Michele White, "The Body and the Screen: Theories of Internet Spectatorship"
The MIT Press | ISBN / ASIN:0262232499 | 2006 | 280 pages | PDF | 1.8MB
Internet and computer users are often represented onscreen as active and empowered–as in AOL's striding yellow figure and the interface hand that appears to manipulate software and hypertext links. In The Body and the Screen Michele White suggests that users can more properly be understood as spectators rendered and regulated by technologies and representations, for whom looking and the mediation of the screen are significant aspects of engagement. Drawing on apparatus and feminist psychoanalytic film theories, art history, gender studies, queer theory, critical race and postcolonial studies, and other theories of cultural production, White conceptualizes Internet and computer spectatorship and provides theoretical models that can be employed in other analyses. She offers case studies and close visual and textual analysis of the construction of spectatorship in different settings.
White shows that despite the onscreen promise of empowerment and coherence (through depictions of materiality that structure the experience), fragmentation and confusion are constant aspects of Internet spectatorship.