Queer Experimental Asian American Media

Authored by: Oishi Eve

The Routledge Companion to Asian American Media

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138846012
eBook ISBN: 9781315727745
Adobe ISBN: 9781317540847


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From one perspective, the category of “queer experimental Asian American media” can be understood to inscribe a self-evident and self-defining category: a body of work by media artists who identify as both queer and Asian American and who work within an experimental aesthetic or form. This perspective takes “queer” and “Asian American” as categories of identity, while “experimental” and “media” are understood to be terms of aesthetics and technology. Bringing these terms together in this way is linked to a project of visibility, as it is understood that the art and the artists included in this category occupy a marginalized position within art scholarship and criticism and are worthy of attention as a distinct body of work. This essay is not an argument against such a perspective; I have published several articles and curated numerous film and video programs that were motivated by this premise (Oishi 2000, 2003). However, the development of the field of Asian American studies over the last 20 years, particularly the influence of poststructuralist theories of language and identity, has put these terms under increasing pressure, requiring alternative methodological approaches.

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