Francesca Coppa & Rebecca Tushnet, How to Suppress Women's Remix, 77 Camera Obscura 131 (2011).
Abstract: Vidding is a thirty-year-old remix practice in which predominantly female media fans reedit television or film into music videos. Vidding is important not only as an art form in its own right but also as a subcultural — and often feminist — reinterpretation of and confrontation with mainstream media culture. The feminist manifestations of vidding range from the creation of deeply felt emotional odes to television and film, to the analytical teasing out and foregrounding of subtextual or secondary meanings, to bitingly critical engagements with the mainstream media's political failings. In all these cases, vids serve both to magnify and to aestheticize the audience's readings of the mass media. The three essays address different aspects of this practice and its surrounding culture. Francesca Coppa explores the historical and sociopolitical implications of a female-dominated art form that heavily utilizes technological tools and skills; Coppa and Rebecca Tushnet discuss the legal implications of vidding as a particularly gendered form of remix art and debate the ways in which its underground aesthetics have and have not mainstreamed alongside the rest of remix culture; and Kristina Busse and Alexis Lothian demonstrate the contentious relationships that can develop when fanvids enter the realm of academic discourse. All four authors are themselves fans and academics, practitioners and theorists who continually negotiate the artistic, political, legal, academic, and communitarian constraints we discuss in our essays. Rather than seeing those complex negotiations as a drawback, we suggest that these very tensions have created this culturally rich form. It is this complexity that makes vidding an enticing object for academic analysis, but even more so an important aesthetic and political contribution to feminist art and scholarship.