28 Gender(ed) Cultures on the Internet


It’s been a while since I’ve asked myself the so-called quintessential question: “is it art?” Perhaps because I don’t think I’ve ever been emotionally attached to it. Or maybe because I’ve rarely found it to be a productive or effective question. Why ask “is it art?” That is, who is asking and to what end? For a long time now, I’ve been operating with one main definition of art, that is, art as a mode of doing-being-thinking. In other words, it’s up to the artist (or the doer-being-thinker) to decide. Extreme bottom-up, if you will. This of course coexists with other definitions, of which a powerful one is art as an institution, the more top-down definition.


“Sex is biologically assigned; gender is culturally constructed.” This was the first lesson on gender I learned from (white male) media studies teachers in high school. I was coming of age at a time when I saw more images of sex on the web before I had ever had sex, but I still went clubbing, sang karaoke, and watched porn curiously. I loved Britney Spears sass and music as much as I hated her for being puppet to the pop industry’s celebration of raunch.