choice.

We're working very hard to make those kind of natural simple communications that people make with their body through computer interfaces

Ted Selker, MIT
By studying the mouse movements, the researchers were able to predict what their second choice would have been.

This was done by determining the link on which they hesitated longest before clicking their first choice.

Some people occasionally moved the mouse straight to the link of interest without hesitation. The MIT team believe this behaviour shows that a user has visited the page before and is familiar with its layout.

"People are extremely good at remembering graphic design," says Ted Selker.

"So when you act like you know where you are going on a place where you have no reason to know, then we know you have been there before."

Computer scenarios

The researchers now plan to put together a website with content that would change according to mouse behaviour.

The research by the team at MIT is part of their efforts to create a world where desires and intentions are enough to get computers to act on our behalf.

They aim to do this by developing environments that use sensors and artificial intelligence to create so-called "virtual sensors" - adaptive models of users to create keyboardless computer scenarios.

"We're working very hard to make those kind of natural simple communications that people make with their body through computer interfaces so that people spend less time and effort trying to laboriously remember what command to type," says Mr Selker.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Last Wednesday

Last Wednesday I tryed out an experiment to see what people in town would do if they found a postit with an email address on it.

I wrote on the postit. "What did you do with this note? Email me" and then stuck them all round town. I stuck about 30 in different places.

The next day how ever it rained which could have distroyed them and when I went back around the root I walked to place them. I could not find any even the ones inside had gone.

When checking my emails I found that I had one saying

"I took your note home and wrote this email.
Are you pleased to hear from me?"

I have since had a reply to my request for more information about this person age and why ect.

I dunno why I e-mailed.
I'm the sort of person that would...
asl == 17/m/holmfirth, u?
I play guitar, enjoy listening to music, favorite band is bruce springsteen.
I go to greenhead college and also enjoy climbing and mountaineering.
Has anyone else replied to your notes?

Very intersting but he is still the only one to have replyed to me

This weekend

This weekend i'v been watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" seassion 6 for my dissertation and thinking more about my project.

Iv been thinking about things I can collect that are me.

Im collecting everything I type, I can collect my music stuff from my Itunes, Im going to collect where I move with a GPS when they come in. Im collecting my hair into a jar as I find it in the bathroom. But im trying to think about what else defines me.

Iv got all of my emails since I got this laptop so I could use those. The sent Iteams folder.

I need to do a brain storm of what defines me and then look for ways to capture that. I was thinking Blood and DNA but that could be a bit tricky.

After talking to Jen about the Stanhope Idea she sugested using a slide film as that would make good quality images and make them relatively small. (Microfilm-look at) She also sujested the peep hole things you get in frount doors. I looked at these and I can pick up 10 for £2 something at screw fix direct website.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Key Logger

Its an odd thing recording every key stroke that you type.

I keep forgetting its there and Iv been having shall we say Adult conversations online and it has recorded them. I think I will have to senser some of the records and take spesiffic things out as well as paswords and things like that.

Does make you laff looking back at the things it keeps tho.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Primery Research

Iv emailed Verena Kuni again asking her to reply to my email questions. Iv also emailed Rudolf again with some new questions and asked him to pass them around a bit.

Iv posted the questions on the OBN website and asked people to email there replys Im not shore if that forum is working but we can keep our finggers crossed.

Iv also placed a new thread on the Forum so we can keep our finggers crossed over that.

Hopefully I will get some replys and get some research.


Friday, November 18, 2005


Why is it when you are typing that 1,000 words is so hard to get to and takes such a long time but when I had to do 200 for the project proposal I could not cut it down from 400 and the words came so easy.

Well iv done the first chapter know and it was the hardest one. Willow the Geek has had the first draft riten know only the rest to do. lol


What it recorded

{ firefox-bin 11/18/05 04:31:14 PM - 11/18/05 04:34:18 PM }

annaKey stroke loggerI just goinstalled a key stroke logger onltoto my laptop. Its kind off odd haveing something like that there. recording everything I type and every program I oppen. I m thinking about it constantly but I bet that adfter a few days I will gorforget its ther.e,.

Its interesting to see the way it recodsoarrds what I put . I will post up after this opost what it recorded. For me typeing this message to my Blogg.

The thisg cing cost me $34.99 witch hitcch isnt that bad really.


Keystroke logger

I just installed a keystroke logger onto my laptop. Its kind off odd haveing something like that there recording everything I type and every program I open. Im thinking about it constantly but I bet that after a few days I will forget its there.

Its interesting to see the way it records what I put. I will post up after this post what it recorded. For me typeing this message to my Blog.

The thing cost me $34.99 which isnt that bad really.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Asya Schween - shes breathing

Asya Schween - Who am I ?

Asya Schween - My Own Self

Asya Schween - My Own Self
Tuesday, 11 March 2003 12:15 GMT <> Next >

Larry Berman and Chris Maher, writers for Shutterbug magazine, first discovered the work of Asya Schween right here on our Nikon Talk forum. Asya's haunting, beautiful and inspiring self-portrature is the perfect example of how digital photography aides the rapid realization of your own photography skills. Asya's work stands as testimony that many who consider themselves amateur photographers have far more inside them. Asya is an exchange student from Russia doing postgraduate work at the University of Southern California. Come in to see more and read part of Larry and Chris's interview with Asya.

Article © Larry Berman and Chris Maher:

"My Own Self" the Self-Portraits of Asya Schween

We first noticed Asya Schween's haunting photographs in a forum thread about self-portraits on Intrigued by what we saw, we did some further research and were impressed to find more than a hundred carefully conceived self-portraits on her web site Asya is an exchange student from Russia, doing postgraduate work in Applied Mathematics at the University of Southern California. Despite her difficulty with spoken English, she was extremely fluent in our e-mail correspondence. Her wide grasp of the literature of many cultures and her dismissal of traditional atheistic boundaries has been the breeding ground for a host of powerful images.

There is no neutrality in response to Asya's work. It seems that almost everyone has a strong reaction, ranging from shock and the mention of mental illness to an awe and outright critical acclaim of such a mature vision and style.

Larry and Chris: Tell us a little about yourself.

Asya: I'm an ambidextrous, color-blind math grad student, 22. I have two master degrees and I'm two years away from my Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. From time to time I want to ditch my college and do photography but I'm afraid I appear to be a coward and of course such attitude doesn't lead to anything except mediocrity, to be generous. Therefore my photos are being used exclusively in a utilitarian fashion for my own hedonistic fulfillment only.
My self-portraits are not ordained by my desire to impose something upon them. I'm not an admirer/devotee/pretender of dark glamour and morbid beauty. I'm continuously producing self-portraits and sometimes disgust/terrified/upset with them myself. I do self-portraits just for fun in attempt to escape the boredom of mathematics, so I sometimes spend hours and hours to set up just one shot.

Larry and Chris: How and when did you become interested in photography?

Asya: I was indifferent to photography for a long time as I never liked family albums. To me, family albums were (and still are) the quintessence of life's superficiality. My 35mm point-n-shoot camera is still somewhere in my drawers, gathering dust. Two years ago I've got my first digital camera, Canon PowerShot G1, as a not-so-thrilling but quite expensive gift. I quickly became enamored with the digital ease-of-use and opportunity of making refinements on the fly. However, I was still apathetic to the dull nondescript scenic shots and faceless group portraits. A drastic change in my life happened a couple months later, I'll tell you more about that later.

Larry and Chris: Have you ever taken a course in photography, or are you totally self-taught?

Asya: When I was 11, I fell in love for the first time, with my classmate. I joined a photo club just to be close to him. Three months later I began attending another school, forgot my first all-in-all and that was the end of my proper education in photography.

Larry and Chris: What were your earliest photographs like?

Asya: In a word, inexpressive. They all failed to convey my emotions, the transcendent fundamentals of the objects I was shooting, well enough. For example, my visit last year to San Francisco stunned my senses; the city itself reminded me of Dostoevsky's Petersburg - dark and obscure, but magnetic and intellectual. The photographs, however, turned out dull and insipid.

Larry and Chris: Can you tell us a bit about your childhood, especially any nurturing of artistic talent?

Asya: Nurturing of artistic talent? I was born in the family of young engineers; I am the second child, second daughter. My dad secretly, but desperately, wanted a boy, so I was raised as a tomboy, climbing trees, scraping knees and stealing ammonium nitrate from neighbor's garage. My parents were strict and unrelenting disciplinarians. Pretense and artificiality of emotions were disapproved and always derided. I was sent to advanced school with emphasis on physics and mathematics, later I got my bachelor's degree in Physics (just like my dad) and was accepted to applied math graduate program here in the U.S.

Larry and Chris: When did you begin the series of self-portraits, and how did this come about?

Asya: I was shooting an abandoned piano in the back yard of my apartment complex; it was just another vain endeavor to express/communicate my thoughts and feelings. In a burst of irritation I swiveled the LCD screen all the way around and took a photo of my aggrieved face and was unexpectedly pleased with the result. I clearly remember my mounting excitement as I rushed home and started taking photos of my dissatisfied facial expression.

Larry and Chris: What are your future plans, and how definite are you about them?

Asya: I'm now 22, I'm planning to finish my Ph.D. studies in a year or two. I'm trying to recall what else I promised to my mom and I hope I never ever mentioned Fields Medal in mathematics to her, as it would make me head for this unfeasible award as well. My parents do not want to hear anything about photography and I myself realize that being an ever-lasting amateur would continue to delude me that I'm not a mediocre scientist but a might-have-been professional fine art photographer. I have a glorious, promising, challenging, as well as splendid, magnificent and delightful professional future of applied mathematician.

Larry and Chris: Would you like to make a living from your art?

Asya: Yes, if it doesn't imply working solely for mercenary reasons.

Larry and Chris: What do you like to do when you're not creating images or attending to your studies?

Asya: I enjoy reading. I'm not well-read when it comes to discussing/describing the literature; I'm a silent Greek sea sponge that thankfully imbibes the literary moisture without any transcendental argumentation.

Larry and Chris: What kinds of equipment are you using, both photographic and otherwise?

Asya: I have two digital cameras - Canon PowerShot G1 and Nikon CoolPix 5700, I also have Zenith AM, Polaroid Sx-70 and an antique folding Kodak camera. I'm happy with my three 500 Watt heavy-duty garage lamps, half a dozen of flashlights and home-made soft boxes. I bought $10 fabric for my background and I'm also a proud owner of several 58mm filters. I also have Epson Stylus Color 777 printer, 2.53 GHz P4 computer and 19" ViewSonic monitor.

Larry and Chris: What about the props used in your pictures. Your images, though simple in composition, are well thought out complex statements.

Asya: "Props! Oh yeah, props! Last week I caught myself buying useless stuff to make one shot and then throw it away. I'm renting a tiny studio (as in "studio apartment", not "the working place of a painter, sculptor, or photographer ") in South Central, LA and my room and kitchenette are cluttered with IKEA storage boxes, canvas supplies and mathematical textbooks."

Larry and Chris: How much time do you spend making your images?

Asya: All of my spare time is absorbed by taking and processing pictures.

Larry and Chris: How has your use of digital cameras affected your self-portraits?

Asya: It's probably the other way around, my self-portraits has affected the use of the camera

Larry and Chris: Do you view the LCD screen before you trip the shutter?

Asya: Not anymore. When I first started, I always monitored the final composition in my PowerShot swivel LCD screen, now I find a certain pleasure in making 'blind' portraits and most of my recent work is done this way.

Larry and Chris: We've seen many of your pictures posted to forum threads on dpreview. Are the images accompanying your posts on the dpreview forum pulled from your files or done on the spot?

Asya: Few of them were done immediately after reading the forum (e.g. one with the boxing-glove), the rest were pulled from my collection.

Larry and Chris: How much post-exposure manipulation is used in creating your images? To what degree are your images pre-visualized?

Asya: Most of the times, I'm trying to catch a certain expression/frame of mind, so I already keep a deliberate and well-visualized image in my head. Very often I have to post-process the resulting image in order to perfect the final mood.

Larry and Chris: How do you feel about the attention being paid to your work?

Asya: Obviously it is one of the most contradictory feelings I've ever experienced before, the one that is worth catching in a pile of bytes on my hard drive. I once compared this sensation to the feelings of 'lusus naturae' from the cabinet of curiosities, but obviously there's more than that.

Larry and Chris: How important to you is the effect that your images have on others, or that they have any effect at all?

Asya: Apparently, my collection is more than a family album that I've mentioned above, so public exposure does not leave me passionless. At the same time, each of my self-portraits is an end product, stark fossil that I thoroughly collect for unknown reasons as an inveterate philatelist or numismatist. Overall, I feel a presence of thick glass that separates me from the visitors and lets me study the reaction from the distance.

Larry and Chris: Some of your portraits have a strong erotic or sexual undertone. Can you speak about that?

Asya: Again, I'm not good with definitions; to me, virtually any object can be strongly marked or affected by sexual desire. It is neither bad nor good; it is a private measure of your own visual perception. Yes, I sometimes intend to enclose a sexual impact in my portraits but it is never meant to be indecent or vulgar.

Larry and Chris: What artists and photographers do you admire, and how may you have been influenced or inspired by them?

Asya: I enjoy a healthy view of life of Jean-Baptiste Mondino and somewhat repulsively attracted to the work of Joel-Peter Witkin.

Larry and Chris: Your work is a bit reminiscent of Cindy Sherman's. Are you familiar with her images?

Asya: I found out about Cindy Sherman's work recently, a friend accused me of direct replication of her work. However, I believe our works differ a lot. I see her art as a series of cinematographic tableaux that refer to intentionally generalized and abstract anonymous female roles in modern society. Her self-portraits deliberately lack authentic human emotions, while mine scream for the presence of those.

Larry and Chris: You summarize the essence of Cindy Sherman's work with a remarkable clarity. Reaching out to all media, in all time periods, what artists, musicians, and other creative people can you point to who have truly captured the powerful emotions you seek to portray in your photographs? Have you ever studied their approaches to the creative process?

Asya: Here's an incomplete list without any order or forethought: painter, sculptor, architect Michelangelo Buonarroti, violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini, depressive lyrical monologues of German gothic group "Sopor Aeternus", modern Brazil artist Adriana Varejão, impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, Russian poet Feodor Tyutchev, most of German expressionists (E. L. Kirchner, Käthe Kollwitz, and George Grosz).

Larry and Chris: Do you previsualize an image that has that energy in it, or do you seek it on your camera's LCD? And how do you know you have captured it when you are finished with an image?

Asya: The camera is not the decisive element in finding the image; it is a wayward tool of seizing it. I do not remember ever being happy with the resulting images. Self-portraits do not frustrate me that much - most of the time I'm still able to relate my facial expressions to the naturally many-sided essence of my (and everyone's) being. Honestly, from time to time I'm giving up on capturing inanimate objects, the process starts reminding me of spiritualism - sitting around a table, holding hands and communicating with the reticent lifeless surroundings. In general, photography challenges me constantly - intellectually, and emotionally.

Trite as it sounds, these self-portraits are reflections of my own self, grotesque interplay of my mind and body realities, something rather personal, "Asya Schween! Inexpensive soothing art for bedroom walls! Deep, penetrating, sensual! Dirt-cheap! Buy one today!"

In the past, artists would have to pound the pavement making appointments with art directors, editors, and gallery owners to try and get their work discovered and published. Now, all it takes is the creative drive, a web site and the understanding of the promotional opportunities the web can offer. Of course, a little luck also helps.

Try Lobotomy!
"Application of frontal lobotomy in treatment of various mental disorders has lead Egaz Moniz to his Nobel Prize while to many psychotic people it meant the reduced ability to respond emotionally and/or intellectually. Sounds like a charm song and a panacea for all mental illnesses. Now, when we have non-sedating tranquilizers, lobotomy, I believe, is rarely performed, if ever. But… if you feel anxious or depressed, obsessive-compulsive or just a bit upset and tired - pick a simple ice-pick, insert it to your nose and bang on it with a hammer. Try Lobotomy! Satisfaction Guaranteed!"
Absolute Self Portrait
"I rarely visit my website - there's no contact info to keep updated, no guest books or comment boxes to check. My site is deaf and dumb as it was intended. But even when I do check it, I usually languish idly as I skim through my portraits that crowd much like the giggling children's choir and sing out of tune. The surplus of emotions that I see inhibits my personal feedback. Ever since I first noticed this reaction I was trying to come up with the emotionless self-portrait - cold-blooded, blank, non-transparent and calm - the one that provokes feeling, but doesn't convey them itself. Well, the above work is the result of my efforts on this path."
Be My Valentine
"Frankly, I'm fed up with terrifyingly cloying hearts and pink "love me" v-cards on February 14th. We're wasting a huge amount of time trying to decipher rhythmic contractions of our little force pumps. Let's at least be honest and face how it really looks when somebody tears your heart out."
Forbidden Dreams
"This work is more of kitsch - a puerile attempt to mimic our natural impulses that are considered obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent. "Forbidden dreams" mainly aims the audience that rejects (my) art in a traditional puritan manner due to 'uncertain' emotions that such work/art delivers."
Lewd Threesome
"When I was six, my parents convinced me that I'm old enough and passed all my dolls to our neighbors that had four children and lived right above us on the third floor. I've spent hours and hours gazing through the window, watching these kids playing with my toys in the back yard. Last summer I was eyeballing eBay and found a cheap lot of vintage dolls. While bidding, I was so afraid that someone would steal my treasure at the very last moment… I finally got them, gave them a bath and then I played with them every evening for a week or so. Surely, we've got close (having relations, as people sometimes persist in calling it) and "Lewd Threesome" is just another memory of that serene period of my life."
Got Bliss?
"I sometimes make snapshots for my parents and friends a la "Asya Schween at Girl Scout Camp", e.g. self-portraits that are mainly utilitarian and serve to reflect my physical (rather than emotional) fitness. Here is me as my co-workers, students, friends see me every day - smug posture and happily benighted stare. Yes, that's me."
Man of Motley
"What happens if one changes his skin tones from white to black? Where does his white supremacy go? Does he start hearing Djembe's beat at every sunrise? I guess it's different for every person. I've tried once and that's how I became a man of motley. "
The Spleen
"I have no doubts that I have a wealth amount of unaccounted black bile circulating in my blood. This cardinal humor imperceptibly poisons my mind and from time to time makes me melancholic and irascible."
Forget Me Not
I've never thought of sharing my selfportraits back in 2001, I made them solely for my own entertainment. This photo is an ersatz of Alexander Pushkin's "Exegi Monumentum": "Not all of me is dust. Within my song, safe from the worm, my spirit will survive." I've made myself embalmed! A shrine to Asya Schween has been already built. "Forget Me Not" is a stealthy monument that I have once erected for myself and worshiped it in solitude since then.
Probably one of my very first self-portraits, I made it in December 2000. It was the end of my first year in U.S., Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sunk, I was 20 years old and life seemed dreary and meaningless.
Long time ago, in my early childhood, I was quite sure that I'm absolutely clean and empty inside. I thought of myself as a hollow bamboo, growing on the Holy Mountain. Later I've discovered that there are yards of sickening wire, gallons of incarnadine viscid liquid and hundreds of crafty mechanisms inside my body. I've also learned that even a 60's Chevy truck is more reliable than my internal network - one day the innermost part of me will cease functioning, period. Now, when I've learned about mechanisms of aging, I know, that damage accumulates over the time - nice and slow. My body imperceptibly rots and deteriorates, damage accumulates and I inevitably die. And if you would care to look closer at my 22 years old body, you already see the first signs of my untimely death.

Larry Berman and Chris Maher are photographers, writers, and web designers, specializing in image intensive photography sites. For more information visit their web sites and

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Willow as Hybrid - The trasistions of her character though stereotypes associated to women in sci-fi

Introduction (461)

For this dissitation Im going to look at Willow Rosenberg from the TV series "Buffy the Vampia Slayer" (BVS) as a hybrid female character. During my research for this dissitation I have looked at several female characters and how they all have elements of geek, hero, villan, babe as well as other more uneack characteristecs. For example Trinity from the Matrix is at first a hearo and then turns to more of a babe and love interest.

However for this dissitation and due to the limited word count Im going to focuse on Willow as she encapsulates all of these elements as well as some added extras.

I will look into the steriotypes of Willow and how though representation she has several elements to her personality. I will look at Willow as a Geek, Willow as a Witch, Willow as a Villain, Willow as a Massiah and Willow's Sexuality and how this infulences her and the different elements of her self.

We are introduced to Willow in the first episode of the show as a shy, nervous, naive and fairly stereotypical american high school 'Geek' with low self-esteem and a knack of being exceptionally clumsy. She is very good at science as well as with a computer and knows hacking tricks which are needed to advance the plot.

Many jokes are played off her character's apparent innocence and sweetness, which allow her lightly risqué statements to be humorous. From its initial stereotype, her character becomes much more complex as the series progresses which can be put down to her friends, the frightening experiences she overcomes and meeting her lover Tara Maclay.

Over the seven seasons Willow magical power as a witch increases as her self-esteem increeses she also experiments with her sexuality and finaly comes out as a lesbian.

Willow as well as Buffy has appered in every 144 episodes of the series. The other main characters in the show are Buffy, Xander and Giles.

The four main charicters of Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles compaire them selves to the 'Scoobi Gang' in reference to the '70s TV cartoon Scooby-Doo and refer to them selves as the 'Scoobies'. This comparison is very aparent in the relationship between Buffy and Willow. Durring my dissitation I will compair these simularitys and disscuss them in more depth.

They also use the term (to) Scully meaning to explain paranormal activitys with scientific rationlal. This is in homage to Dana Scully of 'The X-Files' ("I cannot believe that you of all people are trying to Scully me")

During this dissitation I am going to look deeper into Willow and I will mention other characters such as Spike (a Vampira), Tara Maclay (a witch and Willows lover), Oz (Willows First Love) as well as Angel (a Vampira).

Willow as Geek (1,051)

Willow's intriduction to us as viewers is of an inteligent but shy indervidual. She is nervous, naive and forfills the tennage school geek steriotype.

She is an extreamly bright student and very talentend with science and on a computer, as she performs hacking tricks to help her friends thought out the episodes.

Here dress code is very plane and often humoruse. Unlike Buffy who dresses sexualy and fashionably, Willow tends to stick to more comfortable cloths. However as her character evolves and changes, her aperance and cloths change to help show the viewers that she is a different Willow. I will go into this in more detail in later chapters when I disccuss Willow as a Witch, Massiah, Villain and her Sexuality.

The Geek Willow creates a poler oppersit for the later 'Dark' Willow. This makes us as viewers conect deeper with the character as a we feel we no this representation fo Willow and understand the reasons behind her change to evil.

The Geek Steriotype is also used for comic effect, allowing the tention of violent and scarry sceens to be lightened. Willow also makes Buffy look better in terms of looks and apperance. The same way as lieing next to a fat person on the beach makes us look better, or at least we think it does.

However Buffy's intelegence is deffinetly not at the same level as Willow. This is one of the simularitys bettween BVS and the 'Scoobie Gang'. The charicters Velma/Buffy and Betty/Willow have a distinct inteligence gap however the more popular 'cheer leader' type leads the group.

Willow is constatly trying to build her confidence and her Identity though out the entier seriece of BVS. She feels like an outsider of the group her orquad and geekish aperance and behaviors icealet her from the norm and make her feel more of an out cast. With her use of Magick she begins to find her self and we start to see her charicter grow in her self more. I will disscuss Willows use of magick and the why we she her charicter change later chapters.

As (***) states in her paper about Willow's split charicter "Her love of academic learning, new technology and researching magic are defining features of Willow's character. It is her love of knowledge, or the tools of knowledge, that seemed to spark Willow's initial interest in magick. Willow's love of text, which inspires her knowledge seeking, is essentially a means to an end: she requires the text in order to find knowledge, and by extension power." (**** 2005)

This statement sums up Willow's charicter perfictly she finds her knowledge and therefore her power in her reseach be it from books or computers. She fits in perfectly with the famous quote "Knowledge is power" by Sir Francis Bacon. However with this power Willow does not see her self as haveing a clear identiy in the group, where as the other members see her as a strong relyable source of power, stability and experience.

This identity that she creates is a fragile one and she has to belong to some one in order to feel secure. This can be seen in her relationships with Xander, Oz and then Tara. As Battis argues "Willow's relationship with Tara, like her realtionship with Oz, only further demonstrates her dis(embodiment) as a subjet whose mentality and materiality is fragmented.... She must belong to Tara, to Oz, to Xander, in order to be inscribed by meaning, by the validity that others place in her" (Battis 2003). This results in Willow lossing herself when ever the person she feels she belongs to eather leaves, dies or finds another partner, making her charicter very unstable.

As a geek steriotype this insicurity in ones self fits in well to the stay at home in your room and only deal with the world from behind a computer screen. It means that all elements of your life can be controled and therefor it makes life safer and calculated. This makes Willow an intersting charicter to look into as she has this vunrabiliy as well as a grate strenth that she finds from her Magick.

One element that brakes the geeks steriotype of Willow is the fact that she is female. We do not think of women as beeing geeks or even to be involved in technology such as computers. Though out my research I have looked at cyberfeminisum and how women and technology are represented.

Willow's charicter brakes the traditional steriotype by being female and as Donna Haraway argues agenst the "cultural dichotomies between 'male technologys' and 'female nature' to propose a different nothion of a hybrid or fragile self whose capacities are no longer built up on a concept of identity and demarcation, but rather on diverging concepts of embodiement, figgernce and solidarity. For Haraway, there is no consistent or 'natural' notion of 'femininity' or 'womanhood' and especially no state of being that could be called 'woman'. " (Kuni, V. 1998)

If we take what Haraway says into note the consept of a female geek is easy to represent as we no longer have a consept of female or gender. However the gender steriotype of Willow as female is also played upon as unlike Buffy's strong and sometimes male tendencies. Willow stayes in the background, is often in danger, the damsel in distress steriotype and she is also relativly week with out her Magick.

Which leads us back to the begining of Willow as a Geek. To sumarise Willow is a fragile, nervause and dependent charicter. She has to belong to some one to feel a part of something and part of the group. This makes her personality very fradgile and so when the Power she gains from her Magick develops she needs the support of Tara and her other friends to keep it under controle. Nevertheless as I will discuss in later chapters this support is streatched to the limits and almost results in the epocalips.

Willows Geek side give the seriece humor as well as a more down to earth human side she is the loveable charicter we can all relate to from our younger days when we felt the odd ones out and the wall flowers. We enjoy watching her develop and grow into her self.

Willow as Witch (1,637)

Willow's power and streanth comes from her magic. The stronger her magic the more confident she becomes. However the power becomes an adiction and we see Willow going though the same as any drug user going though rehabilitation and with drawal.

Willow's charicter being one that is shy and slighly detached from the group means that though finding her self in the 'Magicks' as she refers to them, means that her charicter has more responsabilitys in the group and so more status but this leads to her becomeing more icolated as well due to the fact that Magick is only understood by her and the new character we meet Tara.

Due to Willow's dependent personality and her relationship with Tara which becomes romantic. Willow becomes dependent and feels as tho she belongs to Tara. This alows her to be stronger and her Magick becomes more powerful. Nevertheless when Tara is killed by a bulet that was ment for Buffy this pushes Willow over the edge and the Power inside her takes over. The dispare at the loss of her lover and the only one she feels to truly understand her has been taken from her.

This dispare and anger manifests its self in 'evil' and is represented by changing Willows apperance. Her normaly red/orange hair turns black as do her eyes. Her cloths become black and are no longer fuzzy and comical. She also shortens her long vocabulary to short brisk commands such as "take a nap", "stop" and "back off" these are seen in 'The Wish' [3ABB09] and 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] as well as later episodes when she becomes the real 'Dark' Willow.

In the episode 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] Willow is horrified to observe that "I'm so evil and . . . skanky! And I think I'm kinda gay" at this time in the series Willow is in a relationship with Oz and so her later gay relationship which intern results in her most powerful and most evil state as a witch has not yet occured. Meaning that she has not yet discovered her true self.

As Willow's power from her Magick grows her status in the group starts to shift. She is no longer the one who has to be working on the computers, the poor defenslace geek. She becomes strong and asertive we see this in the new style of cloths that she starts to ware no longer the pink fluffy jumbers but a more trendy look. As her power grows and with her relationship with Tara who has know replace the geeky, shy and 'screaming girl' steriotype that Willow used to play. Willows power starts to rival that of Buffy's streanth. We start to see cracks in Buffy in 'Fool for Love' [5ABBO7] in this episode Buffy is betten by a Vampia and actualy gets staked her self and she is also trying to find out why the other slayers got killed.

This shows that Buffy also has a weeker side she fears death and a premature death. The power change in the group takes grater affect when Willow becomes 'Dark' Willow. Her new power means that Buffy is no longer the one in control and as she says "the Law" but Willow is. In the end it is not Buffy that maniges to stop the Willow courcing the epocolips but it is Xanders who manages to get though to Willow with his childhood recolections of "crayon-breaky Willow" "First day of kindergarten. You cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion. But the thing is? Yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love ... scary veiny Willow. So if I'm going out, it's here. If you wanna kill the world? Well, then start with me. I've earned that." [6ABB22]

It is Xander's love for Willow that brings her back from the brink. She has lost the person that she feels the closesd to (Tara) and can never she her again due to her death and her dispare and Magick Power almost distroys the world. We as viewers can all relate to the way she is feeling. When we lose some one we truly love we feel as tho the world should stop and can not comprehend why it does not. If we had the power that Willow posesses it is entirely possible that we would do exactly as she dose. Revenge Tara's death and then in our total disspare and feeling as tho no one loves us destroy the world. Xanda's expression of love shows Willow there is still something to live for and so brings her back from the brink.

In conclusion Willow's Magick defines her in the group as well as giving her more confidence and presence. Her status as a Witch and eventualy a renowned powerful Witch means the group as a hole becomes stronger. However the Magick also icolates Willow from the group as she is the only one until Tara arives who understands it. The power of her Magick also becomes an adiction as she becomes stronger and she is faced with a difficult desison of giving it up compleatly or lossing her self and the people she loves.

When Willow desides to give up the magicks we understand how she feels about her self when she is talking to Buffy in 'Wrecked' [6ABB10] after Willow took Dawn to the Magick dealer because she needed a hit when she was supposed to be looking after her. After they leave the dealer Willow is acting spaced out and not her normal self which upsets Dawn but to make maters worse a Demon attacks them which they escape by stealing a car which Willow crashes nocking her self out and leaving Dawn vunrable and inevitably she gets ingered. Luckly Buffy comes to the rescue even tho it is Willow in the end that kills the Demon Dawn and the others are still dissapointed in Willow. Due to this Willow Desides to quit the Magicks and begs Buffy for her help. We later hear this converstation in Willows Bedroom and find out what she really thinks about her self.

" BUFFY: Will, there's nothing wrong with you. You don't need magick to be special.
WILLOW: Don't I? I mean, Buffy, who was I? Just ... some girl. Tara didn't even know that girl.
BUFFY: You are more than some girl. And Tara wants you to stop. She loves you.
WILLOW: We don't know that.
BUFFY: I know that. I promise you.
WILLOW: I just ... it took me away from myself, I was ... free.
BUFFY: I get that. More than you- But it's wrong. People get hurt.
WILLOW: If something had happened to Dawn tonight ... something worse...
BUFFY: I know.
WILLOW: No, I don't think you do. I-I ... I was out of my mind, I ... I did things I can't even...
WILLOW: It won't happen again, I promise. No more spells. I'm finished.
BUFFY: Good. I think it's right. To give it up. No matter how good it feels.
WILLOW: It's not worth it. Not if it messes with the people I love.
WILLOW: The magic wasn't all great. I won't miss the nosebleeds and the headaches and stuff.
BUFFY: There you go.
WILLOW: Or ... keeping stinky yak cheese in my bra..... Don't ask.
BUFFY: Now I don't have to.
WILLOW: 'Cause it's over.
BUFFY: Exactly. It's over."

From this converstation with Buffy we see that Willow thinks that with out the magicks she is nothing. She uses the magick to define her. Later on when Willow becomes 'Dark' Willow we hear her talking to Buffy again about her self and she tells us again but more agressivly what she thinks of herself with out Magick.

" BUFFY: Willow, I know what you want to do, but you have to listen to me. The forces inside you are incredibly powerful. They're strong ... but you're stronger. You have to remember you're still Willow.
WILLOW: (scoffs) Let me tell you something about Willow. (advancing toward Buffy) She's a loser. And she always has been. People picked on Willow in junior high school, high school, up until college. With her stupid mousy ways. And now? Willow's a junkie.
BUFFY: I can help.
WILLOW: The only thing Willow was ever good for...
WILLOW: ...the only thing I had going for me ... were the moments - just moments - when Tara would look at me and I was wonderful. (grimly) And that will never happen again. "

We see her that Willow thinks that she was "stupid" and "mousy" and that the thing that definde her and she felt she was ever good for was to be with Tara who has know been taken from her. This relates to the way she defines her self by belonging to some one. She belonged to Tara and know that she has go she has no meaning and so no purpas to be normal Willow and nothing to hold her back from being 'Dark' Willow and using magick as that reason has been removed.

The power eventualy takes her over due to the death of Tara and we watch as Willow goes on a revengful killing spree and almost causes the end of the world. Nevertheless Xander shows her there is still meaning in her life and still love in the world and so averting the apocalips.

Willow is defined by being a Witch but she is also controled by it. It keeps her from being totaly incorperated in the group but at the same time a strong member of the group. I will disscuss in more detail in the next chapter about how the 'Dark' Willow acts and how she is represented.

Willow as Massiah (888)

At the end of seasion 6 we see the death of Buffy. She totaly gone and when seasion 7 begins we are confuess to see her up and fighting again. However this miraculus recovery is not true Buffy is still dead and the 'thing' we see is a robot that was created for Spike by Waren in a previouse episode in seasion 5 and know that Willow maintains and reprograms so that the Vampires and other demons still think that the slayer is in town.

This creation is one example of Willow being a geek as well as a Massiah she the master of a creation a life, be it a robot. When the robot is damage it is programed to return to Willow for repairs. Its god its fixer is Willow. The Buffy bot as it is refered to can fight the same as the reall Buffy can but the rest of the scoobies still feel the loss of the reall Buffy.

This leads to Willow comeing up with the plan to reserect Buffy with magick. She has found that because Buffy did not die a natural human death there is a chance the she can bring her back from where Willow thinks is a Hell dimention.

She manages to convince Tara, Xanda and Anya that they should bring Buffy back and start to colect the things that they need to resercet Buffy. Willows magicks have been growing stonger over the past episode and she is starting to feel the power with in her. This magick act of reserecting Buffy is the begining of the 'Dark' Willow. We see Willow killing a living creater (a fawn) to get its blood, she does not tell the others what this ingrediant is she can not addmit it to her self. She feels repulsed that she has taken a life. This first tip toe into the dark arts give her a tast of the power that is available.

This is also the start of Willows addiction to the Magicks which I will disscuss more in the next chapter about Willow as a Villain. After Willow has reserected Buffy and she know has the taste for the Magicks she starts to become arrigont this can be seen in a screen when she is talking to Giles after the reserection and his return. He says to her in 'Flooded' [6ABBO4] "of everyone here.... you were the one I trusted most to respect the forces of nature" he the calls her a "rank, arrogant amateur" she replies to him by saying "Your right the magics I used are very powefull, Im very poweful, and maby its not such a good idea for you to piss me off". When she says this line her hole character changes and we see a glims of 'Dark' Willow. There is no physical change yet we still hear her voice change and become harsher, her manarisums change and she staires at Giles. However when she has delivered the line she litraly shakes off the 'Dark' side and we see and hear the normal Willow again and she tryes to reason with Giles.

Willows new self confidence with the power that she know has due to the Magicks means that the Willow we all no and love starts to lose her grip and she starts to shift her belife system to fit the way the magicks makes her feel. Her old ways of thinking of only using magick to help others is blown out the window and we see her using magick to create party decorations and she even wants to use the magick to clean the magick shop but Giles stops her.

Both Tara and Giles see her use off magick as dangeruse for her. The power rush is going to her head and we see the two characters becoming more and more conserend for her well being. Tara trys to confront Willow and they have an argument that leads to Willow doing a spell on Tara so that she forgets they ever had an argument. This in turn leads to Tara leaving Willow.

In Willows greaf of the loss of Tara the one person she feels she belongs to and so defining herself she she desides that she needs a replacement and so brings Amy (also a poweful witch) back from being a rat. This gives Willow a play mate alowing her to go off and have fun with her power. It is Amy that introduces Willow to the Magick Dealer how 'jacks' Willow up on some more powerful magick.

This is were the paralel with drug users starts. The location of the Magick Dealer is represented as a 'drug den' and the occupiers act like adicts, withdrawn and in need of a 'hit'. When Willow gets her 'hit' we see her stuck to the celing of the room and having a trip. We see though her eyes and we see a halusanagenic trip with vivid greens and reds and strange creaters. The trip eventualy turns bad and Willow crashes to the floor. Willow then looks at the camera and we see her with black eyes for the first time and we understand as the viewer that this magick is bad for her. This will become an adiction for her and will only lead to bad things.

Willow as Villain (1,383)

Willow is represented as a Villain in two instances. When she is a Vampire in 'The Wish' [3ABB09] and 'Doppelgangland' [3ABB16] and when she becomes 'Dark' Willow at the end of Seasion 6 ('Villans' [6ABB20], 'Two to Go' [6ABB21] and 'Grave' [6ABB22])

Nevertheless when we see Willow as a Vampire we would regard her has typical evil she wants to be evil as she has been changed into a Vampire (a demon) therefor there is nothing but evil in her. But when we see 'Dark' Willow it is the 'spark' of humanity as Giles puts it in 'Grave' that saves the world because it is that 'spark' that Xander can get though to.

These two oposits of Villains and there portrail give Willows charecter more dept. The Vampire Willow is created in an alturnat reality beacuse Buffy was never born. Vampire Willow dresses in tight leather but her hair stays red. She also acts in a suductive manner. Makeing the charecter evil but also sexy and we still have an attachment to her. We like to see her having more fun and freedom even tho she is a Vampire.

It is simular to her magick power that when she has this 'power' over others she has more self confidence. The 'power' created due to her Vampireness and the 'power' due to her magick both empower her character and brake her from that need to belong. Yet they still icealate her from the rest of the group and so the feelings of being the odd one out still remain even tho she has power and so self confidence.

Willow is and all ways will feel out of place. Even when she has 'power' in one form or another. She will feel more out of place after she loses the magick due to the fact that she has taken a human life and what she almost did (destroying the world).

When she becomes 'Dark' Willow her cloths and aperance change again. Her eyes go black simular to a sharks eyes, her hair goes black and her cloths as well are black. There is not sexyness about her she is dressed in a practical way trousers, top and over jacket. Her speech and way of deliverying her speech is also different to Vampire Willow. The manner is direct and to the point were as Vampire Willows is more suductive and playful. They both use shorter words and phrazes than 'normal' Willow such as "bord know" and "take a nap". However when 'Dark' Willow delivers these phrazes they are more agressive than Vampire Willows delivery of them.

This is another way that the distinction between the differnet aspects of Willow is portrayed to the audiance. So that we can keep a track of what Willow we are watching.

Vampire Willow also has her Vampire face to help us distingish. This is a common part of the Vampire look in BVS. All the Vampires have what is like an alter ego. When they talk and act when there faces are normal humans they are sexy, valuptues creatures and this is how they lear in there pray they in affect seduce them. When they change to Vapire mode there speech changes there is normaly a slight lisp due to the fangs, there eyes change colour normaly yellow simular to the portrail of a wild animal. There new face is also the total oppersit of there human face it is grotesc, rupusive and scarry. You would not what to meet them in a dark ally way.

The physical streant of the two characters is also different a Vampire automaticly gets a type of supper streath where as 'Dark' Willow has to perform magick on her self so that she can have the same streath as Buffy so she can fight her and subsiquently beat her. This also draws a different to the two sides of Willow. The Vampire is more brown and sexuality were as 'Dark' Willow is more of a mental creater she relies on her knowlage and feelings to guide her. She has to litraly absorbe the Dark Arts books so that she can perform her magicks. She also has to keep topping up her 'power' as she becomes drained. Where as Vampire Willow once she becomes a Vampire has a new instict and her streanth does not run out like 'Dark' Willows magicks. Unless of cource she tires from fighting to much, so in that respect they are simular.

As I mentioned earlyer one of the main differences between Vampire and 'Dark' Willow is the spark of Humanity that is left inside Willow allowing her to come back to being the Willow we all no and love. This spark is enhanced by Giles tricking 'Dark' Willow into taking the magick that he was intrusted with. This new 'power' is stronger than anything she has felt before giving her a very big trip.

The image of Willows face blurs to give the effect to the audiance that she is tripping out and how strong this new magick is for her and she even comments "Im so Juiced". When the rush starts to settle down she starts to realise that she has to much power and as she puts it "mortal person has ... ever had ... this much power" She then realises that she is connected to every one in the world and all of there emotions "All the emotion. All the pain. No, it, it's too much. It's just too much." Giles trys to tell her that it does not have to be this way and that she can stop it. It is this that makes her deside to stop all the pain "Yeah. I, I can. I have to stop this. I'll make it go away. [.....] Oh, you poor bastards!" It is this that makes her deside to distroy the world to stop the pain.

It is this connection with humanity and her desire to in a very drastic way to help by stopping the pain that horifies the audiance but also gives us that glimmer of hope she is not acting out of hait and revenge any more like she was when she tortures and killed Warren. She is know acting out of compasion be it confused and dangurouse. This means that she still has some humanity in her.

It is this spark that defines the difference between 'Dark' Willow and Vampire Willow. Xanders love for Willow eventualy gets though to 'Dark' Willow saving the day with his talk about childhood memorys "First day of kindergarten. You cried because you broke the yellow crayon, and you were too afraid to tell anyone. You've come pretty far, ending the world, not a terrific notion. But the thing is? Yeah. I love you. I loved crayon-breaky Willow and I love ... scary veiny Willow. " This memorry helps to remind her of her humanity and his love for her. He keeps repeating the words "I love you" and getting in the way of her magick. Leting her get out her anger and pain on him instead of the World.

This sceen is a brilliant meterfor of a person in greaf after the loss of a loved one. When we are in this state we can not understand why the world still turns and why we still breath. The loss and greaf is so grate. Willows magick means that she can act out what we as normal humans feel and wish we could do when we feel the same things as she is feeling. This creates a grate repore between the character and the audiance as we can relate to how she is feeling exactly and we understand her desire.

To clarify Willow is portrayed as two types of Villain in BVS she is a Vampire who is representing more of her sexuality than her evil side. She dresses in leather and talks and acts in a suductive manner. Where as 'Dark' Willow is pure black energy she is driven by greaf and vengence. Her hair, eyes and cloths are all black and there is nothing sexual about her at all. Nevertheless she has a 'spark' of humanity in her still and this alows her to come back to being the Willow we all no and love.

Willow's Sexuality (1,089)

Willow's sexuality is an integral part of her character. Though out the seven series she has several partners. Starting with Oz her first boyfriend and the first person she has a sexual relationship with.

She has also had a crush on Xander her best friend since kindergarden. This story of unrquited love brings tention to the relationship and gets the audiacne behind the characters hopeing for the relationship to become more than friendship. We eventualy see Willow and Xander get together. However in doing this they are both cheating on there partners. Yet the audiances desire to see this union means that we forgive them for this act of infadelity.

The relationship nevertheless can not become more than friendship and after they are court kissing each other by there partners the relationship comes to an end. There love for each other is still extreamly strong and it is partly this that stops Willow from destroying the world at the end of seasion 6.

Willows relationship with Oz continues even and the fact that he is a werewolf becomes another relationship trouble that they seem to hurdle with ease. The use of the werewolf metafor is used to represent the male sexuality this is explained further by Marti Noxon on the season 4 DVD she says "The whole notion of men who are beasts is a real theme in our show... The tention between the desire to be in a committed, loving, safe union and to just run wild and free.... exists in both men and women, but it's even stronger in men. I feel like men feel like they can't always control it, like they have an animal inside them" this is "animal inside" is litraly illustrated in Oz when he changes into a werewolf. She later goes on to say that the werewolf is not just a meterfor for male sexuality, but for male teen sexuality.

This beast with in is not just kept to men in BVS. Willow has her own beast that we see when she is a Vampire. She is represented as a sexualised female when she becomes a Vampire, wereing tight leather cloths, talking in a playful and sexual manner and the way she reacts to men is not shy and nervous but dominent and flurtatious.

Vampires have always had sexual undertones and Buffy even mentions it in 'Conversations with Dead People' [7ABB07] "See, this is what I hate about you vampires. Sex and death and love and pain, it’s all the same damned thing to you."

Another quote that further shows that Vampires are seen as sexual creaters is from Bram Stokers Dracular. In this quote Jonathan Harker is recounting his contact with the three female Vampires. "In the moonlight opposite me were three young women, ladies by their dress and manner. … All three had brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. " he later goes on to say "I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstacy and waited - waited with beating heart." This encounter is oviously being described as a sexual experience.

As discribed in a paper talking about the metaphor analysis in Dracular "Vampirism stands thoughout the novel as a metaphor for promiscuous sexulaity. Both acts invlove desire, penetration, the flow and exchange of bodily fluids (blood, in the case of vampirism), and have similar physiological effects - namely, a temporary healthy-looking flush which soon gives way to feeling drained." (, 2005). This can also be used for BVS and the Vampires in it. The paper also goes onto staite that female Vampires exhibit anti-maternal behavior in preying upon children again this is seen in BVS when Drucilla goes huntting alown and the onlything she can manage is children.

A female Vampire is also regarded as an ultimate fantasy figure she is a sexualised, dominent, strong, agressive and insatiable and yet she is the ultimate nightmare at the same time. This creates a character that male audiace members can fantasys about and the element of nightmare gives an extra thrill. Nevertheless the male controle is restored when a Vampire is killed as the tool of distruction is a wooden stake. (a phallic symbol) thus restoring male domince over the female and so there controle over the situation.

The twist or bonus in some male viewers case is that the Vampire Willow is gay and we later find that Willow her self is gay and starts a relationship with a fellow witch who she meets at a Wicca group in collage. Tara and Willows relationship is a strong and loving one and we are lead to belive that they are sole mates. It is Tara's murder that pushes Willow over the edge and sends her on the destructive path leading to her almost distroying the world.

Willows lesbian relationship with Tara was seen as one of the most positive lesbuan role models on television by the lesbian community and when Tara was killed off some fans and members of the lesbian comunity have argued that this was clearly an anti-gay and anti-female statement. However when you look at the show in a hole the other characters all loss people. Buffy loses Angel her true love and another example is Giles' girlfriend who is killed by Angel and then placed next to him in bed to cource him even more pain. This example of tragedy is not a new concept it is seen in ancient Greece through to Shakespeare and the moden day. It is the way to take the characters to the next level and to show the audiance that even with grate pain that they still get up and keep fighting and in the case of Willow come back from the brink of the epocalips.

To sumarise Willow's sexuality is an integral part of her character. She defines herself buy the people she is with and she has to belong to them. When she is a Vampire however she becomes a sexualised female and with this power does not need anyone else to define her. Her relationship with Tara however reverts to the old patten it alows her to grown and become more self aware. She belongs to Tara and when she is taken from her by Warran this leads to her losing her mind with greaf and rage. She is a passionet character and the act of revenging Tara's death proves this.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Project Proposal

White Rabit

On the trail of the Hybrid Cyber Female

We all have multi facet to our personalities. We are made up of different parts be it a mix of geek, hero or villain etc. In my research iv been looking at hybrid women in particular Willow from "Buffy the Vampier Slayer" and I also consider myself as a Hybrid Cyber Female.

I feel that this is relevant and current because as technology becomes more and more a part of our every day life we are starting to question our selves as female and male. There are more and more documentaries about peoples sexuality and the search for them selves. This project will find the essence of myself as a hybrid cyber female and may help others to find themselves.

During my research I have also become interested in an elusive little souvenir called a Stanhope. This souvenir would have a small hole that you would peep into (a peep hole) to view a picture. These little shows could be found in such things as letter openers, pipes, knives, thimbles, cigarette lighters etc.

The picture inside these objects started off being of places and famous landmarks but soon became a clever way for men to look at "sexy" pictures of women with out being found out.

I can not use this technology because the lens and the image have to be so small and I could not possibly make this my self and If I was to buy it in it would cost the earth. There for I plan to use the concept of a secret image rather than the object its self.

I plan to explore what it is that makes me as a woman? What is my essence? and explore and experiment with technologies such as tracking devices, photography, illustrations, mobile phone videos and any other technology that I find along the way. As I am made up of lots of different things so my project should me made up of different technologies.

My target audience will be the every day person as I want my exploration of my self to possibly help them to understand them selves. This could cause problems as the every day person is a very hard audience to please.

The next steps to take are:

• Explore what makes me a woman
• What is my essence
• What technology can I use to represent / show this
• Experiment and explore

Dissitation clarification


Willow as Hybrid - The trasistions of her character though stereotypes associated to women in sci-fi

Willow as Geek
Willow as Witch
Willow as Villain
Willow as Massiah
Willow as Babe
Willow's sexuality

Total consentration on Willow but can use other charecters from other things to pull on for back up. Such as Trinity.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Review Feedback

Module name and number
THA1233 Contextual Research & Concept Development
Date 02/03 November 05

  • A good presentation, and thorough research.
  • Be careful of reducing the idea of the woman to the body. In your presentation all the fictional women you showed were famous mainly for physical attributes, only the two real women were there for things they had done.
  • There is a popular idea that all gender is ‘performed’, that we in a sense perform the attributes socially and culturally attached to our gender (to a greater or lesser extent).
  • When you talk about Victorian optical devices, like the slides embedded in objects the relationship between the viewer and the woman is interesting. The difference between the way that women were portrayed & viewed in Victorian times, and in science fiction is interesting. There is an interesting chapter in the book “Women, Art and Society” titled “Sex, Class and Power in Victorian England”. There is also the idea of the female gaze, and the history of images of women. An 1970’s reader on this would be “Framing Feminism” or “Old Mistresses” by Griselda Pollock – but its very dated now.
  • Look at the Flash generator “Hero Machine”
  • Marsha Kinder “Playing with Power from Videogames to Mutant Ninja Turtles” for a discussion of cross gender identification in playing male characters in video games.
  • Brenda Laurel had a games company called Purple Moon.
  • Emma Westecott is an interesting female games producer.
  • For imagery of people in video installations in a screen or mirror situation look at Gary Hill and Bill Viola.

Presentation Slides

Keeping up to date 2

Ok I have not added anything to my blog for a few days so I am going to do a quick sum up of what iv been up to.

I was preparing for my presntation to Jen and the rest of the class. I will add the slides to another post after this one to keep them as a record. It went well and I got some good feedback that I will add after this blog.

Its reading week this week so im working my way though all the books and papers Iv got to read. Its taking a long time but im comeing up with a lot off cool ideas. That im righting down on the papers and things as I read them.

I have a new toy it types when I talk. I got it from the Mac Expo I went to. So that should speed up my dissitation.

I have also writen out all of my Bibliography references and I will type them up when I have a spare mo.

I think that is about it for know.


Binary Joke

There are 10 sorts of people who understand binary. Those who don't and those who do!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


fevereiro 17, 2005

Send the model home...

Dr. Heisenberg's Magic Mirror of Uncertainty
Life is too short to be distracted by the pesky, mundane questions that plague most photographers: "How can I get this model to smile without showing her teeth?" or, "Does this house look better with or without the little red wagon in front?"
So think hard, think deep and ask new questions.
As a photographer, how can you present the nature of existence and the drama of the human condition? How will you define beauty and ugliness in visual terms? What is death and why is mankind fixated on rational explanations of the afterlife?
In short, send the models home and start asking the BIG questions.

James A. Cotter sobre Duane Michals in Photo insider

The iluminated man

"Photographers are always photographing the package," he says. "But they would never think to open up the box. Well, I'm interested in the contents, because once you start opening up the box, it's like a Chinese box, there's always another box inside - so it's limitless."

"I am what is being experienced, the universe focused in the eye of the beholder. There is a quality of sensation felt as myself, which like the "I" of the hurricane is a calm center of the storm of awareness..."

Duane Michals in Pdn Legends Online

Alice's Mirror
"I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see."

Duane Michals

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