New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television

Video clip of Desire, Inc.

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Desire, Inc.

Alternative Title:
Desire (Incorporated)

2 folders
See the record for "New Television, Episode 605 (1990)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

Copyright Date:

Copyright Holder:
Lynn Hershman

Hershman, Lynn

This piece was broadcast as Episode 605 of the 1990 "New Television" season.

Includes black-and-white photographic prints of still images from the work. See the record for "New Television, Episode 605 (1990)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

Lynn Hershman's "Desire, Inc." documents a media experiment. Hershman created several advertisements featuring a bleached-blonde model, which played with media and cultural fantasies of women. The ads gave a number for viewers to call, and some of the respondents were interviewed by Hershman. This story comes out slowly through narration by Hershman, the ads themselves, the diverse responses of viewers, and interviews with the model, Marion Grabansky. Hershman describes the ads as "electronic boomerangs" intended to solicit reactions. Most of the four respondents comment on the context the ads were viewed in, some with anger over the broadcast of an ad, which they perceive as reinforcing misogynist stereotypes, during an episode of "Cagney and Lacey" that dealt with rape. Hershman describes the project as "participatory television," or television that the viewer can talk back to. At many points in the work, she suggests a relationship between the importance of reproductive technologies in women's lives and the reproducing technologies of the media.

Hershman, Lynn

Hershman, Lynn

Hershman, Lynn
Sweeney, Skip
Mason, Merle

Western States Regional Fellowship
Art Matters, Inc.
Women's Project, The; Paul Robeson Fund
San Francisco State University, Creative Projects Grant

Television advertising
Women in mass media


See Also:
New Television, Episode 605 (1990)

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