Friday, April 7, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Eyegiene Chapter on Mandingo and Blaxploitation: A Work in Progress

I am in the middle of composing and revising a brief chapter on blaxploitation movies and paperbacks for the Eyegiene book with UT Press.  In the process of spelunking the internets for material on the 1975 film "classic" Mandingo directed by Richard Fleischer--which itself derives from the novel Mandingo by Kyle Onstott and a stage version of the book by Jack Kirkland--I chanced across these screaming semiotic, pulp wonders.  Let's see how many of these I can squeeze into the book!  The source for the images is an Etsy vendor.  I love that the book is an "uncensored" abridgment, meaning, I imagine that bulky scenes of description and dialogue have been excised in the interest of featuring the delights of "scandalous" miscegenation in the old South.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Eyegiene and Pulp Fiction: Saucy Detective Stories, v1 #5, August 1937 | Norman Saunders Cover Art

Norman Saunders cover, below, will have its day in Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race. Saunders' clever semiotic deconstruction (the pinup woman, object of the magazine purchaser's eye, is, herself, a camera operator, her cutting edge film camera--for then--more prominent in a way than either her shadowy pursuer or her own naked torso) signals a pre-post-structuralist understanding of the technology / representation / subjectivity matrix.  The image, contemporary with Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (actually Benjamin's opus comes out a year previous) augurs ideas that will see full development in Michael Powell's Peeping Tom.

  • Saucy Detective Stories [v1 #5, August 1937] (25¢, 1-96+65b-128b, pulp, cover by Norman Saunders
  • Title page reads Saucy Stories. Details taken from a scan of a (partial) Table of Contents, supplemented by information from Nichole Rounds.
{source: William G. Contento's Homeville Fiction Magazine, main:   ||| specific issue info: index:}

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) & Stephen Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) Collaboration, June 2-June 7, 2014

No one working today in daily comic strips captures the depth, range, and pure semiotic joy of the medium more than Stephen Pastis in Pearls Before Swine--before him came Bill Watterson (and before either of them, way back in the day, Winsor McCay).  So it was magic in 2014 when Watterson and Pastis teamed up for a week of Pearls strips; here they are in all their glory (a higher resolution jpg lives here) :

click to enlarge

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

UCSD Fall 2016 | CAT 125 | I/EYEgasm Mutations of the Broadcasted Self in the Chaotic Digital Age of Sex & Race | Dr. William A. Nericcio

Click me, I get bigger!

CAT 125
Mutations of the Broadcasted Self 
in the Chaotic Digital Age of Sex & Race

Dr. William Anthony Nericcio
phone: 619.594.1524
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays,
before class at The Loft, 11:30am to 12:40pm

“I couldn't decide whether I was writing the characters, or whether the characters were writing me, or whether we were all one and the same.”

--David Bowie, musing on the last night he
performed as Ziggy Stardust with the Spiders from Mars

our UCSD course catalogue refers to this class as “Public Rhetoric and Practical Communication” and, indeed, we will, in the course of the Fall quarter, explore the spheres of rhetoric, communication, and—brace for it—the joys of “writing a resume.” But we will also be embarked on other, related perhaps more profound missions!

Together, we will explore the following questions: What is “self” and what goes into its manufacture?  In order to answer those questions (and to keep our adventure timely and of value for undergraduates from across the disciplines) we will be grappling with contemporary debates that impact on our construction and “branding” of our self in worlds analog and digital.  Other questions we will work with this semester include: What is a memoir? What is a self-portrait? Why does it feel so good to have our pictures liked by unseen entities, the digitized shadows of others, connected to us by the bizarre electronic network that is the internet? What is the relationship of our Facebook page to our Self?  Are living through a paradigm shift?—a watershed epoch where something as basic as the “I” is totally being rewritten by our obsession with digitized eyes! 

In our class I will speak of hygiene’s cousin, “Eyegiene,” and of something I call “I/EYEgasm”—where the addictive hedonizing pleasure of the visually digitized world evolves into the virtual equivalent of crystal meth.  I/EYEgasm is a made-up word, a neologism, that attempts to speak to our common experiences with mass media today—is it possible that the mesh of our minds with technology, our daily ritural of touching/seeing screens (computer screens, smartphone screens, television screens) comes to infect/dominate our lives? Eyes wide open, so to speak, these screens become electric, naked mirrors, concealing nothing, revealing all.

The various works we encounter this term will teach us to rethink, rewrite, and reimagine what it is we call to consciousness when we picture the contours of the human mind--in the process, we will learn to tell stories of our selves, share representations of ourselves that just might move someone else (and get you a job, career, future!).

During the semester we will hang out with a wide-ranging and eclectic group of characters including Banksy, the epic #streetart maven cum moviemaker with Exit Through the Gift Shop; Frida Kahlo, who basically rewrites the notion of the self-portrait in oil painting and beyond; Nathanael West, American novelist and arch satirist cynic whose Miss Lonelyhearts will singe your existential synapses; and Dan Clowes, infamous graphic narrative guru whose Ghost World redefines notions of being for a 21st century audience—also making cameos? Marshall McLuhan, Siggy Freud, John Berger, and LA Playwright Oliver Mayer.

{Please note that you must have the old school PRINT version of the books for our class as electronic versions are to be avoided.}

Sections/Teaching Assistants
CAT 125A

click to enlarge

Required Books:

1. The Medium is the Massage 9th Edition by Marshall McLuhan  (Author), Quentin Fiore (Author), Shepard Fairey  (Illustrator)
Publisher: Gingko Press; 9th edition (August 1, 2001)
ISBN-10: 1584230703
ISBN-13: 978-1584230700

2. Freud for Beginners Paperback –by Richard Appignanesi  (Author), Oscar Zarate
Publisher: Pantheon (July 15, 2003)
ISBN-10: 037571460X
ISBN-13: 978-0375714603

3. Ways of Seeing: Based on the BBC Television Series Paperback – by John Berger  (Author)
Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (December 1, 1990)
ISBN-10: 0140135154
ISBN-13: 978-0140135152

4. Kahlo–by Andrea Kettenmann (Author)
Publisher: Taschen (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 383650085X
ISBN-13: 978-3836500852

5. Ghost World– by Daniel Clowes (Author)
Publisher: Fantagraphics (April 1, 2001)
ISBN-10: 1560974273
ISBN-13: 978-1560974277

6. Miss Lonelyhearts Paperback –by Nathanael West (Author), Harold Bloom (Introduction)
Publisher: New Directions; Reprint edition (July 17, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0811220931
ISBN-13: 978-0811220934

The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works [+] PLUS Paperback –
by Oliver Mayer, William Nericcio, Editor
Publisher: Hyperbole Books, San Diego State University Press; 1st edition
ISBN-10: 1879691841
ISBN-13: 978-1879691841

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Eyegasm Books | UCSD | Fall 2016

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The First Baby Steps Toward the New Eyegiene Exhibition

With any luck in the next year I will put the final touches on Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race--as I have done with Mextasy (the bastard child of Tex[t]-Mex), Eyegiene will have a traveling pop-up museum exhibition trailing in its wake.  Today, I found a centerpiece for that installation at the San Diego Vintage Flea Market in North Park.

Here they are off my Instagram account:

#sdvintagefleamarket score! First major artifact for the #eyegiene exhibition!

A photo posted by william anthony nericcio (@william.nericcio) on

and here, a 2nd shot showing other delights I saw but opted not to buy--I am too much of a hoarder (er, curator) as it is!

Great day at #sdvintagefleamarket

A photo posted by william anthony nericcio (@william.nericcio) on