Realities of Meaninglessness (Amateur Smart Exgf Teen)
Webcam and random text generation engine. 00:13:17, 5/2016.
Bethan’s first work to come as a reaction to her research on power distribution and gender politics in the adult film industry and connected online communities, Realities of Meaninglessness (Amateur Smart Exgf Teen) is a reflection on everyday performances of fantasy narratives. Bethan highlights the similarities between academic performance and ‘camgirl’ (webcam model) performance, both of which involve careful adherence to behavioural rules that reinforce a marketable fantasy. The inset text message is from a group chat of six women recalling their experiences being patronised and degraded in academic environments due to their gender and cultural identities. The title is a series of descriptive keywords used by adult content websites, each and all of which are accurate descriptors for fantasies at work in this piece.
The essay performed is randomly generated, and its content is nonsensical. Bethan created it using The Postmodernism Generator (by Andrew C. Bukhak), an engine that generates text based on probabilities of combinations and arrangements of types of words identified by the engine in the source material it has been fed. The essay only seems coherent because it presents itself using the same patterns as coherent postmodernist essays. In order to identify it as nonsense it is essential to consider the essay independently of established notions of how a coherent postmodernist essay presents itself. By the same token, the academic community must escape established notions of how an academic presents themselves in order to grow the quality and scope of their knowledge base and teaching.