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SpongeBob Essay

By Damaris Chanza

My intention was to put Hito Stereyl’s essay ‘In Defense of the Poor Image’ directly in dialogue with SpongeBob SquarePants the TV show and it’s poor image counterpart, memes. Based on Stereyl’s essay, Spongebob memes are considered poor images because of their duplication of the original show as well as their mass circulation online. However, there are other points she makes such as that of a need for a distinction between author and audience, are outdated and does not include SpongeBob.

I purposely wanted to use technique and media inspired by Spongebob, not only to stay in theme, but relate the argument back to the source material. Part of Stereyl’s argument is that the reduplication of images takes away from the matter of the source material, removing the filmmaker from an elitist position. By using techniques seen in the source material to present its poor image counterpart, I hope to demonstrate that there is also a way to pay homage to the original instead of just diminishing it.

I also wanted to purposely use images of the essay and of Hito Stereyl. Considering that her essay is published online giving it opportunity for mass consumption, her work is subject to the idea of poor images as well.  I could have easily made all the same points using her argument only as inspiration, but I wanted to include her original work in the room of poor images.

These methods of display put content in dialogue with presentation in a way that is meant to strengthen my argument.

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