Reese Betts: Digital Naiveté

Artist Statement

Digital Naiveté is an experimental video art piece which explores the transition of the nonconsensual sexualization of women’s bodies from the physical world into the digital. In recent years, the internet has become a forum to create and share hateful rhetoric, without an awareness of its impact offline. Using my body as a canvas for animated projected imagery, I showcase various digital messages written on the topic of women’s rights or bodily autonomy, illustrating the connection between sexualization and the dissolution of personhood.

Text included in the art piece comes from social media sites, text messages, articles, political cartoons, petitions, and proposed legislation. These words are framed with imagery that contextualizes the piece: handprints, lightning bolts, blurred abstract shapes, and plastic surgery markings. To generate a feeling of anxiety, I designed a buzzing static animation by photographing blots of tar using a document scanner, reminiscent of the recent digitization of misogyny.

By repositioning digital documents in the physical world, one is reminded of the impact that these words have on the body and mind. The intention of Digital Naiveté is to allow viewers to analyze the way that they speak to others, especially women, on social media platforms. It has become normalized globally for us to use harsh language towards strangers online, despite real-world consequences. I aim to devise a conversation that fosters an open dialogue on bodily autonomy and the way that social media impacts our right to self-rule.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: Digital Naiveté
  • Medium: experimental video art piece
  • Student's Name: Reese Betts
  • Major: Film Studies
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2024
  • Hometown: Lake Lotawana, MO, USA
  • Student's Mentor: Katina Bitsicas
  • Mentor's Department: Digital Storytelling



Reeese, this piece heightened my senses with the comination of video, sounds and message. It drew me in and kept me thinking afterwards. Well done!


John Betts

I got to see some screen shots of her laptop during production.  It was so great to see at the theatre and I keep re-watching here online.  Love it!!


Abby B

Reese, this is beautiful. Such a poignant take on what it is to exist in a digital world as a woman.



Reese, this is incredible.  You continue to amaze me with your talent and insight!!'n


kurstyn johnson

This piece is beautiful! Very talented:)