Luminosity has been one of my very favorite vidders for years now. I’ve shown her vids in class and I’ve been thinking of talking about one of her Supernatural vids, Bricks, for an In Media Res vidding week in January (not to be confused with the current In Media Res fandom week, where I chose to talk about Gossip Girl–will be posting tomorrow…)
So for the most part I’m thrilled that she’s finally getting all of this well deserved attention. And yet I’m noting in myself a little ambivalence, too, at the direction the conversation seems to be heading, and I’m trying to get to the core of why that is.
I think part of it is that Luminosity as a vidder, and more specifically the vids that are being focused on–Vogue and Woman’s Work–are easy for media scholars and public criticism to get behind because they echo academic and popular critical practices and theoretical stances. I share Henry’s concerns about Woman’s Work—that while it presents a resonant critique of the horror genre, it does a disservice to Supernatural’s more complex stance (and at times genre-revisionist tactics) towards masculinity and femininity. I prefer Bricks’ complex representation of Sam and Dean and the program’s rendering of issues of masculinity. The difference isn’t only that these vids are critical while others are emotional (as Jason and Kristina point out here and here), although certainly there are differences in affect. The difference is in the layers of critical positioning, the nuances of each moment; my favorite vids can’t be summed up with one thesis statement.
Also there’s a way that the prevalence of auteurist discourse in vidding specifically and fandom in general (something I mentioned in the authorship workshop at Unboxing) that makes vidding culture and a vidder like Luminosity accessible for popular and academic recognition. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t recognize her skill, creativity, style, and influence (really, I am an enormous fan of Luminosity), but that we should be aware when we’re recreating auteurist discourse, and the ideological implications therein.
For vidding and fandom specifically, in female authorship communities, auteurism is especially significant in its heralding of female producers as meaning makers with cultural import. And in this way, it’s perhaps even more important that Luminosity be lauded, as an auteur, in all of these levels of public discourse.
But I guess I’m afraid that public discourse will move on, having paid Luminosity public due, without delving into the complexity of the majority of her vids or of vidding culture(s) as a whole, leaving the many realms of perhaps less accessible female creative authorship unacknowledged and unexplored.