Camgirls: Surveillance and Feminine Embodiment in Lifecasting Practice
The first “camgirls” of the late 1990s placed cameras in their homes and broadcast their private lives on the internet. This chapter examines the “lifecasting” practice of two “camgirls” from the late 1990s: Ana Voog of anacam.com and Jennifer Ringley of JenniCAM.org and argues that such autobiographical media contributed to the changing contemporary media landscape where “reality” (or at least its appearance) was a valuable entertainment commodity. This chapter locates Voog and Ringley’s lifecasting within a rich history of art practice in which women artists have used their own bodies as media, and considers camgirls as pioneers of webcam technology who engaged with anxieties around identity on the internet, feminine embodiment and the gaze, visibility, and the consumption of eroticised female bodies.
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