Blog Post #5

I think this week’s readings were great choices because of just how applicable they are in our current times. I read and watched Noble’s work which gave a really good insight into the dynamics of privilege and oppression. I’ve been itching to say this for so long but I can easily see the way race and gender plays into the way people, especially women are viewed online. So, there are two notorious women on social media I’m thinking of here: Eugenia Cooney and Azealia Banks. Both are grown women. Cooney is known for her fashion videos on YouTube and Banks is known for being a rap musician. However, both women have major issues. Cooney has an eating disorder and uses her body to make pro-ana (“pro anorexia”) content. She is white. Banks has an unspecified mental disorder and frequently is seen having public freakouts. She is African-American. While Cooney does have people railing against her (especially nowadays) she has still received massive amounts of support. People donate large sums of money on her gaming streams, frequently come to her defense, and even doxx those who go against her. Banks was originally known for her innovative music and was critically acclaimed. But as she began to have issues being in the public eye, almost all her support has left despite the fact that she is creating incredible music even still today. Now, Banks vicious actions towards others have been inexcusable but I find it quite suspicious that Banks has little support and is mocked for her mental condition in newspapers/gossip sites while Cooney is treated like a princess by so many.

On the topic of algorithms, they can be a mess in themselves. I’m coming at the subject from the angle of an artist on social media. I’m a white manga artist but I have many friends who are poc manga artists. They’ve struggled terribly to get their art seen over the years because people don’t seem to have any interest in their art unless they start writing angry/sad tweets rallying against the racism in the online art community. However, I want to point out that poc artists have come up with some amazing trends to beat the algorithm lately: They make their own algorithms! Two tags that have been insanely popular are #SEAArtistsUnite (“South East Asian Artists Unite”) and #Blacktober (a play on the Inktober month where artists of African descent reimagine popular characters or create original characters for each day of the month). Two close friends of mind also started a smaller trend under #PastelsOnMelanin for poc manga artists. (Please check it out on Twitter or Instagram if you have the time! The work there is gorgeous.)

3 comments on Blog Post #5

  1. I find it fascinating that you tied in your own experience with art into this conversation with algorithms. It really shows how people can strategize how they respond to the oppressions in algorithms, and as you say, starting their own hashtag and feel can be one way to combat that. I do wonder at what cost that takes by further separating the two — that is, even though BIPOC have created their own avenue to recognition, the other that excludes them continues to “thrive” on its own.

  2. Both of the points you make here are poignant; I am less familiar with Banks then I am Cooney but I have seen how race plays into perception of mental health and usually excuses the white person and not the person of color. Noble’s point in her book about Dylann Roof could stand on that ground as we continue fighting police brutality.
    Especially since he gleaned info that validating his racism via Google. It also makes me wonder how search engines drive scholars’ projects at the expense of minorities.
    I love that your artists friends are fighting back and being so creative! I’ll have to check those hashtags and show some support.

  3. I really like how you tied this week’s readings into experiences you and fellow artists have seen within the art realm. It is really unfortunate and upsetting that sharing something like one’s artwork faces the oppression from the biases in algorithms. I feel like the same thing applies with all the hashtags that are needed to get a piece seen on social media, And even then only a limited number of artists I feel get recognized. It’s great to see that artists try to fight back and getting creative in ways they can share their art.

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