Item Open AccessProgressive gameplay: emergent anticapitalism in story-driven video games(Bilkent University, 2023-11) Doğan, Taylanumut; Özkul McGeoch, DidemThis thesis considers the potential of story-driven video games in promoting liberatory discourses. It examines Cyberpunk 2077, an action/roleplaying game set in a cyberpunk city rife with violence and social inequality; and Night in the Woods, an adventure game about a gothic mystery set in a small Rust Belt town. The thesis adopts a textual and formal approach in conjunction while analyzing the discourses of social liberation and their effectiveness in the interactive yet solitary experience of single-player gameplay through these two video games. In doing so, the thesis adopts a critical theoretical framework that considers these two video games in relation to the Spectacle of capitalist society and the forms of resistance adopted by the Situationist International, as well as the cultural materialist approach of Raymond Williams. Observing these approaches in narrative flow as well as player interactivity, this thesis aims to contribute to the body of thought that evaluates video games as potential sources for discourses of social liberation. Item Open AccessTransier: space, movement, and transience(Bilkent University, 2023-10) Beyazıt, Müge İrem; McGeoch, Didem ÖzkulTransier is both the title of a growing series of interactive kinetic sculptures made of recycled plastic strips and electro-mechanical components aka. specimens, and their defined framework. These specimens are taking the source of their movement from their viewer regarded as the passer-by. They aim to disrupt their transient state as they pass-by and affect their consciousness with their being. This dynamic as the interaction between the specimen and its viewer is integral to both this artwork and this research while the nature of being is investigated. Taking the first two specimens of Transier consisting my current thesis project as its considered body of work, this thesis aims to provide an in-depth theoretical exploration within the complex web of relations between space, movement, being, and materiality with a particular existential emphasis on transience within the context of my artistic practice. Throughout this theoretical exploration, an inherent interconnectedness between the notions of space, movement, and being is revealed and emphasized; an existential philosophical standpoint where a dynamic, ever-changing nature of being that is related to a constant state of flux is established; and eventually the transience of being is argued. Item Open AccessSubjectivizing children: melancholy in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Peter and Wendy(Bilkent University, 2023-08) Doğan, Şule Nur; Peschke, LutzThis thesis is concerned with the subjectivation of children in children’s literature and film, and the melancholy caused to child characters as they are forced down a path of growing up as conceived by adults. Engaged in a close reading of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Peter and Wendy (1911), as well as their select film adaptations Alice in Wonderland (1951), Peter Pan (1953), Return to Never Land (2002), Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010), and finally Peter Pan and Wendy (2023), the thesis is also committed to a discourse analysis of the concepts of childhood and growing up. As the thesis is concerned with works occupying a timeframe of over a century, the shifts in Western children’s literature and film, as well as their introduction into the Disney machinery is also considered. Approaching this multitude of attitudes towards how child characters relate to adulthood and growing up, the thesis connects this issue in relation to the dynamic between the Western colonizer and the colonized subjects, as the former desubjectivizes the latter in a similar dynamic to the one between adults and children. Item EmbargoFaçades of exhibited cinema: The exhibition space as a cinematic dispositif in Turkish moving image(Bilkent University, 2023-07) Akyıldırım, Deniz; Akşak, Emel ÖzdoraThis thesis focuses on the interaction between cinema and the gallery, delving into exhibited cinema in gallery space and the transformative effects it has on the cinematic experience. By looking into Turkish moving image artists’ factors behind choosing the gallery as the exhibition venue for their moving image work, this study aims to comprehend the distinct qualities and attributes of exhibited cinema as a cinematic dispositif. Drawing upon the theoretical framework of cinema dispositif (Baudry, 1975), the migration of moving images from traditional cinematic domains to gallery space, offering a setting for the production of innovative visual experiences, is investigated. Specifically focusing on the practices of six contemporary Turkish moving image artists who push the boundaries of conventional cinematic expression and adapt to the different institutional contexts of cinema and the gallery. Through a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary development of exhibited cinema, this study investigates the key aspects of the dispositif as it extends into the realm of the gallery. It explores the components of image, narrative, medium, and environment within the context of exhibited cinema, proposing a contemporary conceptualization of the cinematic dispositif in gallery settings. To gather insights and experiences, semi-structured interviews are conducted with six Turkish moving image artists. Based on the findings and discussions derived from the interviews, this thesis presents an analysis of the multi-dimensional practice of exhibited cinema by Turkish moving image artists. By considering their perspectives, Façades of Exhibited Cinema aims to shed light on the exhibition space as a cinematic dispositif within the Turkish moving image context. Item EmbargoIdentities in flux: a cartography of feminist artistic practice in the Middle East(Bilkent University, 2023-06) Kayır, Oğuz Kaan; Baykan, BurcuThis thesis explores the fluid and relational forms of body and subjectivity in the feminist contemporary art practice of selected Middle Eastern women artists – Sama Alshaibi, Nezaket Ekici, Mona Hatoum, Amal Kenawy, Shirin Neshat, and Lamia Joreige. As interdisciplinary practitioners whose works traverse between different media such as film, video, performance, and installation, these women’s artistic praxes render a mobile, changeable, and interconnected account of identity via a complex and dynamic interplay between the dualisms of self/other, mind/body, nature/culture, East/West, and human/nonhuman. Since these artists engage in non-fixed and non-dualistic forms of female existence, this thesis employs Deleuze and Guattari’s ontology of becoming and the Deleuzian-inflected new materialist feminisms of Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz, and Stacy Alaimo as its theoretical scope. Interweaving the process-oriented, durational, and relational vocabulary of the notion of becoming with Braidotti’s nomadism, Grosz’s corporeality, and Alaimo’s transcorporeality, this study discusses the ways in which these Middle Eastern women artists envisage female subjectivity as an open-ended, plural, and transitory composition that is always on the move, through its relational bonds and linkages with divergent bodies, entities, and geographies. Influenced by the cartographic potential of the theories in question, this thesis concludes by presenting a cartographic imagination of the selected artistic canon as a supplementary method for understanding the malleability and rhizomatic interconnectivity of feminist contemporary art in the Middle East. Item Open AccessPractical effects in the age of post-digital cinema(Bilkent University, 2023-05) Aras, Zeynep; Kennedy-Karpat, ColleenThis thesis examines the aesthetic implications of using practical effects in post-digital cinema. Digital effects have become more perceptually realistic than the practical effects of the analog era and thus turned into central tools in fulfilling Hollywood’s obsession with photorealism. This study argues that digital effects’ success in imitating a photorealist style has pushed the practical effects to leave aside their obsession with realism and search for their own aesthetic, which I call “anti-realist.” Firstly, the study approaches this aesthetic difference between practical and digital effects from an ontological standpoint. By adopting Rodowick’s (2007) arguments informed by Bazinian realism regarding the digital image’s lack of indexicality, it conducts a close reading on Wes Anderson’s anti-realist practical effects. Then, through the lens of Marks’ (2000) concept of “haptic visuality,” it explores how the foregrounded materiality of these effects can engage with an embodied experience of spectatorship. Moreover, by adopting a feminist approach to film studies, it proposes the use of practical effects as a feminist tool in the French context to defy Hollywood’s standardized effects in the films of Marjane Satrapi and Chloé Mazlo. Finally, it conducts an auteur study on the French director Michel Gondry’s filmography to question the place of his analog techniques in constructing his transnational authorship. Overall, this thesis aims to uncover the meaning and significance of leaving aside the CG techniques that have revolutionized contemporary filmmaking in favor of so-called outdated cinematic techniques. Item EmbargoReflecting on violent media: empathy and prosocial behavior in fictional versus real frames(Bilkent University, 2023-05) Şimşek, Bengisu; Tokdemir, Ayşenur DalThe prominence of media violence is taking novel forms with the rise of technologies such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The nature of these technologies calls for a study of what real and fiction means in terms of mediated violence reception, in order to account for the mechanisms through which audiences will respond. In this regard, this thesis aims to integrate the theoretical framework offered by positive media psychology, specifically by adapting eudaimonic media consumption into the reception of mediated violence in fictional versus real frames. The possible occurrence of prosocial behavior is regarded as a result of moral engagement processes, initiated by empathic concerns and reflective thoughts on viewing violence. The formal elements of citizen witnessing as a specific type of violent imagery are integrated into the framework to enhance the importance of reception processes in the face of different portrayals of violence. To investigate these mechanisms, a between-subject online survey experiment was conducted on 176 participants recruited via convenience sampling of undergraduate students at a private university in Turkey. The results indicated that although the framing of violence as real and fictional did not affect prosocial behavior, reflective thoughts on violence viewing and perceived realism had a significant relationship with the initiation of empathic reactions, and, eventually, prosocial behavior. The findings suggest that violent media requires further and explicit attention in line with eudaimonic media use, as the moral engagement processes related to it are significantly different from other forms of complex entertainment. Item Restricted“If we are what we eat, I am fast, cheap, and easy!” A study on healthy lifestyle influencers, their audio-visual content and its perception in Turkey(Bilkent University, 2023-05) Özdemir, Gülce; Akşak, Emel ÖzdoraSocial networking sites are full of references to the ideal body and nutrition at a time when using digital media has become the norm. Being a constant observer of social media and, in particular, so-called “health” trends such as “What I Eat in a Day” videos is a gateway to body image and eating disorders despite their claims of promoting healthy eating. Through content analysis and survey, this research examines some key messages in the “What I Eat in a Day” videos and how individuals exposed to these visuals and appearance-based comparisons respond to the videos regarding their healthy lifestyle habits. Results of the content analysis of thirty videos and a survey conducted with eighty people reveal that thematic and visual patterns influence media consumers through videos that reflect shape, weight, and eating concerns, restraint behaviors, and additional concerns about eating and body appearance. These results imply that these “healthy eating” videos have inherent damaging capabilities for young women who already lean toward disrupted eating behaviors. Item Open AccessNarrating a space with personal memories(Bilkent University, 2023-04) Savacı Sezen, Seba; Brzozowski, MarekThis thesis seeks to answer how to narrate a space with personal memories through map art. To achieve this, I designed an art project by using the theoretical and artistic approaches of map art, space, and memory. In the course of the project, illustration is applied as a methodology to demonstrate how mapping can be used to bring depth and meaning to spaces by portraying memories through storytelling and imagination. As an outcome, the project not only stands at the crossroads between cartography and art by contributing to the field of deep map upon adopting illustrations of personal memories as data, it also allows the audience to explore a given space from the perspective of the artist her/himself. Item Open AccessCaricaturizing representations of the United States during the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations in Turkish humor magazines(Bilkent University, 2023-03) Çetintaş, Sıla; Tokdemir, Ayşenur DalPolitical caricatures use humor and satire with visual and textual depictions to cast remarks on political figures or situations through exaggerations, disfigurations, or constructed situations. These depictions illustrate or imply the prevailing opinions or consensus on political events or issues. This thesis focuses on Turkey–U.S. relations and representations of the U.S. from 2008 to 2021 in the caricatures on the cover pages of weekly Turkish humor magazines Gırgır, Leman, Penguen, and Uykusuz. The interactions between the U.S. presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan evolve and change in these exaggerated visual parodies. American symbols and images are used in conjunction with Turkish ones with the aim of providing familiarity and clarifying the meaning in the depicted situations. Absurdity and subversion of events merged with benign familiarity creates political humor and satire. These caricatures claim to present alternative images to understand the covert nuances behind particular political dealings, which classifies them as anti-establishment discourses. The cover pages are analyzed with Greenberg’s (2002) framework and tools to explore the content, method, and messages of caricatures. Affective states of caricaturized subjects and language elements in speech bubbles are included as separate categories. The caricatures and their elements are coded and the results are given in tables and charts to clarify the frequency of appearances. This study utilizes descriptive analysis to characterize various aspects of cover pages and to draw corresponding interpretations by considering the incongruity theory of humor. Item Open AccessRepresentations of “Kanal İstanbul” in Turkish news media: content analysis of pro-government and oppositional newspapers(Bilkent University, 2022-09) Hamamcı, Ezgi; Çaplı, BülentThis thesis examines the representations of the Kanal Istanbul project in online news articles published in Turkish pro-government and opposition newspapers with different political and ideological orientations. Five newspapers with different political and ideological perspectives, Sözcü, Cumhuriyet, Yeni Akit, Karar, and Sabah, are analyzed in terms of news content. In the study, news articles about Kanal Istanbul are analyzed under different categories such as the attitude of the news, the general tone of the news, the political figures in the news, the sources used in the news, and the theme of the news. The time scale of quantitative and qualitative content analysis covers the years between 2011 and 2022. Since there is not enough news text for analysis between 2011-2016, the news texts between 2016-2022 are included in the study. Focusing on the representations of the Kanal Istanbul project in the context of media framing theory, this thesis aims to reveal the ideological reflections in news representation by considering the principles of objectivity and impartiality in journalism practices. Item Open AccessA few pieces from nature: creating multiple perspectives via the technique of assemblage(Bilkent University, 2022-09) Korkmaz, Elif Gözde; Treske, AndreasThe subject matter of this thesis is analyzing the artistic research project “A Few Pieces from Nature" theoretically and technically. The aim of this analysis and thesis project is to problematize perspective, and investigate the relationship between perspective and focus by creating three-dimensional objects that can be considered assemblage boxes. Item Open AccessSocial media experiences of adults over 65 during Covid-19 pandemic(Bilkent University, 2022-09) Bozoğlu, Başak; Tokdemir, Ayşenur DalThe aim of the thesis is to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the social media experiences of individuals over 65. The thesis focuses on digital media literacy as explanatory literature to unpack people’s social media behaviors. For this aim, the thesis demonstrates the division between digital immigrants and digital natives to analyze the concerning generation's skills and experiences while using social media. To answer the research question qualitatively, semi-structured interviews were employed with 15 participants whose ages range from 66 to 76 and who reside in Turkey in the cities of Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Bursa, and Muğla. The analyses of the interviews reveal eight common themes: access, connectedness, reasons behind using social media, need for support, anxiety, adaptation, the impact of COVID-19, and further desire to advance social media practice. The thesis ultimately demonstrates how these frames are related to each other and how they inform the research on digital media literacy. In the end, the research demonstrates that COVID-19 seems to have significantly transformed digital immigrants’ willingness to engage with social media more than ever. Item Open AccessHybrid anatomies: an artistic research on body and perception in relation to actual and virtual(Bilkent University, 2022-09) Senan, Nihal Işık; Treske, AndreasThis research conceptualizes the relationship between the actual and the virtual in the context of body and self. The subject-matter of the thesis is based on personal memories of an illness, which caused distortions of reality. Conceptually the research reflects an intersection between sciences and philosophy. The second part of the research is a practical research on the methodologies of producing three-dimensional objects, and their effect on perception. Item Open AccessKorean-American Transnational Cinema Cultures(Bilkent University, 2022-08) Güven, Eda; Kennedy-Karpat, ColleenThis thesis targets Korean-American Transnational Cinema Cultures that particularly explore the cinematic representation of the Korean-American collective diaspora and one of its independent filmmakers’—Justin Chon—position in the industry. By adopting Hamid Naficy’s (2001) framework of Accented Cinema and Critical Transnationalism approach by Will Higbee and Song Hwee Lim (2010), this study investigates the films namely; Seoul Searching (2015) by Benson Lee, Spa Night (2016) by Andrew Ahn, Minari (2020) by Lee Isaac Chung, Gook (2017) and Blue Bayou (2021) by Justin Chon. After exploring the representation of cultural identity on-screen, this study presents a case study on Justin Chon’s constructed celebrity image through a content analysis of his (social) media presence. To understand Chon’s filmmaking practice, his cultural capital of awards, festivals, and prestige also will be investigated through Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology of culture, including cultural capital, habitus, and the field theory. Through a close reading of diasporic characters and narratives in five films and a content analysis of Justin Chon’s case, this thesis ultimately aims to find what Korean-American American Transnational Cinema is. Item Open AccessExploring the everyday cohabitations of humans and urban animals through the ecodocumentaries of Istanbul(Bilkent University, 2022-06) Altınöz, Medine Ezgi; Baykan, BurcuThis thesis examines three documentaries about street animals of Istanbul—Taşkafa: Stories of the Street (2013), Kedi (2016), Stray (2020)—belonging to the ecodocumentary genre. With particular emphasis on critical posthumanist and new materialist theories and concepts—especially Donna Haraway’s “companion species,” “naturecultures,” and the “Chthulucene,” Jane Bennett’s “vibrant matter,” Rosi Braidotti’s “nomadic ethics,” as well as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s “becoming-animal”—it employs a close reading of the narratives and aesthetics of the chosen documentaries in terms of the human-urban animal relations and interactions depicted in them. Through the selected theoretical lenses, this study identifies the ways in which the distinctive and entangled lives of humans and urban felines-canines are played out in the cultural and historical contexts of Istanbul, as well as how and to what extent the dominant human gaze towards animals in visual culture is subverted in these documentaries. This thesis concludes that the modernist urge to gentrify urban cities by removing the urban street animals has been challenged in these documentaries, by portraying Istanbul as a composite zoe-centered terrain. Item Open AccessCamera archaeologia: a media archaeological investigation into the contemporary use of 19th-century photographic techniques(Bilkent University, 2022-06) Okudan, Alaz; Treske, AndreasIn the age where digital has become the norm, the earliest methods of photographic production started to provide peculiar and novel modes for the visual experience. Although 19th-century photographic techniques are not central today, they manage to hold a marginal share in the photographic discourse and practice. A small number of contemporary photographers tend to go against the grain of digital culture by diverting to chemical-based techniques without completely turning their backs on what digital technologies have to offer. By undertaking a media archaeological approach, this research investigates the motivations of those photographers. As a result of discourse analysis of interviews with seven photographers, it is found that 19th-century photographic techniques function as imaginary media which are conceived as compensatory methods that make up for problems, deficiencies, and challenges in the current hegemonic photographic technologies and practices. By combining desired features of chemical and numeric approaches to photography, the lack of tangibility, do-it-yourself sensation, experimentality, and subjectivity in digital technologies are attempted to be compensated. Item Open AccessAn ecofeminist approach on Turkish and American animations(Bilkent University, 2022-05) Dündar, Irmak; Peschke, LutzThis thesis aims to analyze and compare four Turkish and four American animations from an ecofeminist perspective. The selected animations from Turkey are Kral Şakir Cumburlop (2021), Pırıl (2019-), Rafadan Tayfa 2: Göbeklitepe (2019), Kötü Kedi Şerafettin (2016) while the animations from the US are Frozen (2013), Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008), She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018-2020), Invincible (2021-). Each selected animation is given an age range for the purposes of this research and these ranges indicate which animation pair is compared in terms of ecofeminism concepts. Close reading method is conducted to each animated work with the help of the Bechdel Test as well as the Maisy Test. Regardless of its location or which platform it gets aired, animations have been an important part of people’s entertainment. A concept as relevant and needed as ecofeminism should be researched within animation and its’ related concepts in order to show animation audiences the feminist and ecologically positive world views. Item Open AccessRise of citizen journalism: content analysis on Turkish Twittersphere(Bilkent University, 2022-05) Özbasa, Özen Ayşe; Peschke, LutzWith the advancement of technology, increasing use of social media, and declining trust in mainstream media, which is dominated by moguls, as well as the Covid 19 pandemic outbreak which has taken hold of the world, various journalism practices have undergone some changes. In this process, ordinary citizens have sought alternatives; the citizen journalism concept in digital media platforms has emerged and started to be used progressively. This thesis focuses on the Turkish Twittersphere and delves into the influences of citizen journalism, which has eventually led to mainstream media outlets’ presence on the Twittersphere. Ordinary citizens engage in plentiful debates and discussions by contributing to overall interaction, whether active or passive. In that context, mixed content analysis is employed by retrieving data in four up-to-date categories, namely health, climate, economy, and Europeanization. Coding data according to engagement rate and several other categories, the findings of this study reveal that citizen journalism is on the up and has gained the trust of other users in the Turkish Twittersphere compared to prominent traditional media outlets. Thus, in addition to highlighting why citizen journalism has emerged and gained prominence to such a degree, this thesis also demonstrates the declining credibility of mainstream media and its reflections. Item Open AccessComedian podcasters changing the comedy scene through the podcast medium(Bilkent University, 2021-12) Yardımcı, Kemal; Treske, AndreasThe particular aim of the current thesis is to shed light on the liberating nature of podcasts as an innovative medium, and its effect on the comedy scene. Ultimately, it is suggested that podcasting is an emerging form of new media that shape the comedy scene, through exemplifying the impact of comedian podcasters on the new and niche audiences. In this thesis, the social and technological impacts of comedian podcasts will be studied by examining the emerging relationship between podcasts and other forms of new media through literature review and case study. The particular focus of the paper is examined in relation to the career of Joe Rogan, the host of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Through this examination, it is discussed how new generation comedian podcasters are challenging the conventional understanding of corporate-managed media with independent, self-produced and accessible broadcasts. It is further argued that the authenticity and the wide array of topics offered by these podcasters allow for a greater impact that major networks usually fail to obtain, arguably due to their artificial outlook, and lack of inclusiveness in terms of opinions and people.