Mariah Carey Asks For It

by Art Fag City on July 2, 2008 · 67 comments Events

carey_laric.jpg
Oliver Laric, Touch My Body, Screengrab AFC

Marisa Olson on Oliver Laric’s video, Touch My Body, (Green Screen Version) (smaller youtube version here).

His real hope is not that the piece will become an artworld cause célebre but that the larger public of YouTube surfers will adopt the piece and post remixes of their own. The key point made by removing the superfluous imagery from the video’s 5,000 frames is that, with her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body,” Carey’s certainly asking for it.

I suspect this is sloppy writing and Olson does not mean to suggest what she does: That women who sexualize their body publicly are asking for trouble. Still, it’s pretty problematic for statements like this to appear on Rhizome, and comments aren’t enabled on that post.

Rhizome LINK
Four Four on Touch My Body LINK

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    re: comments not enabled

    There is a thread on Rhizome where someone has lodged a similar complaint and Marisa has responded.

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    re: comments not enabled

    There is a thread on Rhizome where someone has lodged a similar complaint and Marisa has responded.

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    re: comments not enabled

    There is a thread on Rhizome where someone has lodged a similar complaint and Marisa has responded.

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    re: comments not enabled

    There is a thread on Rhizome where someone has lodged a similar complaint and Marisa has responded.

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

  • http://mtaa.net t.whid

    re: comments not enabled

    There is a thread on Rhizome where someone has lodged a similar complaint and Marisa has responded.

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

  • Art Fag City

    Ideally those threads would automatically be attached to the post itself.

  • Art Fag City

    Ideally those threads would automatically be attached to the post itself.

  • http://www.marisaolson.com/ Marisa Olson

    Paddy, there’s been some discussion of this here:

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

    I’ll say here what I said to a Rhizome reader:

    My article doesn’t say that Carey is asking to be violated, it says that she’s asking to be remixed.

    Does your slippage between the two imply sloppy writing or sloppy reading? :)

    In all seriousness, I’ve appreciated the discussion this post generated. The comment issue is just related to the fact that it was a Rhizome News post, which gets automatically fed into the front page, rather than going up as a regular comment-enabled blog post.

  • http://www.marisaolson.com/ Marisa Olson

    Paddy, there’s been some discussion of this here:

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

    I’ll say here what I said to a Rhizome reader:

    My article doesn’t say that Carey is asking to be violated, it says that she’s asking to be remixed.

    Does your slippage between the two imply sloppy writing or sloppy reading? :)

    In all seriousness, I’ve appreciated the discussion this post generated. The comment issue is just related to the fact that it was a Rhizome News post, which gets automatically fed into the front page, rather than going up as a regular comment-enabled blog post.

  • http://www.marisaolson.com/ Marisa Olson

    Paddy, there’s been some discussion of this here:

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

    I’ll say here what I said to a Rhizome reader:

    My article doesn’t say that Carey is asking to be violated, it says that she’s asking to be remixed.

    Does your slippage between the two imply sloppy writing or sloppy reading? :)

    In all seriousness, I’ve appreciated the discussion this post generated. The comment issue is just related to the fact that it was a Rhizome News post, which gets automatically fed into the front page, rather than going up as a regular comment-enabled blog post.

  • http://www.marisaolson.com/ Marisa Olson

    Paddy, there’s been some discussion of this here:

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

    I’ll say here what I said to a Rhizome reader:

    My article doesn’t say that Carey is asking to be violated, it says that she’s asking to be remixed.

    Does your slippage between the two imply sloppy writing or sloppy reading? :)

    In all seriousness, I’ve appreciated the discussion this post generated. The comment issue is just related to the fact that it was a Rhizome News post, which gets automatically fed into the front page, rather than going up as a regular comment-enabled blog post.

  • http://www.marisaolson.com/ Marisa Olson

    Paddy, there’s been some discussion of this here:

    http://rhizome.org/discuss/view/37784

    I’ll say here what I said to a Rhizome reader:

    My article doesn’t say that Carey is asking to be violated, it says that she’s asking to be remixed.

    Does your slippage between the two imply sloppy writing or sloppy reading? :)

    In all seriousness, I’ve appreciated the discussion this post generated. The comment issue is just related to the fact that it was a Rhizome News post, which gets automatically fed into the front page, rather than going up as a regular comment-enabled blog post.

  • Art Fag City

    It implies sloppy writing. “Asking for it” is imprecise, and while a reader can discern that you mean to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than your intended meaning. This is why so many people have taken issue with what you’ve written.

  • Art Fag City

    It implies sloppy writing. “Asking for it” is imprecise, and while a reader can discern that you mean to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than your intended meaning. This is why so many people have taken issue with what you’ve written.

  • Art Fag City

    It implies sloppy writing. “Asking for it” is imprecise, and while a reader can discern that you mean to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than your intended meaning. This is why so many people have taken issue with what you’ve written.

  • Art Fag City

    It implies sloppy writing. “Asking for it” is imprecise, and while a reader can discern that you mean to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than your intended meaning. This is why so many people have taken issue with what you’ve written.

  • Art Fag City

    It implies sloppy writing. “Asking for it” is imprecise, and while a reader can discern that you mean to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than your intended meaning. This is why so many people have taken issue with what you’ve written.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Love the use of the smiley after the dig!

    I took it as post-feminist double entendre. (My sloppy reading.)

    In any case the Laric piece doesn’t rate this attention. The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.

  • Art Fag City

    Yeah, until now I hadn’t linked to it for precisely that reason. I liked four four’s culture commentary on the piece, but as art I think it has all the problems you identify. The piece has meme potential, but little more.

  • Art Fag City

    Yeah, until now I hadn’t linked to it for precisely that reason. I liked four four’s culture commentary on the piece, but as art I think it has all the problems you identify. The piece has meme potential, but little more.

  • Art Fag City

    Yeah, until now I hadn’t linked to it for precisely that reason. I liked four four’s culture commentary on the piece, but as art I think it has all the problems you identify. The piece has meme potential, but little more.

  • Art Fag City

    Yeah, until now I hadn’t linked to it for precisely that reason. I liked four four’s culture commentary on the piece, but as art I think it has all the problems you identify. The piece has meme potential, but little more.

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    I was taken aback at “Carey’s certainly asking for it.” too.

    (that green is insanely sexy.)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    I was taken aback at “Carey’s certainly asking for it.” too.

    (that green is insanely sexy.)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    I was taken aback at “Carey’s certainly asking for it.” too.

    (that green is insanely sexy.)

  • http://www.digitalmediatree.com/sallymckay/ L.M.

    I was taken aback at “Carey’s certainly asking for it.” too.

    (that green is insanely sexy.)

  • http://wizardishungry.com/ Jon Williams

    Pretty obvious that it was a double entendre; there was plenty reaction to this with blatant genuine sexism directed at Ms. Carey though.

    This reminds me of how unsettling the portrayal of the male love interest in “Glitter” was to me. The character only existed a foil to Carey. Of course, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if the genders were reversed.

  • http://wizardishungry.com/ Jon Williams

    Pretty obvious that it was a double entendre; there was plenty reaction to this with blatant genuine sexism directed at Ms. Carey though.

    This reminds me of how unsettling the portrayal of the male love interest in “Glitter” was to me. The character only existed a foil to Carey. Of course, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if the genders were reversed.

  • http://wizardishungry.com/ Jon Williams

    Pretty obvious that it was a double entendre; there was plenty reaction to this with blatant genuine sexism directed at Ms. Carey though.

    This reminds me of how unsettling the portrayal of the male love interest in “Glitter” was to me. The character only existed a foil to Carey. Of course, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if the genders were reversed.

  • http://wizardishungry.com/ Jon Williams

    Pretty obvious that it was a double entendre; there was plenty reaction to this with blatant genuine sexism directed at Ms. Carey though.

    This reminds me of how unsettling the portrayal of the male love interest in “Glitter” was to me. The character only existed a foil to Carey. Of course, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if the genders were reversed.

  • http://wizardishungry.com/ Jon Williams

    Pretty obvious that it was a double entendre; there was plenty reaction to this with blatant genuine sexism directed at Ms. Carey though.

    This reminds me of how unsettling the portrayal of the male love interest in “Glitter” was to me. The character only existed a foil to Carey. Of course, I wouldn’t have batted an eye if the genders were reversed.

  • Adam

    ….you may be offended, but I do believe that this piece deserves more thought….

  • Adam

    ….you may be offended, but I do believe that this piece deserves more thought….

  • Adam

    ….you may be offended, but I do believe that this piece deserves more thought….

  • Adam

    ….you may be offended, but I do believe that this piece deserves more thought….

  • Adam

    ….you may be offended, but I do believe that this piece deserves more thought….

  • http://ericgelber.livejournal.com Eric

    “The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.”

    Amen to that!

  • http://ericgelber.livejournal.com Eric

    “The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.”

    Amen to that!

  • http://ericgelber.livejournal.com Eric

    “The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.”

    Amen to that!

  • http://ericgelber.livejournal.com Eric

    “The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.”

    Amen to that!

  • http://ericgelber.livejournal.com Eric

    “The “erasure in photoshop” genre is just as hackneyed with a green screen.”

    Amen to that!

  • Art Fag City

    Adam: Please comment on why you think the piece works and how if you’re unsatisfied with the discussion about the art.

    Jon: I think the double entendre is easier to spot if you know Marisa though as Tom points out Marisa herself doesn’t identify a double entendre. I didn’t respond to this for two days because I thought maybe that ambiguity was fine…but in the end, it still doesn’t sit right with me.

    [editors note: I updated this comment to include Tom’s link]

  • Art Fag City

    Adam: Please comment on why you think the piece works and how if you’re unsatisfied with the discussion about the art.

    Jon: I think the double entendre is easier to spot if you know Marisa though as Tom points out Marisa herself doesn’t identify a double entendre. I didn’t respond to this for two days because I thought maybe that ambiguity was fine…but in the end, it still doesn’t sit right with me.

    [editors note: I updated this comment to include Tom’s link]

  • Art Fag City

    Adam: Please comment on why you think the piece works and how if you’re unsatisfied with the discussion about the art.

    Jon: I think the double entendre is easier to spot if you know Marisa though as Tom points out Marisa herself doesn’t identify a double entendre. I didn’t respond to this for two days because I thought maybe that ambiguity was fine…but in the end, it still doesn’t sit right with me.

    [editors note: I updated this comment to include Tom’s link]

  • Art Fag City

    Adam: Please comment on why you think the piece works and how if you’re unsatisfied with the discussion about the art.

    Jon: I think the double entendre is easier to spot if you know Marisa though as Tom points out Marisa herself doesn’t identify a double entendre. I didn’t respond to this for two days because I thought maybe that ambiguity was fine…but in the end, it still doesn’t sit right with me.

    [editors note: I updated this comment to include Tom’s link]

  • Art Fag City

    Adam: Please comment on why you think the piece works and how if you’re unsatisfied with the discussion about the art.

    Jon: I think the double entendre is easier to spot if you know Marisa though as Tom points out Marisa herself doesn’t identify a double entendre. I didn’t respond to this for two days because I thought maybe that ambiguity was fine…but in the end, it still doesn’t sit right with me.

    [editors note: I updated this comment to include Tom’s link]

  • Colin

    I think this discussion is incredibly jejune. For what it’s worth, when I read the excerpt it was obvious to me that the antecedent of the “it” that she’s asking for was “that the larger public will… post remixes of their own” from the previous sentence. But even if you didn’t surmise that yourself from reading it, it’s insulting to blame the author’s “sloppy writing” for your inability to parse the meaning from two simple sentences, and to not assume good faith.

    The interpretation you offer doesn’t even make any sense in the context of the article. To conclude the article by saying that Carey is asking to be sexually violated would be quite the non-sequitur, no?

  • Colin

    I think this discussion is incredibly jejune. For what it’s worth, when I read the excerpt it was obvious to me that the antecedent of the “it” that she’s asking for was “that the larger public will… post remixes of their own” from the previous sentence. But even if you didn’t surmise that yourself from reading it, it’s insulting to blame the author’s “sloppy writing” for your inability to parse the meaning from two simple sentences, and to not assume good faith.

    The interpretation you offer doesn’t even make any sense in the context of the article. To conclude the article by saying that Carey is asking to be sexually violated would be quite the non-sequitur, no?

  • Colin

    I think this discussion is incredibly jejune. For what it’s worth, when I read the excerpt it was obvious to me that the antecedent of the “it” that she’s asking for was “that the larger public will… post remixes of their own” from the previous sentence. But even if you didn’t surmise that yourself from reading it, it’s insulting to blame the author’s “sloppy writing” for your inability to parse the meaning from two simple sentences, and to not assume good faith.

    The interpretation you offer doesn’t even make any sense in the context of the article. To conclude the article by saying that Carey is asking to be sexually violated would be quite the non-sequitur, no?

  • Colin

    I think this discussion is incredibly jejune. For what it’s worth, when I read the excerpt it was obvious to me that the antecedent of the “it” that she’s asking for was “that the larger public will… post remixes of their own” from the previous sentence. But even if you didn’t surmise that yourself from reading it, it’s insulting to blame the author’s “sloppy writing” for your inability to parse the meaning from two simple sentences, and to not assume good faith.

    The interpretation you offer doesn’t even make any sense in the context of the article. To conclude the article by saying that Carey is asking to be sexually violated would be quite the non-sequitur, no?

  • Colin

    I think this discussion is incredibly jejune. For what it’s worth, when I read the excerpt it was obvious to me that the antecedent of the “it” that she’s asking for was “that the larger public will… post remixes of their own” from the previous sentence. But even if you didn’t surmise that yourself from reading it, it’s insulting to blame the author’s “sloppy writing” for your inability to parse the meaning from two simple sentences, and to not assume good faith.

    The interpretation you offer doesn’t even make any sense in the context of the article. To conclude the article by saying that Carey is asking to be sexually violated would be quite the non-sequitur, no?

  • Art Fag City

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to quote myself:

    “…while a reader can discern that [Olson] means to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than [her] intended meaning”

    Also, I think sloppy writing is being interpreted much more harshly than it’s meant. It happens all the time, particularly on blogs. You point it out, discuss what’s interesting to you and move on.

  • Art Fag City

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to quote myself:

    “…while a reader can discern that [Olson] means to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than [her] intended meaning”

    Also, I think sloppy writing is being interpreted much more harshly than it’s meant. It happens all the time, particularly on blogs. You point it out, discuss what’s interesting to you and move on.

  • Art Fag City

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to quote myself:

    “…while a reader can discern that [Olson] means to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than [her] intended meaning”

    Also, I think sloppy writing is being interpreted much more harshly than it’s meant. It happens all the time, particularly on blogs. You point it out, discuss what’s interesting to you and move on.

  • Art Fag City

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to quote myself:

    “…while a reader can discern that [Olson] means to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than [her] intended meaning”

    Also, I think sloppy writing is being interpreted much more harshly than it’s meant. It happens all the time, particularly on blogs. You point it out, discuss what’s interesting to you and move on.

  • Art Fag City

    Not to beat a dead horse, but to quote myself:

    “…while a reader can discern that [Olson] means to suggest she’s asking to be remixed, the common usage of that phrase carries more weight than [her] intended meaning”

    Also, I think sloppy writing is being interpreted much more harshly than it’s meant. It happens all the time, particularly on blogs. You point it out, discuss what’s interesting to you and move on.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Colin,
    It is beyond jejune, it’s jejuly!
    Anyway, you say it’s “obvious” what the “it” is, but…
    Mariah Carey isn’t asking to be remixed, Oliver Laric is.
    (Her publishers probably don’t encourage it.)
    The line only makes sense as a journalistic double entendre, with the joke being set up by the phrases “…her “come hither” gestures and the invitation “touch my body”…” that preceded the punch line.
    Paddy was being generous to give Olson the benefit of a doubt and say it was sloppy writing.
    For Olson to turn that around and accuse the rest of the world of “sloppy reading” takes a lot of chutzpah. (She could also have owned the line and told the critics to get over it.)

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