'Some of us just like to read' : Lady Gaga's Pastiche and The Rhizome
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“’Some of Us Just Like to Read’: Lady Gaga’s Pastiche and the Rhizome” explores intersections of network theory, new media, contemporary art and visual culture, and post-modern critical discourses. It attempts to characterize the productive tendencies of contemporary pop culture, using Lady Gaga as a lens through which these tendencies can be observed. It pays particular attention to the correlation(s) between the structure of the Internet, the exchange of texts and images within such a structure, and how Lady Gaga embodies this dynamic. This paper demonstrates, through both a critique of the concept of pastiche under current cultural conditions and a close examination of some specific performances, that Lady Gaga’s is a pastiche informed by a historical and cultural awareness, which turns pastiche into an affirmative, indexical reaction to the socio-cultural condition of the digital age. Ultimately, I argue that Lady Gaga’s tendency to pastiche reflects the structure of the current cultural moment; and that, by embodying a pastiched image, she encourages multifaceted interpretations of her music, fashion, and performances from an equally multifaceted audience.