Marisa's American Idol Audition Training Blog (2004)

This project, whose very didactic name was designed to maximize search engine results, is one in which I spent three months "in training" to audition for American Idol. Aware that success on the show is about much more than vocal talent, I performed training exercises ranging from dance lessons to research into audition-line campout gear, and many more rigorous wardrobe, physique, dermatology, and showwomanship training—including some musicological research into top-fortydom.

Everything was blogged on this site, whose very structure investigated the nascent tropes of blogging. I was excited to bring a self-reflexive touch to the processes associated with this all-star American spectacle. The site grew enormously popular, due to the hundreds of people Googling American Idol Audition Tips/Songs/etc, and after inclusion in the New York Times, the site took off. (It was syndicated on many reality TV sites and led over 6,000 people to vote on what I should wear ...

Full Description

This project, whose very didactic name was designed to maximize search engine results, is one in which I spent three months "in training" to audition for American Idol. Aware that success on the show is about much more than vocal talent, I performed training exercises ranging from dance lessons to research into audition-line campout gear, and many more rigorous wardrobe, physique, dermatology, and showwomanship training—including some musicological research into top-fortydom.

Everything was blogged on this site, whose very structure investigated the nascent tropes of blogging. I was excited to bring a self-reflexive touch to the processes associated with this all-star American spectacle. The site grew enormously popular, due to the hundreds of people Googling American Idol Audition Tips/Songs/etc, and after inclusion in the New York Times, the site took off. (It was syndicated on many reality TV sites and led over 6,000 people to vote on what I should wear and sing at the auditions.) My project takes advantage of this large, captive, mostly non-art audience. As the diary/training progresses, I dug into the politics of the show (Fox, gender issues, etc) and general stereotypes about fame, beauty, and talent., which the show often perpetuates. As my “training” ran concurrent with the build up to the 2004 Presidential elections, I tried to cast the project as a campaign and to encourage readers to vote on issues ranging from wardrobe selection to public policy--playing off of the discrepancy in the number of young Americans voting in association with the show and not voting in governmental elections,

This series is an extension of my interests in the cultural history of technology and narrativity, including questions of authorship, storytelling formats, the rhetoric of the image, and the impacts of technologies upon social relationships. These interests are specifically located within an investigation of the nature of the contemporary art world. Borrowing from the lexicon of the music world, the projects ask ironic questions about the relationship between being a pop star and being an art star, which is more generally a question about the relationship between fame & talent. While the project may exist as larger interrogations of the nature of two commercial systems, it is also a very personal reflection of my own identity.

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Artist Statement

This project, whose very didactic name was designed to maximize search engine results, is one in which I spent three months "in training" to audition for American Idol. Aware that success on the show is about much more than vocal talent, I performed training exercises ranging from dance lessons to research into audition-line campout gear, and many more rigorous wardrobe, physique, dermatology, and showwomanship training—including some musicological research into top-fortydom.

Everything was blogged on this site, whose very structure investigated the nascent tropes of blogging. I was excited to bring a self-reflexive touch to the processes associated with this all-star American spectacle. The site grew enormously popular, due to the hundreds of people Googling American Idol Audition Tips/Songs/etc, and after inclusion in the New York Times, the site took off. (It was syndicated on many reality TV sites and led over 6,000 people to vote on what I should wear and sing at the auditions.) My project takes advantage of this large, captive, mostly non-art audience. As the diary/training progresses, I dug into the politics of the show (Fox, gender issues, etc) and general stereotypes about fame, beauty, and talent., whcih the show often perpetuates. As my “training” ran concurrent with the build up to the 2004 Presidential elections, I tried to cast the project as a campaign and to encourage readers to vote on issues ranging from wardrobe selection to public policy--playing off of the discrepancy in the number of young Americans voting in association with the show and not voting in governmental elections,

This series is an extension of my interests in the cultural history of technology and narrativity, including questions of authorship, storytelling formats, the rhetoric of the image, and the impacts of technologies upon social relationships. These interests are specifically located within an investigation of the nature of the contemporary art world. Borrowing from the lexicon of the music world, the projects ask ironic questions about the relationship between being a pop star and being an art star, which is more generally a question about the relationship between fame & talent. While the project may exist as larger interrogations of the nature of two commercial systems, it is also a very personal reflection of my own identity.

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