OTW Fannews: Love and respect

  • The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art opened a new exhibit last month called Love to Love You which “gathers art work that takes fan culture as a cue to examine not only the specifics of how we express affection for people far removed from us, but also what that means beyond the exact relationship between audience and creator.” The exhibit focuses primarily on music and sports fandoms. “Elissa Goldstone creates objects where there is some resemblance to merchandise or objects that circulate in fan culture, but because of the handmade quality of it, it really has very emotive aspects. It also has a performative aspect, because she sits and watches games and keeps scorecards and then embroiders them, so it’s fan identity as performance that then gets transferred to an object.”
  • While stories such as a fan’s walk-on role in “The Office” finale tend to get press for linking fans to creators, places such as The Keysmash blog have been celebrating fandom stories for their personal aspects. In one post a mother realized that fandom could be her community in many ways. “Folks were open and welcoming. I met other women with special needs children and we could talk out our problems and delight in our kids. I met women who had battled depression and anxiety too and I learned from them. I met writers who encouraged me to follow my passion for it. I met women who were not afraid to write and talk about kinks. I met artists who just blew my mind with their talent and creativity. I met runners and fitness gurus who helped me run two 5Ks…I met people from all over the world with different lives and different experiences and different knowledge and I basked in it and shared what I could with them…I am the healthiest I have ever been in mind, body, and spirit and it is all because a prince and a sorcerer couldn’t stop eye-fucking each other.”
  • The SplitSider focused on fandom’s effects on a larger scale by discussing The Arrested Development Documentary Project just as Netflix resurrected the series. The film “flips between interviews with…creator Mitch Hurwitz, seven of the nine regulars, and the show’s producers- and thoughts from die-hard fans of the show. Featuring interviews with passionate Arrested Development fans is a great idea. After all, it’s the fans that kept the show alive, making it the cult hit it is today. Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t entirely work. For one thing, the fans [are] never identified—it’s a string of anonymous faces and a brief cameo from Keith Olbermann. And all the enthusiasm in the world doesn’t necessarily make someone an eloquent orator, able to clearly articulate the brilliance of the series.”
  • Fan eloquence can shine in individual posts, however, utilizing more than just words. One post among the Month of Meta’s offerings on Dreamwidth discusses fan expression on Tumblr and why “feels” have come to be. “The term is, far from being a corruption of the language, an elegantly precise word that serves a very useful function. So next time you feel reluctant to say something ‘hit you right in the feels’ or to cry out ‘ow, my feels!’ embrace your inner fan, let go of your inner grammarian, and go for it!”

What tributes to fandom have struck a chord with you? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.