Seducing the machine : narcissism and performance in contemporary feminist practice

  • Katherine Nolan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis concerns the prevalent western concept of femininity as narcissistic and exhibitionist, and addresses the stereotyping notion that women are obsessed with their appearance and preoccupied with themselves as the obj ect of the gaze. This notion is also examined in a video performance art practice that draws on a central concept of 'seducing the machine ', a model of gendered behaviour in which a woman's apparent 'love for the camera' encodes her as a submissive, subordinate object via the logic of the male gaze. The thesis explores how such images of femininity demand a 'becoming' in a self-perpetuating cycle: images of femininity beget further such images. The central question is whether a heightened and self-conscious performance of such narcissistic becoming can challenge this process, rather than simply continue to repeat its terms.
Date of AwardApr 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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