JUMP CUT
A REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY MEDIA

Notes

1. In her 1998 book, The Fantasy Factory, Amy Flowers identifies phone sex as the “disembodiment of intimacy,” a development which she understood as pernicious for all social relations. Flowers, Amy. The Fantasy Factory: An Insider’s View of the Phone Sex Industry. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.

2. Williams, Linda. Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible”, Expanded Edition. Reprint edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

3. Krauss, Rosalind. “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism,” OCTOBER, Spring 1976.

4. Ibid., 52.

5. Ibid.

6. This tendency is not new and has a longer history like the long playing records available in the 60’s to aid meditation and yoga.

7. Critics like Eva Illouz argue that rather than create a rationalistic present, unemotional present, late-stage capitalism produces a hyper-emotional relation to everyday life, in which intimate relationships provide less and less comfort, as these relationships are increasingly governed by economic logics. For Illouz, the growth of the self-help industry is an index of these shifting social relations.  Illouz, Eva. Cold Intimacies : The Making of Emotional Capitalism. Cambridge, UK; Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2007.

8. In recent years, “sound studies” has emerged as an interdisciplinary field distinct from the traditional music department. For more, see: Dyson, Frances. Sounding New Media : Immersion and Embodiment in the Arts and Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Eshun, Kodwo. More Brilliant Than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction. London: Quartet Books, 1999. Sterne, Jonathan. The Sound Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2012.

9. The term binaural refers to a type of stereo sound recording which not only captures right-ear, left-ear sound perception, but often uses prosthetic ears to mimic the way that sound travels through the human ear canal.

10. I use the term ‘haptic,’ to describe the way that audio visual media can produce tactile sensations in the viewer through textural qualities in the image, and through particular conjunctions between sound, vibrations, and image. Haptic, in this sense, refers more to the synesthetic qualities of visual art first theorized by Austrian art historian Alois Riegl, rather than to haptic technologies like touch screen digital media interfaces. The term haptic gets taken up in certain strains of film and media studies context to indicate visual media’s virtual and affective characteristics. For other authors who use this expanded definition of the haptic, see Cranny-Francis, Anne. Technology and Touch : The Biopolitics of Emerging Technologies. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 and Marks, Laura U.Touch: Sensuous Theory And Multisensory Media. 1 edition. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2002.

11. Brennan, Teresa. Globalization and Its Terrors: Daily Life in the West. London; New York: Routledge, 2003, 19-32. Brennan contends that increased automation, rather than reducing work, actually increases the duration and intensity of labor time by demanding that workers keep pace with machines. The physical and psychological toll of exceeding the human body’s physical and psychological limits results in bioderegulation. Brennan cites urban sprawl and increasing commute times to work as one major driver of the bioderegulated condition. Longer commute times extend the workday, place an inordinate stress on workers, and compound the environmental effects of the 24/7 global economy.

12. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility,” (2nd version) in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935-1938 (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2005).

13 Whispering Life. “Whisper 1 – hello!” Filmed [March 2009] YouTube video, 1:46. Posted [March 2009]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHtgPbfTgKc

14. Online communities like the Steady Health forum, the 'Society of Sensationalists' Yahoo! Group, and the 'Unnamed Feeling' Blog began discussing the sensation now called ASMR as early as 2007. The feeling was often described in forums as ‘orgasm.’ Debates about what the sensation should be called raged until 2010 when Jennifer Allen coined the term ‘Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.’ This term gained general acceptance because it downplayed the eroticism of ASMR practices in favor of a more neurological-sounding moniker. Despite the fact that the tingling and shivers now called ASMR existed before it became a subculture, the 2009 video cited above is the first time that ASMR appears as a video-based YouTube practice.

15. See Stuckler, David, and Sanjay Basu. The Body Economic [Electronic Resource]: Why Austerity Kills: Recessions, Budget Battles, and the Politics of Life and Death. New York: Basic Books, 2013. And Roelfs, David J., Eran Shor, Karina W. Davidson, and Joseph E. Schwartz. “Losing Life and Livelihood: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Unemployment and All-Cause Mortality.” Social Science & Medicine (1982) 72, no. 6 (March 2011): 840–54.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330027

16. See Berlant, Lauren Gail. Cruel Optimism. Durham [N.C.]: Duke University Press, 2011. Konings, Martijn. The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2015.

17. Konings, Martijn. The Emotional Logic of Capitalism, 96.

18. Brennan, Teresa. Globalization and Its Terrors, 29. Also see Crary, Jonathan. 24/7: Terminal Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. London; Brooklyn, New York: Verso, 2013.

19. Benjamin, Walter, “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire,” (1939) Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 4: 1938-1940 (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2006).

20. Barratt, Emma L., and Nick J. Davis. “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): A Flow-like Mental State.” PeerJ 3 (March 26, 2015)  https://peerj.com/articles/851/. And Campo, Marisa A. del, and Thomas J. Kehle. “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and Frisson: Mindfully Induced Sensory Phenomena That Promote Happiness.” International Journal of School & Educational Psychology 4, no. 2 (April 2, 2016): 99–105.

21. Miller, Jenni. “Whispering on The Internet Is Paying This Woman’s Rent.” Cosmopolitan, June 8, 2015. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/a40025/gentlewhispering-maria-Internets-most-fascinating/.

22. Though performers are beginning to monetize their ASMR channels through crowdfunding websites like Patreon, this funding mostly serves to finance the financing of recording equipment and a growing variety of ASMR props.

23. Hardt, Michael. “Affective Labor.” Boundary 2 26, no. 2 (1999): 89–100, 89.

24. As discussed in the introduction to this essay, this narcissistic self-presentation is apparent in early video art experiments and runs through to the selfie. As Rosalind Krauss asserts, narcissism is the “medium” of video. Krauss, “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism,” 50. [return to page 2]

25. Ihde, Don. Listening and Voice: Phenomenologies of Sound. 2nd ed. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.

26. Barthes, Roland, “The Grain of the Voice,” in Barthes, Roland, and Stephen Heath. Image, Music, Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977, 188.

27. Ibid, 183.

28. GentleWhispering. “~.~Eye gazing, ear-to-ear blowing, head massagers~.~” Filmed [March 2014]. YouTube video, 22:09. Posted [March 2014]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_haPLEHgh8Y

29. While binaural recorders have existed since 1933, the recent growing popularity of ASMR and Virtual Reality has spurred companies like 3Dio to produce special binaural recorders with plastic ears on each side of the device to simulate more closely the experience of sound entering the ear canal.

30. Jousse, Marcel. The Oral Style. New York: Garland Pub, 1990.

31. McLuhan, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy; the Making of Typographic Man. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1962, 27.

32. Ibid, 21.

33. See Olsen, Tillie. Silences. 25th anniversary ed., 1st Feminist Press . New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2003. And Russ, Joanna, and Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. How to Suppress Women’s Writing. 1st ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, n.d.

34. Rangan, Pooja. “In Defense of Voicelessness.” Feminist Media Histories 1, no. 3 (July 1, 2015): 95–126. http://fmh.ucpress.edu/content/1/3/95.full

35. Dyson, Frances. “The Genealogy of the Radio Voice,” in Augaitis, Daina, Dan Lander, Walter Phillips Gallery, and Banff Centre for the Arts, eds. Radio Rethink: Art, Sound, and Transmission. Banff, Alta., Canada: Walter Phillips Gallery, 1994.

36. Bartky, Sandra. “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power,” in Diamond, Irene, and Lee Quinby. Feminism & Foucault: Reflections on Resistance. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988.

37. Mauss, Marcel. “Techniques of the Body,” in Crary, Jonathan, and Sanford Kwinter, eds. Incorporations. 1st Ed. edition. New York, NY: Zone Books, 1992.

38. This is the most widely held definition of Benjamin’s aura because it is the one that appears in Illuminations, for many U.S. readers the first access to the Art Work essay, or any of Benjamin’s works. As Miriam Hansen exhaustively documents in the fourth chapter of Cinema and Experience, “Aura: The Appropriation of a Concept,”the version of the Art Work essay which appears in Illuminations was famously edited by Adorno, who tried to strip the concept of aura of its mystical valences, as well as to shape the essay to more easily fit into existing critical aesthetic Marxist debates. Hansen, Miriam. Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012, 104-131.

39. And Benjamin, Walter. “Little History of Photography,” in Benjamin, Walter, Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland, and Gary Smith. Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 1: 1927-1930. (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press, 2005), 512-14.

40. Benjamin, Walter. “On Some Motifs in Baudelaire.”

41. Ibid., 338.

42. Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility,” (2nd version)

43. Marks, Laura U. The Skin of the Film : Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses. Durham: Duke University Press, 2000, 138. [return to page 3]

44. Ibid, 139.

45. Benjamin, Walter. “Little History of Photography,”517.

46. Ganz, Cheryl. The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair: Century of Progress. University of Illinois Press, 2008, 78-9.

47. Ibid, 78.

48. As of 2016, for example, Maria has started listing her equipment in her video descriptions—two Blue Microphone Spark Condensers, a Zoom Portable Recorder, and a Canon Powershot digital camera.

51. The cinematic gaze as inherently fetishistic and gendered male is put forth by Laura Mulvey in “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen 16, no. 3 (October 1, 1975): 6–18. https://academic.oup.com/screen/article-abstract/16/3/6/1603296?redirectedFrom=fulltext

52. Koch, Gertrude. “Exchanging the gaze: Revisioning Feminist Film Theory,” New German Critique, No. 34, Winter, 147.

53. Marks, Laura U. Touch: Sensuous Theory And Multisensory Media. 1st edition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002, 10-11.

54. Hansen, Mark B. N. (Mark Boris Nicola). New Philosophy for New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004, 10.

55. One recent psychology study links ASMR susceptibility to personality traits like Neuroticisim and Openness-to-Experience. See Fredborg, Beverley, Jim Clark, and Stephen D. Smith. “An Examination of Personality Traits Associated with Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).” Frontiers in Psychology 8 (February 23, 2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5322228/

56. Perlman, Marc. “Golden Ears and Meter Readers: The Contest for Epistemic Authority in Audiophilia.” Social Studies of Science 34, no. 5 (2004): 783–807.

57. See Oksala, Johanna. “Affective Labor and Feminist Politics.” Signs 41, no. 2 (2016):  281–303.  https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/682920 And Weeks, Kathi. “Life within and against Work: Affective Labor, Feminist Critique, and Post-Fordist Politics Ephemera.” Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, vol 7 (1): 246-247, 2007.  http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/life-within-and-against-work-affective-labor-feminist-critique-and-post-fordist [return to page 4]

58. Hochschild, Arlie Russell. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983, 4.

59. Hardt, Michael. “Affective Labor,” 89.

60. Costa, Mariarosa dalla, and Selma James. The Power of Women and the Subersion of the Community: Women and the Subversion of the Community. Bristol: Falling Wall Press, 1975.

61. Ibid.

62. Ibid.

63. For more on recent sociological accounts of migration and the personal care economy, see: Kang, Miliann. The Managed Hand [Electronic Resource]: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. And Anderson, Bridget, and Isabel Shutes. Migration and Care Labour: Theory, Policy and Politics. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

64. Weeks, Kathi. “Life within and against Work,” 245. [put in bibliography]

Ibid, 246-247.

66. Hardt, Michael. “Affective Labor,” 99.

67. Kollock, Peter. “The Economies of Online Cooperation: Gifts and Public Goods in Cyberspace” in ed. Kollock, Peter, and Marc A. Smith. Communities in Cyberspace. London ; New York: Routledge, 1999, 220-242. Also see: Penley, Constance. NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America. Londo ; New York: Verso, 1997.

68. Sabotini, Rachel. “Fanfic Symposium: The Fannish Potlatch.” December 20, 1999, http://www.trickster.org/symposium/symp41.htm.

69. Hellekson, Karen. “A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture.” Cinema Journal 48, no. 4 (2009): 116.

70. Sobchack, Vivian Carol. Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004, 135-162.

71. Ibid, 156-162.

72. As Ken Hillis reminds us, this drives towards immersion, at once a drive towards complete simulation, is a Western ideological project of subjecting “space, information, and identity” to rational control. Hillis, Ken. Digital Sensations: Space, Identity, and Embodiment in Virtual Reality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999, xvii.

73. Dove. “Chinese Sihua Dove ASMR ad campaign – Angelababy.” Filmed [2015]. YouTube video, Posted [April 2016]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhwYbH5n15c

74. See Gunning, Tom. “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde,” Wide Angle, 8, no. nos. 3 & 4 (Fall 1986). And Williams, Linda. “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre, and Excess.” Film Quarterly 44, no. 4 (1991): 2–13.  http://fq.ucpress.edu/content/44/4/2

75. Hansen, Miriam. Cinema and Experience: Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012, 82.

76. Ibid, 89-101. And Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility,” (2nd version)

77. Gunning, Tom. “The Cinema of Attractions,” 2.

78. The extreme close-up, the zoom, montage, and abstraction are all techniques that Gunning calls “exhibitionistic confrontation” developed within early film and later, within experimental film, that eventually entered advertising’s visual vernacular. For example, the zoom and extreme close-ups that Gunning alies with “exhibitionistic confrontation” would become important strategies in figuring various kinds of commercial products in a spectacularized way. Eisensteinian montage, the juxtaposition of unlike images edited together for maximum visual and ideological impact, have become a fundamental aspect of television commercials and broadcast news. Additionally, there have been experimental filmmakers like Walter Ruttmann, who both films and ttman, who made experimental mercials gical means, d in the screen'th femininity and gendered labor.  understanding whmade experimental films and worked in advertising. For Ruttmann, abstract animation was a key visual aesthetic in both occupations. On Ruttmann, see: Cowan, Michael J. Walter Ruttmann and the Cinema of Multiplicity: Avant-Garde, Advertising, Modernity. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2014.

79. Crary, Jonathan. 24/7: Terminal Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. London; Brooklyn, New York: Verso, 2013, 8.

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Penley, Constance. NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America. London, New York: Verso, 1997.

Perlman, Marc. “Golden Ears and Meter Readers: The Contest for Epistemic Authority in Audiophilia.” Social Studies of Science 34, no. 5 (2004): 783–807.

Rangan, Pooja. “In Defense of Voicelessness.” Feminist Media Histories 1, no. 3 (July 1, 2015): 95–126.

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Russ, Joanna, and Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. How to Suppress Women’s Writing. 1st ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, n.d.

Sobchack, Vivian Carol. Carnal Thought: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Sterne, Jonathan. The Sound Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Stuckler, David, and Sanjay Basu. The Body Economic [Electronic Resource]: Why Austerity Kills : Recessions, Budget Battles, and the Politics of Life and Death. New York: Basic Books, 2013.

Weeks, Kathi. “Life within and against Work: Affective Labor, Feminist Critique, and Post-Fordist Politics Ephemera.” Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, vol 7 (1): 246-247, 2007.

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———. Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible”, Expanded Edition. Reprint edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.