Marked by a Kiss: Sexual Perversions and the real identify of the Spider Woman

Manuel Puig’s novel Kiss of the Spider Woman consists almost entirely of extended dialogue shared between the two main characters of the novel, Molina and Valentin, who are two prisoners in a seedy Argentinean prison in the late sixties. Molina is a middle aged man who was incarcerated for his corruption of the youth, clever […]

Crime in Cronenberg’s Videodrome: A perversion of the everyman’s subconscious

Rena King:
“Don’t you feel such shows [of soft-core pornography and hardcore violence] contribute to a social climate of violence and sexual malaise, and do you care?”
Max Renn:
“Certainly I care. I care enough to give my viewers a harmless outlet for their fantasies and their frustrations…”

The ‘Chinaman’ in the basement: Visual den narratives of the late-nineteenth century

Historically, art and literature have served a fundamental role in mirroring (and perhaps creating) a society’s cultural climate; they have become the means through which a society comes to ‘know’ itself. By artistically or literally depicting categories of people, or ‘social types’, one is easily able to comprehend society at large. Yet the socio-cultural worldview […]

The ‘housewife’ and the ‘cityman’: A match made in suburbia?

Last night, for the first time, I ventured to Pointe Claire, Quebec. Pointe Claire is what one could call a typical suburb of Montreal – a small residential sprawl located far enough away from the city to function independently and retain a certain sense of community, yet close enough for its residents to commute to the city centre – for employment, health care, shopping or entertainment – in about thirty minutes.

iMac – the making of an iCon

The PC was first upgraded from its status as an advanced professional tool to an intentionally popular, available lifestyle-companion upon the introduction of the Apple Computer’s 1998 PC, the “iMac‿. This machine’s clean, sleek aesthetic presence, paired with its functionality, lead to its overwhelming success and eventual place (alongside the microwave, the telephone, and the corset) in cultural memory. Furthermore, I believe the PC’s success is symptomatic of a larger theme among all objects of popular culture: an inherent symbiosis between design and technology, form and function, medium and message, art and science. Objects of popular culture, it would seem, can only become so upon an appreciation of both function (science and technology) and form (aesthetics).