Heins, Marjorie · Media Effects

In her essay, Heins explores children’s relationships to violence and sex in the media. She concludes that all children react differently because although there are effects from viewing violent or sexual images in the media, they are various and difficult to quanitfy. Violent and sexual acts have happened in history without the help of media and will continue to do so. There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ violence, just violence. What constitutes ‘bad’ behavior anyway? Aggression? Physical hitting? There are no definitions or thresholds given.

With regard to statistics, correlations doesn’t equal causation and just because something is statistically significant, doesn’t mean that it is important. Data can be manipulated, too, skewing results in favor of one outcome or another. Even so, there needs to be a continued discussion, interpretation, and critique of media messages. Real conversations need to be had, not just ones rooted in fear, anger, or ideology. Within these discussions, it is also important to note the influence of gender, race, and class.

Leon Golub. Interrogation II, 1981

Leon Golub’s paintings, without even knowing their content, leaves the viewers with a sick feeling in their stomach. Bright color blocks of red, erratic lines, and empty space work together to give his work about war and violence a nauseating feeling.

Felix Gonzales Torres. Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1987-1990.

What makes art so frightening is its ability to talk about things that scare us and make us uncomfortable. Felix Gonzalez Torres’s art created during the HIV/AIDs crisis of the ’80s humanized the epidemic that killed so many.

Demian DinéYazhi’ works with text, poetry, performance, photography, installation, and graphic design about colonization, queerness, ceremony, and more.

Using the least offending Terry Richardson photo I could find, that of Tyler the Creator, I almost did not want to include the man who has been accused of so many sexual allegations and rape. The question is why people continue to work with him? Because he’s provocative? Just another abuser.

Signe Pierce and Alli Coates’s American Reflexxx (2015) is an important piece of art and social commentary on the violence against gender non-conforming people and the amount of xenophobia in American culture. It’s incredibly unnerving to watch.

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