Category Archives: Week 4

Avicii ‘Woke Me Up’: Intertextuality of Electronic Dance Music

From the readings this past week, I had one type of process that kept coming to mind when dealing with the hybridity and intertextual forms of musical expression. If you’re a fan of music, particularly EDM or Electronic Dance Music, you might be familiar with the popular band Avicii. In the past, they have revolutionized the sound of electronic music in clubs, raves, parties, casinos, etc. Who knew that being so talented at making electronic beats would result in being capable of producing much more?

Avicii’s last album, “True,” came out in September of 2013. It features a total of twelve songs of completely different and mixed styles, feels, beats, and compilations of different artists, all produced by Avicii. When Avicii gave the world a preview of this album in March of 2013 at the Ultra Music Festival, it rendered negative results at first. People couldn’t grasp nor did they like the concept of a band incorporating bluegrass, country, jazz, rock, electric, soul, etc. However, with the negative publicity came positive feedback as well. Many artists supported Avicii’s endeavor to revolutionize EDM around the world, using different sounds and styles one might hear in different genres as well as different time periods.

Millions of reviews, comments, opinions, and articles were written about Avicii’s choice to mix genres and time periods. It’s specifically eye-opening because there are a small handful of EDM artists who could successfully make an album that would sell such a wide variety of sounds on one album, appealing to a large number of consumers (whether they are fans of EDM or not). Furthermore, historically, Avicii is known around the world for strictly being electronic and dance music (Such as “Levels”), and was highly rated around the world. But the mastermind behind Avicii’s name, Tim Bergling, seems to think that house music is now becoming relatively the same. A specific sound is being repeated over and over and he wanted to change things up in order to create something controversial and new. “This quest to provoke has led Bergling to work with artists including Nile Rodgers, Adam Lambert and Mike Einziger, guitarist from forgotten surf-metallers Incubus. It’s a motley crew but one that Bergling is proud to be a part of” (Renshaw).

Avicii’s new album clearly interconnects with other works. One could argue that Daft Punk, David Guetta, and other like artists have pop-ish and rock-ish attributes to some of their songs. Avicii takes it to a whole new level using country, bluegrass, and other genres that are stereotypically seen as the complete opposite of each other. Avicii is specific with each song. Some resemble the normal EDM style, others incorporate jazz, soul, bluegrass, etc. “’People’s expectations were just lowered so much. Country and house? This has got to be a joke,’ the DJ-producer said in a recent interview. ‘Once you get over the fact that it’s country and house, just listen to it as music, a lot of people realized it’s pretty good’…’Wake Me Up’ is Avicii’s proof. The upbeat folk tune has topped the charts around the world. It has peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, where the song is platinum” (Makarechi).

(View ‘Wake Me Up’ Here) ‘Wake Me Up’ Official Video

Avicii also took a big risk in the track, ‘Hey Brother,’ “…Which features the keening vocals of Mr. Tyminski. (How much of a risk is it to use the main voice from an album, the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack, that has sold over seven million copies in the United States?)” (Caramanica). ‘Heart Upon My Sleeve’ features a vocal performance from Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons (which is alternative rock), while ‘Shame on Me’ incorporates a solid amount of swing music and that of the jazz genre. ‘Long Road to Hell’ is also a spirited combination of soul, classical, jazz, a little R&B, and EDM.

(View ‘Hey Brother’ Here) ‘Hey Brother’ Official Video

(View ‘Heart Upon My Sleeve’ Here)‘Heart Upon My Sleeve’ Video

(View ‘Shame On Me’ Here) ‘Shame On Me’ Video

(View ‘Long Road to Hell’ Here) ‘Long Road to Hell’ Video Exclusive Mix

Furthermore, because we are so interconnected (thanks to television and the internet) Avicii is able to insert their experiments and music within a wide variety of cultures and countries. The album went gold or platinum in seven countries around the world. Avicii’s work is so monumental because of it’s direction of music. It was rejected at first. But the way this music is ‘new,’ that is, because it incorporates so many genres of opposite taste (especially pertaining to EDM), is why it has reaped success.

In relation to the readings, this new music is a living culture within itself that is growing its roots in the hearts of millions. I think the value of this music is the fact that it’s so hybrid yet a genius combination of compositions that it has intrigued countries and people around the world. It’s a “collage” of music, just as described in Greenberg’s piece on art. A mix of dimensions and new textures that are so opposite that it becomes an oxymoron of appealing art. “By its greater corporeal presence and its greater extraneousness, the affixed paper or cloth serves for a seeming moment to push everything else into a more vivid idea of depth than the simulated printing or simulated textures had ever done” (Clement Greenberg). I feel as though Avicii has done just this, except within the realm of musical phenomena, as well as a mix of time periods and intermingling a nostalgic want for past sounds.

Gunhild’s readings inspired me to focus on the subject that the work is open, quite like the mind, in that individuals like many different sounds even from the past or present. What he calls, “negotiation” is going on all the time in all types of media, including music. The intertextuality is expandable, and for Avicii, this works out perfectly in terms of marketing and sales. Bergling has shaped this text of his album, “True,” with many other texts. Music from music. Singers who are inspired from other singers – in essence, he has created his genre from other genres, an idea that Gunhild recognizes through Bakhtinian concepts. Avicii’s music is also intermedial because of it’s in-between-ness. A hybrid breed.

Genres represent the intertextuality in music frequently. Gunhild states, “Genres perform the function of organizing this heteroglossia and connecting distinctive traits in distinctive genres. The genres tend to assume certain points of view, ways of thinking, and social accents.” So not only do genres represent music but they represent literature, art, time periods, social movements and social views present at a given time in history. Furthermore, the idea of heteroglossia, describes the idea of coexistence of distinct varieties within a single “language” – in this case, the language of music.

Works Cited

Caramanica, Jon. “Global Pop, Now Infused With Country The Swedish D.J. Avicii Releases ‘True’.” The New York Times., 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 3 Feb. 2014. <>.

Clement Greenberg, “Collage” (1959). A classic article on 20th century “collage culture” or the “collage aesthetic,” which carries over into music (jazz and rock) and awareness of popular culture post-1960.

Gunhild Agger, “Intertextuality Revisited: Dialogues and Negotiations in Media Studies.” Canadian Journal of Aesthetics, 4, 1999. [Good overview of theories as they apply to media studies.]

Makarechi, Kia. “‘True’ Review: Avicii Pulls Off An Unlikely Hybrid.” The Huffington Post., 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <>.

Renshaw, David. “Avicii’s Mix of EDM and Country Has given Ravers a Wake-up Call.” Guardian News and Media, 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <>.

“True (Avicii Album).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Mar. 2014. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. <>.

YouTube and Guggenheim: Legitimizing Remix in the Museum

In a cultural industry charged with legitimizing history, legacy, truth, progress, creativity and everything in between, the museum’s relationship with the moving image is certainly in a state of transition. “Applying Lotman’s assertion that “culture is the non-hereditary memory of the community” in the form of encoded artefacts, Irvine argues that “we can’t help but remix in the form of Remix+.”  In 2010, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City embraced this mode of thinking in the form of the Guggenheim YouTube Play Biennial.

It’s not about what’s new…it’s about what’s next,” boasts YouTube Play’s host, pinpointing what most public organizations and institutions seem to continually overlook.  While MoMA’s mission statement emphasizes “that modern and contemporary art transcend national boundaries and involve all forms of visual expression…as well as new forms yet to be developed or understood, that reflect and explore the artistic issues of the era,” the Guggenheim Foundation focuses on “the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods…and strives to engage and educate an increasingly diverse international audience through its unique network of museums and cultural partnerships.”  Just as Irvine argues that “current technologies enable us to implement and automate pre-existing symbolic functions,” wherein we “always dialogically, collectively ‘quote ourselves’ to capture prior states of meaning,” the Guggenheim/YouTube collaboration has seemingly addressed  the question of authorship and remix as a means of facilitating a conversation between what constitutes high and low art and how the museum-sphere may be subverted in an increasingly digital age.

 Check out this video from the Jury Selection.

While YouTube may not seem a straightforward choice for adhering to a museum’s vision, YouTube Play delivers on both pre-eminent institution’s promises.  Is YouTube modern and contemporary?  Does YouTube transcend national boundaries?  Is YouTube a form of visual expression?  Is it yet to be fully developed or understood?  Does it provide a unique framework for exploring this era’s artistic issues?  Of course it does.

And does YouTube promote an appreciation of other manifestations of visual culture?  Does it cater to an international audience?  Has YouTube utilized the power of a unique network of museums and cultural partnerships?  When one considers the Guggenheim’s dominance in New York City, Bilbao, Berlin and Venice, some may say that YouTube Play satisfies a vast majority of many museum’s guiding principles better than the museums themselves.

But what do such shifts mean for the role of authorship within the institutional setting and how does YouTube’s identity crisis reflect broader issues of cultural authority and cultural gate-keeping? Does the Guggenheim’s inclusion/embrace of remixed video legitimize the hybridity within the high art world or is it a simple headline-grabbing, one-off experiment? filmmaker In Everything is A Remix, Kirby Ferguson argues that “creation requires influence … it isn’t magic.” So to what degree does the Guggenheim’s embrace of such clearly adapted and adopted video art argue on behalf of digital remix culture?”

On July 31st, 2010, a team of Guggenheim curators began the daunting task of rifling through over 23,000 video submissions uploaded through Youtube’s online platform.  Acknowledging this paradigm shift in visual culture, YouTube Play hoped to “recognize the current effect of new technologies on creativity by showcasing exceptional talent working in the ever-expanding realm of digital media.”  With submissions from 91 countries,  this flood of creativity was whittled down to a shortlist of 125 submissions from which 25 were ultimately selected by a jury of 11 renown visual artists. Submission criteria simply stated that the video not be longer than ten minutes in length, that it be a non-commercial production created within the last two years – preferably a world premiere – and that all artists be over 18 years old; thus allowing for a great amount of topical and artistic flexibility.  Jurors included acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aranofsky, performance artist Laurie Anderson, Turner Prize-winner Douglas Gordon, photographer Ryan McGinley, hyperrealist Marilyn Minter, Japanese curator Takashi Murakami, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat, graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector.

So what does it mean for authorship if the world’s most renown cultural institutions incorporate highly “quoted” content in their collections? What message is being sent or reflected? Perhaps what is most telling about the Guggenheim Youtube experiment (as the biennial was not repeated in 2012) is the institution and jury’s complete willingness to curate and exhibit a collection wherein over 1/2 of the videos included remixed content. Wonderland Mafia, Auspice, Man with a Movie Camera Remake all topped the Jury’s list. Sound like an endorsement to me.

Works Cited:

“Mission Statement” The Guggenheim Foundation. 2013 edition. Accessed 29-01-2014.< >.

“Mission Statement.” The Museum of Modern Art. 2013 edition. Accessed 29-01-2014.< >.

The Guggenheim Foundation. TGF. 2010 edition. 29-01-2014.< >.

“YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video.” The Guggenheim Museum. 2010 edition. Accessed 29-01-2014. < >.


Irvine, Martin. “Remix and the Dialogic Engine of Culture: A Model for Generative Combinatoriality“. To appear in The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, ed. Eduardo Navas, et al. (NY: Routledge, 2014).

Ferguson, Kirby. “Everything Is a Remix.” Vimeo. N.p., 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.

Lotman and Uspensky, “On the Semiotic Mechanism of Culture,” New Literary History, Vol. 9, No. 2, Soviet Semiotics and Criticism: An Anthology (Winter, 1978), pp. 211-232.



Django Unchained: Appropriation Done Right

Emily Rothkopf

“[Quentin] Tarantino has been dubbed a “director DJ,” comparing his stylistic use of mix-and-match genre and music infusion to the use of sampling in DJ exhibits, morphing a variety of old works to create a new one,” (Wikipedia 2014).

Appropriation is the act of borrowing elements from previously published texts and repurposing them, perhaps by changing the context or narrative, to develop new works.  Many artists remix others works without elevating or diversifying their subjects, or without any acknowledgement of their influences.  Alternatively, Quentin Tarantino’s films provide some of the best examples of appropriation in film “done right.”  Not only does Tarantino copy, transform and combine past texts to create ingenious and original films, but he promotes and speaks to his obscure influences passionately and with a reverence.  “Creation requires influence … it isn’t magic,” filmmaker Kirby Ferguson states in Everything is A Remix.  But the fluidity in which an artist pieces together his/her influences and connects seemingly unconnected works to create new art, with new meaning, can be quite magical.  Tarantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained includes numerous examples of appropriation – both overt and subconscious, giving viewers exposure to past genres and texts but in a modernized format.  And as a result, he makes an original contribution to film and art.

The Genres & Cinematography

Django Unchained is inspired greatly by Italian director Sergio Corbucci, who according to Tarantino, depicted the West more violently, surreal and pitiless than any other director in the history of the genre (Tarantino 2012).  The title and “spaghetti-western” genre of the film are linked directly to Corbucci’s 1966 film Django.  Tarantino drew from another Corbucci film of the same genre, Il Grande Silenzio, which uniquely takes place in the snow.  Tarantino wrote about Silenzio, among other influences, in the New York Times saying that he liked the aesthetic of the western action in the snow so much that he incorporated a snow section in the middle of Django.  In the snow scene below we also see a more subconscious appropriation — which is a typical montage of the protagonist honing his/her skills or in effect, transforming.

The Great Silence (Il Grande Silenzio); photo credit:

Mel Brooks’ 1974 film Blazing Saddles may be a more subconscious influence to Tarantino’s Django.  Blazing Saddles was a western comedy that satirized racism, portraying a black sheriff as the hero in an all-white town.  It was also known and criticized for use of the “N-word” similar to Django.  Moreover, it was a rule-bending film that stood out amongst the proliferation of comedies, westerns, texts on racism, etc.  The unique way that both Blazing Saddles and Django similarly deal with racism is by depicting its idiocies, as best exemplified by the KKK scene and ill-fitting bag-masks scene below.


Above: Blazing Saddles; Below: Django Unchained “Bag-Mask Scene”; photo credits:

The Costumes

There are numerous influences in just the costume design alone for Django Unchained.  For example, Don Johnson’s signature Miami Vice look inspired his (plantation owner – Big Daddy’s) cream-colored linen suit in the film.  And for Django’s wardrobe, Tarantino watched the television series Bonanza and referred to it frequently when illustrating his vision.  However the most notable appropriation was Django’s blue velvet suit that he emerges in when getting to select his own wardrobe for the first time.  This was directly inspired by Thomas Gainsborough’s 1770 oil painting, The Blue Boy (Wikipedia 2014).  But in my research people have also commented on the similarity between Django’s attire to that of Austin Powers.  While the creators of Django overtly drew from Gainsborough’s artwork, there may have been a subconscious influence from Powers.  Djano’s chosen attire after all is supposed to lend itself to a humorous aspect of the film.

Django and Thomas Gainsborough’s 1770 oil painting, The Blue Boy – photo credit:; Django and Austin Powers – photo credit:

The Music

“Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks, like his films, are works of expert connoisseurship: pop-culture history lessons, assembled with a crate-digger’s impeccable taste,” (Rosen 2013).

The music in Django Unchained provides examples of not only appropriation but also intertexuality.  The soundtrack is extremely eclectic, drawing from a wide variety of eras and genres – including old-timey Western, blues, Seventies folk rock and hip-hop.  Where Tarantino’s genius lies is in his ability to incorporate such a wide variety of sounds at just the right moments in the film.  For example, while one may get an initial knee-jerk response to the juxtaposition of Rick Ross’ hip-hop beats to a spaghetti-western setting, the tone is perfectly appropriate and enhances the scene.  And in the context of slavery and a revenge-themed movie, the value of the song and even the hip-hop genre as a whole is elevated.

John Legend’s “Who Did That To You” in and of itself is another good example of appropriation done right.  It samples Mighty Hannibal’s 1967 song “The Right to Love You,” which Legend says, “[has] some of the flavor of the kind of music that I associate with Tarantino movies…it’s almost campy, and it’s got a sort of vintage to it” (ThisisRnBcom 2013).  So Legend drew inspiration from another musician from the 1950s and 60s, as well as from a modern day film director, and created something with original meaning and feeling in the context of the Django Unchained narrative.  All while crediting his influences.

John Legend – Who Did That To You


When an artist can acknowledge and transform past sources that might otherwise have little home in contemporary culture, his/her “originality and appropriations are as one” (Lethem 2007).  With Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino takes standard genres and themes with prolific texts, and through creative appropriation, contributes a brand new work to the encyclopedia of art.  Concurrently, he credits and celebrates those that came before him.  And in a manner of “paying it forward” he has also been called one of the most influential directors of his generation.


Works Cited

“Django Unchained.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

Emerson, Jim. “Django Unchain My Heart (and Set Me Free).” All Content. N.p., 4 Jan. 2013. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

Ferguson, Kirby. “Everything Is a Remix.” Vimeo. N.p., 2011. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.

“John Legend Talks Writing “Who Did That To You” for ‘Django’ and Pitching It To Tarantino On A Cassette.” ThisisRnBcom RSS. N.p., 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.

Lethem, Jonathan. “The Ecstasy of Influence.” Harpers Magazine. N.p., Feb. 2007. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

“Quentin Tarantino.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 02 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

Rosen, Jody. “Django Unchained: Original Soundtrack – Album Reviews.” Rolling Stone. N.p., 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.

Tarantino, Quentin. “Quentin Tarantino Tackles Old Dixie by Way of the Old West (by Way of Italy).” The New York Times Magagine. N.p., 27 Sept. 2012. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.


Digital Games as the Intertextual Medium

“Intertextuality” is a term coined by Julia Kristeva (1967) to describe the ways texts relate to and reference other texts, through devices such as allusion, quotation, pastiche, and parody. While somewhat contentious among scholars, intertextuality attempts to capture a nebulous concept that a number of authors including Barthes (2001) and Bakhtin (1934) have given various names and definitions. Kristeva’s definition considers that in reading a text, knowledge is not simply transferred from author to reader, but its significance is instead interpreted through the lens of reader experience and cultural codes developed from other texts. Text can appear in multiple iterations, as written words, or even as representations of such in a physical article such as clothes, hair, or architecture. In digital games, not only does text appear onscreen in narrative and descriptive forms, but every bit of scenery, character appearance, and diagetic sound could be considered text. As discussed by Wolf (2001), digital games draw upon divergent texts and provide an interactive environment for users to read these texts.

Consalvo (2003) defines intertextuality in digital games as a “sophisticated understanding of the ‘text’ and its place in the greater media marketplace” (p. 327). These texts often originate in other media, in cinema, literature, television, the Internet, and from any number of users and producers. Digital games operate completely within a world fabricated from these texts, making digital games far more intertextual that other media such as print, radio, television, and film. I argue intertextuality is the keystone on which digital games are built. Gamers, who operate in this environment and manipulate this intertextual world, are thus more easily encouraged to participate in participatory and remix culture, itself a highly intertextual context. Gamers, who formulate their identity in this intertextual and interactive world, are themselves remixed creatures. Gamers share information, communicate, and connect with others through shared experiences in participatory and remix culture. For an example of this, one has to look no father than the link below:

Heralded indie game creations the Boy and Tim (from the games Limbo and Braid respectively) immediately evoke the indie aesthetic, which of course is not simply a digital games invention. The indie aesthetic referenced here is a notion of networked meaning, drawn from a number of sources in pop culture that is intertextually recognized in these disparate forms. Tim and the Boy are positioned as hipsters, their independence from standard digital game conventions and narratives acts as point of pride and differentiation from the more commercial properties Mario represents. Mario, as Nintendo’s flagship icon, has been the definitive measure for an entire genre of adventure and platform games. It could certainly be argued that the term “platform game” owes its origins to Super Mario Bros, where much of the game is spent jumping from platform to platform to moving platform. In addition, as a commercial success and a flag bearer for gaming as a general leisure activity, his position as a non-controversial, spunky everyman positions him as a target of the indie aesthetic scorn.

While it’s true that gamers read the video’s Parappa the Rapper posters in the background and the Pacman ghosts in the next booth immediately as referents to digital gaming, the greater network of meaning comes not only from these clever nods to gaming. The decor of the bar harkens to any number of literary and cinematic locales, from the Spouter Inn to Kavanagh’s Irish Pub. These influences are easily identifiable, but what should be understood is that “Mario is Too Mainstream” does not reside in a cultural vacuum. These references instead marinate in the cultural experience of all those who read this text.

As a result most viewers will recognize the very same nerd-heavy arguments Tim and Mario had as much as they from their own pub crawling experience as they might from Woody’s L. Street Tavern in South Boston. Both are instances are part of the shared cultural experiences readers have. In that shared experience, the various meanings are traded and understood, possibly tying the cinematic to empiric.


Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination.  Austin, TX: U of Texas P.

Barthes, R. (1977). The death of the author. Image / Music / Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 142-7.

Barthes, R. (1977). Barthes, Roland. The death of the author. Image / Music / Text. Trans. Stephen Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 142-7.

Consalvo, M. (2003). Zelda 64 and Video Game Fans A Walkthrough of Games, Intertextuality, and Narrative. Television & New Media4(3), 321-334.

Kristeva, K. (1967). Bakhtine, le mot, le dialogue et le roman. Critique. 33 (239), 438–465.

Wolf, M. J. P. (Eds.) (2001) The medium of the video game. Austin : University of Texas Press.


Intertextuality and Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules”

Layan Jawdat

This week’s readings on dialogism and intertextuality offered thought-provoking ways to look  at various media productions and artifacts from television and movies to newspapers, magazines and books. Understanding that texts do not exist in vacuums but rather exist in relation to other texts (Chandler 4) and communication through these texts is not a simple matter of authorial intention, but rather is “‘always already positioned by semiotic systems'” (Chandler 2) can indeed change the way in which we interpret television programming, for example, which I will discuss briefly here.

Another hallmark of intertextuality, in addition to understanding the codes inherently present in identifiable genres, is the “fluidity of genre boundaries and the blurring of genres and their functions”(Chandler 5). This is related to Barthe’s reflections on authorship in “The Death of the Author” in his description of the openness and combinatorial nature of text: “we know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single ‘theological’ meaning (the ‘message of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations , resulting from the thousand sources of culture”(Barthes 4). Vanderpump Rules, a Bravo reality-TV show documenting the lives of the waiters and bartenders at the West Hollywood restaurant SUR, owned by Lisa Vanderpump, herself a star of the Bravo reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is an interesting case study for the exploration of intertextuality on popular TV shows today.

Vanderpump Rules has all the defining characteristics of a reality TV show that one might expect to see, with a decidedly “Bravo” flavor: it is dramatic, features hedonistic and attractive people, and has plenty of fights. The show highlights the work and play involved in the characters’ lives–we see them waiting tables and bartending together, and also see them going out together, taking vacations to Cabo, and acting out their personal dramas at SUR, to the chagrin of their boss, Lisa. While the show is exciting and entertaining within the conventions and codes reality shows, it seems to me to also show signs of genre blurring in that many scenes (as is the case in countless other reality TV shows) seem to be staged or acted in some ways. There may even be an element of self-reflexivity–or sly admission to the fact that not every single aspect of the show is real: in one episode, Stassi, a main character on the show explains that everyone working at SUR is trying to make it in one way or another in the entertainment industry, either as a model, singer, or actor. We see the staff modeling in the annual SUR photo shoot, and also see other characters editing their acting demo reels, performing with their bands and recording in the studio. These facts communicate to the viewer that the staff at SUR may in fact be acting at certain points on Vanderpump Rules. The degree to which the show is a planned drama versus a “real” reality show is unclear, but it is certainly engaging in blurring these lines.

Consider this clip for an example of genre-blurring on Vanderpump Rules.

Works Cited

Barthes, Roland. “The Death of the Author.” N.p.: Ubu Web, n.d. 1-6. 1967. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. <>.

Chandler, Daniel. “Intertextuality Semiotics for Beginners.” Semiotics for Beginners. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. <>.