Imperfect Matches: Queer Algorithms and Reality Dating Programs

By Department of Art and Art History

Thursday, September 10, 2020 5:30pm to 7:00pm

755 Library Road, Rochester, NY 14626

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Lecture by Hunter Hargraves, Associate Professor of Film and Television Arts, Cal State Fullerton.

This talk explores the interconnections between smartphone dating apps and reality dating programs, focusing both on how reality dating programs influenced the expectation of "compatability" that would later emerge on smartphone apps such as Grindr and Tinder as well as on how the algorithmic culture of smartphone apps changed the format of the reality dating program. Charting a genealogy of reality dating programs that engage both in queer subtext and in proto-algorithmic conceptions of compatibility (including Singled Out, Boy Meets Boy, Next, and A Shot of Love with Tila Tequila), I turn to the eighth season of MTV's Are You The One, which made headlines for casting an entire house full of bisexual and/or sexually-fluid identifying people. Noting the synergies as well as the gaps between algorithmic culture and reality formatting, I chart how smartphone algorithms influence the perception and normalization of non-traditional forms of queer sexuality.

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