Stigmatized as vapid and anti-intellectual, reality television has historically been dismissed by academia and ostracized from critical discourse. Caught somewhere between art and popular culture, this medium is often the public’s first introduction to various social taboos (think Sister Wives or My Strange Addiction). It is also a medium that initiates a litany of important conversations regarding gender roles, class structures, systemic racism, family and relationship dynamics, sexuality, mental health, and the ever-elusive “American Dream”. As such, this course examines why reality television is anything but academically irrelevant. In this course, we will analyze touchstone reality programs such as The Bachelor franchise and Keeping Up with the Kardashians as well as more fringe series, and situate them within broader socio-cultural contexts. As it is both beloved and villainized, we will attempt to unpack the allure and repulsion upon which reality television hinges and theorize about the role it might play as a repository of cultural memory.
Jordan Holms is a Vancouver-born visual artist, writer and curator who lives and works in San Francisco. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2015 and will receive her Dual Degree Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2019. Her studio practice consists of abstract painting, fiber-based sculpture and textile work. Holms is represented by Marrow Gallery in San Francisco’s Sunset District and the online gallery Beledor. She has exhibited internationally in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom and her work is held in several private collections. Most recently, she has worked with ADIDAS to create an original painting for their San Francisco Market Street storefront. Holms is a former director of SFAI’s Swell Gallery at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and is currently a Teaching Assistant and Public Education Instructor at SFAI.View Gallery »