Slavoj Zizek recently took to the pages of The Baffler in an article aptly named “Camera Shy, Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.”
He begins by discussing a device that, in a nutshell, is a combo Google Glass/projector duct-taped to your head. The camera takes in data about objects in front of you and can project data back onto whatever object your are near.
…And then immediately the Internet gets the data about the object and projects them onto any plain surface. You interact with a real object, but at the same time you can project on it all the data. And I think it’s an interesting thing because the effect is a kind of magic. Objects answer you, telling all about themselves.
You can imagine my first reaction: it must be wonderful to do this in seduction. Okay, it holds also for women, but from my male chauvinist perspective, I look at the woman, and it’s projected on her. She likes anal sex, she likes her breasts pinched, she likes this music, she likes that. You get instant data on the girl. This is ideology at its purest. And isn’t it how our real lives are structured? Let’s say you are an anti-Arab, anti-Jewish, or anti-black racist. Isn’t it exactly the same as what happens when you see a real Arab or Jew or black guy? It is as if you project on him all your implicit racist knowledge. You see that he’s evil, a danger to you, or whatever, blah blah. I think it’s a perfect metaphor for our spontaneous ideology.
And no Zizek article is complete without some random segue into pornography. Zizek argues that women are not objectified in traditional porn. After all, they get to look at the cameras. Who does that!
I absolutely disagree with Laura Mulvey, the cinema theorist, that in heterosexual pornography, the woman is reduced to the object of the male gaze. Not at all. Do you notice how the woman being fucked is allowed to break the basic rule of fiction movies and look directly into the camera? Men, no. You don’t identify with the man fucking the woman. He is a pure instrument. If you are a hetero guy observing a hardcore movie, what you are looking for—and this is signaled to you by the woman—is some confirmation that the woman really enjoys it. The true object is the poor guy, usually some poor sailor fucking her. Which is why the woman, as a rule, has to make all those sounds all the time.
To read the rest of Zizek’s babbling about porn, check out the full article at The Baffler.