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The Rise of the Instagram Artist

Instagram has become a way for artists to cultivate followings and promote themselves in a way that artists in the past have not been able to do before. Poets have become household names and makeup gurus now have their own beauty lines all due to the power of the ‘gram. How does this new medium affect content? Are their negative consequences for using this service? For example, copying others work, authenticity, and quality.

  • Cool idea! I've noticed a few problems with people claiming that people are stealing ideas. I'm thinking specifically of the Harry Potter wand makeup brushes that 2 separate companies tried to market at the same time. I didn't spend too much time researching it, but basically, Buzzfeed featured one company and got a huge response while the other company claimed the idea was theirs initially. I'm not sure what happened with all that, but it would be a good specific case to look into if you're interested! – agmill 1 month ago
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  • Nitpicky but poets were household names before instagram... also I've never heard of any poets becoming famous/known through instagram but maybe I'm just not informed enough on that topic.Anyways, a VERY important aspect to consider for whoever writes this article is the fact that uploading content to instagram automatically grants them, and anyone else, really, to reshare and use the content as they want.This has lead to some controversial cases, one prominent one (worth researching) being this: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/27/living/richard-prince-instagram-feat/– Lusk22 4 weeks ago
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  • Instagram is pulling artists into the mainstream. Artists' ideas are being seen by a vast audience, and in many ways, the newness or novelty of the artist becomes copied or replicated. Artists may get name recognition, but are they getting financial compensation? – sarahknight 4 weeks ago
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  • Instagram is really great for artist exposure. It's a free way to brand themselves and show the world what they offer as their own unique artist. I believe that snapchat might also become a new standard for viewing art. – damaddeo 4 weeks ago
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  • Instagram certainly poses issue with stealing content, an issue seen between companies like Huda Beauty, Vlada, and Kylie Cosmetics, where marketing materials were arguably stolen. This type of "borrowing" from others content can be seen throughout history in terms of influence between artists and apprenticeships. Artists have always been influenced by their mentors which often resulted in very similar styles but this ultimately leads to progress in style periods. In terms of recognition, it certainly offers new outlets for rising artists as well as well-known artists. It is a wonderful method of reaching new audiences, audiences that otherwise may not have interest in visiting galleries and museums. Artists like Jeff Koons and Kehinde Wiley have an immense following consisting of everyone from celebrities to your average teenager. – BreannaWaldrop 4 weeks ago
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Taken by Katie Spart (PM) 3 weeks ago.
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If social media is a way to express ourselves, does that make it an art form?

How you edit your Instagram pictures or what you post pictures of- do you consider this an art form? What about the lyrics or thoughts you Tweet? Is using social medias a new way of expressing ourselves like an art form?

  • Now you brought this up, Social Media is pretty much an art form. Is it respected as an art form? In the professional world maybe, but elsewhere it's debatable. A good subtopic for this topic is when social media is useful as an art form and when it's not useful as art form. Networking is probably more of a science than an art but it's an example of social media being a useful art form. On the other hand, women knowing how to get tons of likes is a useless art form. – SoalaIda 2 years ago
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  • I believe social media is a way to express a version of ourselves. I think we act differently on social media than we do in reality. This is arguable, not necessarily true but in my experiences this is what I've noticed. In terms of social media as an art form you have to be specific as to what you say. A picture posted is obviously photography, an art form in and of itself. Can status' be art? Potentially. But art is very subjective; what is art for one person, may not be art to others, so the keep the definition of art open (as a way to express ourselves is a very good example) is probably important. – Jamie 2 years ago
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  • I can see how Social Media can be considered in art form in the same way consider charismatic types to be social artists. Every "strong post" needs a strong pull to bring attention to it, and to bring some buzz to the post. Even on facebook, you can see a divide between "artists" and "spammers". That being said, social media is also an art form in that you create a brand for your social media identity with how/what you post. And that social media identity shapes how people see your real world identity. – Sunbro 2 years ago
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  • Interesting topic, and it leads to the question, what is art? How is art defined? Who defines art? You can certainly find artists on these social media platforms. There are a lot of great photographers on Instagram, and great writers on Twitter. But where is the line drawn on who is defined as an artist and who isn't? There's certainly a level of creativity involved, and art embodies a visual form (and you can argue that the social media platform itself is visual) but what does the person do to utilize the platform creatively? – Kim 2 years ago
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  • Very nice, a perfect topic for the contemporary moment. We have so many people from all strata of society using twitter and such, it is important to ask about the aesthetic here. Also I would add that social media as a political tool potentially coalesces and is at odds with the art form perspective. This may be something to explore. – jonj724 2 months ago
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  • A great idea. Maybe explore a post modern art style approach as an explanation of social media as art. – TheSwampThing 2 months ago
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  • Careful - art can be self expression, but that doesn't mean all self expression is by definition art. The author should pay careful attention to the main consensus of what defines art. The author should also take note of the nuance between art and a platform/venue for art. A museum hosts a lot of peoples' artwork - does that make the museum a work of art itself? Or just the venue? Similarly, social media sites host various posts of self expression. Does that necessarily make social media platforms themselves art, or simply venues? Is facebook a museum?And what about the rigors of art? Does something need to stem from careful, meticulous, hard work in order to be considered art - as many people believe? In which case instagram photos that generally lack any sort of effort are nixed.An interesting thought I have - social media platforms often have a prescribed kind of template to how you express yourself on it. Since you do not have full, true creative control, can it really be art? Is a colouring book considered art when you're just filling inbetween the prescribed lines? Can you take the templates and break them in creative ways to turn them into art?Just things to consider on this topic... – Lusk22 2 months ago
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  • This is a really good idea. With today's technology, it's easy for people to express themselves online than they can in-person. Art is any form of expression, and I think that having that social media platform could be considered as "art." For example, people use twitter, instagram, and snapchat platforms to either show their makeup (which could be considered a form of art), their passions and ideas. – xxvacxx 1 month ago
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The portrayal of Asians in the Media

I think that not many people are talking about how asian minorities are bring represented in the media, how many are usually stereotyped. Most potrayals of asians are usually really smart, and if cast as a parent of an asian child they are usually strict. I think it would interesting to see how exactly they are being portrayed? And also maybe explore what shows or movies are trying to break the stereotype and cast asians as something other than what we are used to seeing.

  • Cool idea. I think many stereotypes toward Asians, especially East Asians FROM or living IN East Asian countries, are actually more or less true; I said "from" and "living in" because the white-washed ones are mostly exceptions (though not all). One thing that always gets me to frown a bit is that the big media always portrait Asians as a minority race, even though we (I'm Asian) take up more than 60% of the world's population.I haven't really seen a movie that breaks Asian stereotypes, and I generally don't think that's a good idea because to break stereotypes, the movie first has to acknowledge them, and the movie makers might not want to do that. I also think stereotypes toward Asians are less distinct and less condescending than say, stereotypes toward black and Hispanic people. For example, stereotypes have it that Asians are good at math; what good is it to break this stereotype? I actually wish that were true on me.Definitely upvoting the topic. I was just throwing out ideas. – JamesZhan9592 2 months ago
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  • Would it be a specific asian group or asians in general? It would most likely be better to focus on a specific group, looking at their cultural history and expand upon it for media portrayals – Ryan Errington 2 months ago
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  • It would be interesting to touch on the catch 22 of trying to avoid stereotypes but doing so by whitewashing. I read that part of the reason Tilda Swinton (a white woman) played the Ancient One (in comics an Asian man) in Doctor Strange was to avoid leaning on Asian stereotypes of mysterious, mystical masters of the martial arts. Here's an article with quotes from the director: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2016/11/07/doctor-strange-whitewashing-ancient-one-tilda-swinton-fan-critical-reaction/93416130/ – LauraKincaid 2 months ago
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  • I love the topic, and I'd also love to see more Asians in all forms of media (books, movies, TV, you name it). I agree with other contributors too, that while Chinese and Japanese Asians get most of the media representation you see, Indians, Indonesians, etc. don't get enough. We definitely need to see more non-Chinese and non-Japanese Asians. – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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Virtual Reality and the Web, The Movies and the tube.

What is the media landscape like right now? What can we expect from the up-and-coming art form of virtual reality? Considering the dominance of the internet as a legitimate source of entertainment, should we re-define the words "movie" and "cinema?" Finally, is narrative losing its importance to us as a form of media to be consumed? Basically, an article pondering the topic of where we came from, and where we are going.

  • I like the ambition of this, but I want to say that this is too vague/broad to tackle in one go. To redefine "movie", "cinema", refocusing "narrative" and to try and pinpoint the timeline of where we are currently in the media landscape is a task. Where who is exactly? Which form of media? Is this referring to the U.S., non-Western Cinema, mainstream vs. cult, high culture or pop culture? These all need to be defined in this topic before advancing because to cast a really, really broad net is going to cause a problem for this topic. I am also curious what role Virtual Reality is playing in your topic, as it isn't addressed, but it is focused on in the title. I love think-pieces, but this needs to be trimmed down before some real critical thinking can happen! – John McCracken 3 months ago
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  • There's a lot of speculation on what is possible with VR movies and the cinematic language it will use. For example, there are many VR experiences in which the protagonist is the player/audience member wearing the headset - yet these are scripted movies. Could this be a new genre of movies that feel interactive though are not? – Kevin 3 months ago
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The belief that the 1st of something is the 'best'.

Why is it a general assumption that the first of any form of literature/art/media is inherently ‘better’ than proceeding works of art by the same artist? Does ingenuity supersede the product itself? Examples include: the first Star Wars film compared to the others, Guns N Roses’ first album, etc.

  • I think a good point to make is that the '1st' of things usually become called 'classic.' Take for example the movies Red and Red 2. Both movies in their own right are very well done: good plots, good score, good acting. However, because Red was first it had more time to be considered a favorite/classic. – chikkabooo 4 months ago
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  • I feel like a lot of the times, the mistake made is the comparison doesn't really end up being between 'good' or 'better', it's more of 'the first one' versus 'the new one'. By which I mean to say, that instead of trying to see if a remake/sequel is GOOD or not, we end up trying to see if it's similar to the previous work or not (this holds especially true if the first work has been a success). Naturally, unless the creator is in the habit of repeating themself, one doesn't find too many similarities to point out, effectively pronouncing that the new work of art is 'not as good', even though all we actually figured out is that the new work of art is 'not like the last one'. – JayBird 4 months ago
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  • Everyone knows the second Star Wars was the best... – Sboother 4 months ago
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  • Things to discuss would be interrelated issues of authenticity, originality and historical primacy.Herbert Read argued that a desire for novelty, originality and primacy is one of the strongest biological impulses in the average human – due to the evolutionary need to adapt to unusual circumstances and the desire to propagate – and used this biological analogy to explain the innate “goodness” attached works considered the “first” or “original”.Edward Young proposed that what we consider ‘originals’ are mostly ‘accidental’, out-surviving or overshadowing the works that they actually imitated or were heavily influenced by. If, for instance, the Mona Lisa and all of the information about the original painting was destroyed, an art historian might see an early copy as the ‘original’. Perhaps the feeling that “nothing is original” is due to the fact that no information or artefacts is lost or destroyed by the modern digitisation and democratisation of information.There is a distinction to be made, perhaps, between something that is imitative, such as a forgery or copy, and something that is a development, like a sequel. When presented with an original painting and a good forgery or imitation we have a reason for not considering them of equal value. Although the aesthetic value of such a copy could be the same as that of the original painting, it would completely lack the art-historical value, with the former work inspiring others and developing art in general. Clearly, one does not want to give the same credit to someone who mechanistically copied a work in which an artist invested ingenuity and original thinking. This is reflected in how the legal language concerning the originality standard in copyright law has generally converged around the “sweat-of-the-brow” of the creator as well as the “skill, judgement or labour” invested in the object. In other words, it has proven difficult for courts to separate the effort and industriousness of reproduction without incorporating terms such as creativity or personality. An additional idea here is that the original object was a more “authentic” expression of an artist’s “self” or “intentions” not mediated or infringed upon by interlopers. – Christopher Pottecary 2 months ago
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The Persona in Popular Music

With many Pop musicians, what you see is what you get. Their personal lives are kept at a safe distance from their work in a very profesional, cut-and-dry fashion. And then there are the others – Prince, MF Doom, Rammstein, Die Antwoord, (to name a few off the top of my head). These artists and artist groups built what might be termed their Pop Persona; that persona is an image, and that image plays into the music itself. The artist cannot be disregarded when listening to the music, yet these artists are often able to balance such a level of involvement with the imaginary celebrity they’ve constructed around themselves with easy-to-access points of entry for newcomers who just want to enjoy the music. In a way, this also occurred with Andy Warhol, but we might say he was playing off of something that already existed- which means it was around even before his time.

This topic would be very hard to talk about, but I can’t help but feel as though it’s gone unaddressed in mass cultural discussion. I’m also unsure if this kind of topic is fitting for Artifice, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.

  • I believe what you are situating here is a pop star which say Justin Bieber or Britney Spears whose personal is out there for all to see and too exploit. Whereas, pop stars like Prince and David Bowie were/ are relatively private individuals; however, they created an alter persona for the public. And perhaps the article can speak about these differences from a musical point of view and how it affects or doesn't affect the musician. – Venus Echos 10 months ago
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  • For other possible examples, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj have done multiple personas as well. – Emily Deibler 10 months ago
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  • I think I understand what you are trying to approach here, but I believe there is some unclarity in what the actual topic should be. Are you aiming to propose an exploration of music icons, versus those who are newcomers? – Arazoo Ferozan 10 months ago
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  • Tangentially, you could also explore how the personas of musicians in their music are inextricably projected into their personal lives? – stefancharles 10 months ago
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Advertising with Brand Characters

Some brand characters include Dos Equis’ "the most interesting man in the world", Jolly Green Giant, and The Michelin Man. These characters are meant to establish long term recognition and should be effective in having a cultural impact. What’s the story behind certain brand characters like the Marlboro Man, Pillsbury Doughboy, or Tony the Tiger? How do they embody the brand’s identity and appeal to their target market/consumers? How have they evolved over the years?

  • Let's not forget the Progressive Insurance lady, Flo! She's the best! – Christen Mandracchia 1 year ago
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  • I think it would be more interesting to steer away from simply telling the stories of certain brand mascots, towards talking about the development of these mascots over the years, i.e. who they are appealing to, what sort of marketing concepts are they appealing to. While it will be necessary to discuss the stories behind some of them, there should be some discussion about the development over time, and trying to deduce the path into the future of characters in advertising. – Matthew Sims 1 year ago
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  • I think it will be more beneficial to narrow down the topic to some specific areas of discussion. A common denominator or target theme might help to have a solid discussion. For example focusing on a few different cosmetic companies as a focal point to see how each use characters to create a familiar brand, who their target consumers were and how have they evolved over the years. – Arazoo Ferozan 12 months ago
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  • Two of the commentators before me have focused on the idea of how one of the characters has changed over the years. Two related cases I remember reading something about are Aunt Jemima (with her changing appearances) and the Marlboro Man (introduced to give that cigarette brand an entirely new, masculine association).Rather than track a character over time, it would also be possible to develop a close reading of the character's appearance and performance at any one given moment. – JamesBKelley 3 months ago
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David Bowie as Creative Inspiration

How was Bowie’s own creativity through music and other mediums has also caused others to be influenced in their own work.

  • I recommend for researching this to look at recent comments made after this death. Many people have talked about how he was an inspiration. If the writer can find some of these examples he or she can look to that artist's work to find examples. One example I can think of off the top of my head was Broadway director Robert Jess Roth who directed the original production of Beauty and the Beast says that his biggest influence is rock gods like Bowie. This was reflected in the way he designed the Beast as more of a rock star than an animal. One example, but this is the KIND of research and evidence I suggest the writer uses. – Christen Mandracchia 1 year ago
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  • I think it would be useful to mention his androgynout style inspiring lgbt rights and freedom. Also, he blew off his Hall of Fame induction. Perhaps look at that as a form of inspiration to not care about the hype? Then of course his creative and versatile music and his music videos! Find examples if how his musical style changed over time and the artists that credit him as an influence or at least adopted some of his style in their own art. – Robyn McComb 1 year ago
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  • Lady GaGa has always said that David Bowie was a major influence for her music (to the point where she copied or used direct lines from his work). I myself have written a few pieces that were inspired by him. Even the 11th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, said that he based his Doctor Who wardrobe on David Bowie. – JennyCardinal 9 months ago
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  • Dylan fan, mentioned by George Clinton, sampled by James Brown, and declined knighthood; truly one of the greats. – Tigey 8 months ago
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