The part that seemed to keep coming up in Bordowitz’s piece, “Resolutions: Operative Assumptions,” was the idea of video as a cultural critic (173). He claims that video art made for galleries was too constricted by the “formal limits of the medium,” while others used video as a means of performance art. Organizations like Paper Tiger, on the other hand, were helping video manifest in a new way — using video to make critical statements of the dominant culture.
For a photo class I’m currently in, I met with the professor the other day to talk about my midterm project in which I was hoping to make a criticism of the way “the media” depicts food/eating. During our talk, he pointed out: “You can’t compete with the media. The media will always win.” I believe he was talking about the commercial media and was referring to its ubiquity and overwhelming consuming nature. There was no way, he was saying, that I could produce enough images to combat what the media has already produced. I think what he brought up is an important distinction to make in this class: competing with commercial media versus criticizing it. I think to criticize something is to let it exist as is, while bringing one’s attention to aspects that may have gone unnoticed. It isn’t about creating enough material to offset its grandiose direction, but just a few potent pieces that shine a new light on it.