Arts

Latest Articles

Arts
50
Arts
73
Arts
41
Arts
108
Arts
64
Arts
60
Arts
37
Arts
51
Arts
68
Arts
61

Latest Topics

4

Are radio edits a necessary evil or detrimental to artistic integrity?

Occasionally, a music artist will release a song that is deemed unsuitable for radio play in its current form. It might contain profanity or profane subject material, have undesired instrumentation, or simply be too long for the radio to play. A new version of the song will be created as a "radio edit" that alters the original to meet governmental standards. These changes can range from inconsequential, like replacing one profane word with a sound effect, to substantial, such as replacement lyrics that completely change the original meaning of the song. Famous radio edits include Cee Lo Green’s "Forget You," d-12’s "Purple Hills," and Everlast’s "What’s It Like."

Usually these edits are not made by the artists themselves but by their record labels, broadcasters at the corporate level, or even individual radio stations. Whether minor or major, these changes produce a product that is not what the artist envisioned without the artists’ input. Without these changes, these songs would not play on the radio or in spaces that must abide by government guidelines relating to content standards. Is the radio edit process a necessary evil to becoming a successful artist? Or is the act of altering art in order to conform to public sensibilities harmful to the role of art in our contemporary culture that constantly encourages us to "express yourself?" Especially in the era of the internet and the seemingly endless ways to create and distribute art outside traditional distribution institutions, should corporations compromising an artist’s intended vision to please the masses be considered a malicious act? Or should this new-found freedom provided by the internet encourage society to support art as the artist creates it, even if it offends?

  • This is a fascinating point in the process of musical production that not many people consider. Much like the Hayes code of early Hollywood, such censorship can seem extreme and archaic in a modern society that no longer requires major industries to support success. The examples you give are telling ones since it's easy to classify which genres are more censored compared to others, which could be an interesting aspect to explore. This practice of radio edits may be a hangover of a previous era since tiktok seems to be the predominant platform dominating the music market today. Exploring the alternatives (youtube, tiktok, instagram etc.), which genres or artists are targeted, and the origins for WHY such edits were made, could be a good division of the topic. – LadyAcademia 1 month ago
    0
  • This is such an interesting thought! As a lifelong hater of radio edits, I’ve never thought of it this way - I would look into which artists get censored the most and their similarities (if any). – kelleykilgore 1 month ago
    0
8

Has destigmatizing suicide gone too far?

Nowadays, suicide carries less stigma than ever before, both in fiction and in real life. In many respects this is a good thing, as it means that people who experience suicidal ideation no longer have to feel like they are morally deficient. However, it seems as though some works of media have gone too far in the other direction, portraying suicide either as something glamorous or as an inevitable consequence of mental distress. A key example of this can be seen in the novel and Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," both of which seem to portray suicide as a weapon that can be used to get back at someone. Some modern Biblical commentators have even gone so far as to argue that Sarah, the holy matriarch, might have been suicidal based on little to no evidence. What are some ways in which creators can portray suicide more respectfully? Is it possible to point out the harm that suicidal ideation does without making people feel guilty or ashamed for being depressed?

  • This is such an interesting topic. It's so complicated to try to portray suicide in a respectful and non-stigmatized manner. I'm really interested to see what you come up with. – gracesamath 3 months ago
    2
  • There are some interesting discussions on Youtube about this, and euthanasia laws (specifically ones designed about relieving extreme mental distress) could be worth mentioning as well. The Living Well with Schizophrenia youtube channel has a great discussion about this. I've also seen discussions about 13 reasons why by psychologists who point out ways that Hannah's experience of suicide isn't a good representation (because she gives up on getting help or doesn't try enough to get help). – Jordan 3 months ago
    2
  • This definitely intrigues me, i'm excited to see what you continue to write about it! – OpalReads01 3 months ago
    2
  • You should write this! I tend to avoid things related to suicide, but the premise of your topic is sound. – derBruderspielt 2 months ago
    2
  • I like this topic and I would be highly interested to read something related to mental health and suicide. What "13 Reasons Why" did well is that it showed how Hannah's suicide devastatingly impacted the lives of her peers and parents and I think it can help suicidal people realize what the consequences of suicide are and why in most cases it is a wrong choice. What I didn't like about this show starting from season 2 though is that it makes everyone seem like a victim while they can make better and more responsibile choices. This kind of character representation can make teenagers adopt a victim mentality and that's what is happening nowadays among teens and even young adults sadly. – M.C. Cherif 2 months ago
    2
  • This is such a relevant topic. I think it would be interesting to make a case about Euphoria, which is even more popular and timely than 13 Reasons Why now, and is controversial for its graphic content and effect on young viewers. – katherine 2 months ago
    1
  • This is something I've wondered about before. So many YA novels are using suicide as a way to write an emotional, yet empty story. It's the black and white or one take move for YA novels nowadays; the equivalent of Oscar-bait. – rileybelle 1 month ago
    1
  • This is interesting because you're right, suicide seems to be used as just another element to add tragedy to a story. However suicide rates are still increasing and using suicide/ideation as a plot device does give struggling people a character to relate to. But what is the right way to portray someone suffering from that extreme depression and loneliness? – zreddig 1 month ago
    1
  • It would be so cool to follow it with questions like, is it really an issue of destigmatization of suicide? Or the capitalist society's way of profiting from a pervasive issue through TV shows? – carolynjoan 4 weeks ago
    1
4

The Portrayal of Catfishing Within Popular Media

The act of catfishing — pretending to be someone else online to lure someone into a false relationship — has become a somewhat common occurrence. This also means that this behaviour has started appearing in more entertainment media. This, then, begs the question. How is the act of catfishing portrayed in media?

An analysis of this topic could start with the TV show Catfish, which depicts the act as cruel whilst simultaneously often showing sympathy to those who participate in catfishing depending upon their individual circumstances.

Through looking at other examples — either fictional or non-fictional — try to determine whether popular culture depicts this as a severe violation, a minor problem, or somewhere in between.

If possible, make a comment about what this says about societal values.

Note: I have placed this in the Arts category, but it could potentially sit in the other media forms (like TV or Film) if they are most discussed.

  • I think adding an element about how there are movies where all someone does is take off a characters glasses and they are hot (She’s All That) is also a form of cat fishing happening. Or even a mistaken identity like in Eurotrip. There are a lot of instincts in movies or shows where people get tricked into think one thing about a character and finding out different. This will be cool to read/write. – mynameisarianna 3 months ago
    0
  • I think this is a really great topic, especially with the Tinder Swindler on Netflix becoming so popular. A slightly different form but the same principle. – BrennaDempsey 3 months ago
    0
  • The recent Netflix movie LoveHard tries to tackle both characters who have catfished and their attempting to convince others it is wrong, but in the end the main charactes still end up together...so what does that all mean? – derBruderspielt 2 months ago
    0
  • While the television show "90 Day Fiance" definitely has its racist, xenophobic moments and is not necessarily focusing on "catfishing", I think it also opens up the interesting dynamic of long distance relationships and its tendency to encourage hiding the truth. Often, both people are "catfishing" in some way, either by hiding appearance, intention, information. The show is really ambiguous in regards to who you should feel sympathetic towards. In the MTV show Catfish, usually the viewer is positioned to feel sympathetic with the person being catfished (of course, the presenters are quite balanced and often give the catfish an opportunity to be heard out). In many of the relationships that involve lying or covering the truth in 90 Day Fiance, it is a bit more ambiguous and often both parties have hidden something. – aidenmagro 1 month ago
    0
1

The History of Chinese Painting

The Artifice is a magazine about visual arts so it would be interesting to read an article about how art in China has been evolving since ancient times. The author is invited to focus on the history of painting in this specific cultural context and make it into a story that helps the reader explore different times through the lens of Chiense painters. Using a chronological order would be helpful to follow and making the tone narrative instead of informative would also be more engaging. As an oil painter, I would be intrigued to read something related to the origins of this particular painting type.

    7

    Has Pop Music Simplified Over Time?

    In numerous studies, people are finding that pop music is homogenizing, both harmonically, stylistically, and even in vocal variety (i.e. very similar sounding artists being appreciated). Some claim that pop music is being "dumbed down" by becoming harmonically and melodically simplified. While pop music nowadays may be more harmonically and melodically simple, are there other factors that make it more complex/varied? Should we judge music based on these factors, or should we appreciate other aspects of the genre? What are those factors that we should appreciate?

    • A big factor is how formulaic a lot of the music is. Everyone wants to climb to the top via popularity and they do so by following the mainstream and taking the place of those who came before them by doing the same act. Many musicians don't even write their own songs, they just perform what their companies give them. It's a struggle between capitalism and the rise of the artist. – LaRose 6 years ago
      2
    • I'm not sure this topic fits into any of the current categories. According to the guidelines, music is not currently a category, but might be in the near future. Once this comes to pass, I would give this topic a second look. – BoomBap 6 years ago
      1
    • This topic is difficult because there is so many factors that can play a role. While I'm of the opinion that music (and all mainstream art including visual media, animation, film, literature, and theater) is being dumbed down. The reason people are noticing how similar music is becoming is also due to them being more familiar and experienced with it. While many artist are often criticized for "copying" other artist work. The reality is many artist are "inspired" by other artist. You can see this with bands like Wolfmother, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Cage the Elephant who were inspired by late 60's rock bands and tried to imitate them. You can honestly pick any era for music (or games, movies, and theater) and start noticing how redundant trends pop up due to the success of others. If you go back to the early 2000's there was a point where every artist was using auto tune and even further back you had the gangster rap era where everyone was trying to prove how "tough" they where. Also more recently Invincible has become incredibly popular due to its Amazon series and many people have praised it for its subversion of mainstream comic-books, but to me that is not the case. As, many of the more "shocking" elements have been done before by other comic-book series, such as the supposed paragon of good actually being corrupt. And is simply using his positive image to take over the world. Graphic violence has always been apart of comics and super hero's having sexual relations and having it be portrayed in full detail in the pages has also occurred. But the general press is talking up these elements, which to me shows how unfamiliar they are with the subject matter. "Btw I do think Invincible both the comic and Amazon series are worth looking at but not for the reason's I listed above." While I'm sure some musicians are simply following trends, I don't think all of them are. You also have to take in account how producers can act as gate keepers to the success and how popular some artist become, as they may choose to publish one artist over another due to them being similar to another successful arts. – Blackcat130 1 year ago
      0
    • I agree with some of the points previously mentioned. A particular aspect of music that can be argued is the notion of why exactly is pop music in its current state? Popular music in a sense can be argued is rap music due to the popularity of the genre. Moreover, pop music is an amalgamation of various genres blended together and can be seen in the ways in which EDM influences the beats of songs or how low-fi beats borrowed from ambient R&B. – jgabriel97 12 months ago
      0
    • To an extent, I do agree. I think, however, it's about encouraging people to have variety in their listening repertoire. It's ok to listen to something with simple harmonies and melodies, just like it's ok to eat fast food once in a while. I think people should be encouraged to keep an open mind and have a lush pallet of genres in their playlist and also appreciate how many genres, whether classical, jazz, pop, rock, drill or whatever it may be overlap and have more in common than we often give credit for. – JRAsquith 9 months ago
      0
    6

    The Appeal of Reaction Videos

    In a reaction video, someone watches something – a music video, a movie, a TV episode, a meme compilation, etc. – and records their reaction. This genre was popularized for the mainstream by YouTube channels like The Fine Bros., but there are many, many other channels that do it. Videos like "Real Doctor Reacts to Medical Dramas," "Real Lawyer Reacts to Crime in Movies," and "Vocal Coach Reacts to Music Video" have the advantage of being educational.
    What is it about this genre that we find so appealing? Is it just the relatability of people feeling the same feelings we have? Do we feel a connection to these people, across time and space?

    • Good topic, one I often wonder about myself. It would be especially interesting to note the difference in modern reaction videos towards reaction videos from the early days of YouTube, back when it still had a reply function; plenty of content creators made their name on just reacting to others. Yet in the modern day, people seem to be more interested in watching professionals or experts' take on certain videos, as made popular by channels like Legal Eagle or the Conde Nast family. Ever since those videos started becoming more popular, you don't really see the regular reaction videos anymore. If anything, you see people trying to emulate the new style with connections that are often flimsy (ex. "Person Who Lives In NYC Reacts To Seinfeld"). Did the audience realize they can do better? What could be the next 'phase' of the reaction videos' evolution? – semroolvink 1 year ago
      1
    • I think part of the allure is that we as humans want to see others amused and entertained. – J.D. Jankowski 1 year ago
      1
    • Reaction videos represent one's opinion or how many ever people are reviewing it and their individual opinions. We may agree or disagree but there is always space to know how others think about certain things especially if any of your favorite videos are being reviewed. – Sujayweaves 1 year ago
      2
    2

    The Unpopularity of the Ebook

    Ebooks, despite being easier to access, quicker to arrive, sometimes cheaper, and easier to store than physical books, have never managed to outsell physical books. In fact, they do not even come close. Explore the possible reasons why this might be the case: material nature of print, satisfaction of flipping a page, ability to show books off, an examination of the differences between platforms (Kobo, Kindle, etc.), e-platforms (Kindle app, Google Play Store, etc.), and file types viability (epub, pdf, etc.), and the aesthetic/artistic parts of the physical book.

    Article about ebook sales: (link) you prefer reading an,print on paper still wins.&text=“The book lover loves to,the rest of the world.

    • Good start. Can you supplement with some statistics on the sale of print books vs. ebooks? – Stephanie M. 1 year ago
      0
    • Perhaps another point of discussion could be the artistic elements of books. The different kinds of binding, the cover art, etc. – Samantha Leersen 1 year ago
      0
    • I know that a study had been done, where reading comprehension on computer devices was lower when compared to physical books. Perhaps people are aware of this issue intuitively on some level. Just a thought. – J.D. Jankowski 1 year ago
      1
    • You might also want to explore some benefits ebooks have over printed books, to flesh out the argument. For one thing, they allow readers to choose fonts, font sizes, line spacing, margins, etc. Readers can even opt for the text-to-speech function (when available). These choices provide a flexible format that can be more accessible to readers, especially those who cannot read traditional printed books – Mya 1 year ago
      0
    • Perhaps one could, as you've already indicated, analyze the physical nature of completing a book. Dog-eared pages, bent spines, handwritten notes along the margins, etc., all contribute to the 'reading' of a novel. Can the ebook hope to replicate or replace this physical relationship between reader and text? Additionally, what is the impact of looking at a screen? The screen might appear as paper, but the reader always knows they are viewing something electronic. Does this change the way a reader might read a text? For instance, word-finding tools are immediately present within a ebook, whereas one must actively search for something specific within a physical text. Is the presence of tools something that helps the reader in their understanding, or does it hinder progression by allowing readers to read 'easier'? – hooooogs 1 year ago
      0
    4

    Presenting Problematic Issues in Art

    Lolita, when it was published in 1955 (after much delay) was received by a hostile combination of abhorrent dismay and critical acclaim. Similarly, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses upon release in 1988 received both popular and critical praise but enraged a considerable portion of the Islamic community that resulted in a fatwa being placed on the author. More recently, the Netflix film Cuties was met with a #CancelNetflix response while the efficacy of the film’s intentions are still hotly debated. NITRAM, a film that explores the worst gun massacre in Australia’s history, has also faced significant objection.

    These works are a small example of art that attempts to discuss problematic issues in the public domain. In varying degrees, they all portray uncomfortable representations of social problems. Where does the line lie with the representation of problematic themes in works of art? Does a work of art with the platform of Netflix have more of a responsibility to stay within the confines of non-controversy? Or, conversely, because of its platform, should this be the very arena that tackles problematic social issues?

    An interesting angle for this article could be the role of cancel culture within the discussion. Do responses such as #CancelNetlfix inhibit the willingness of artists to attempt to tackle problematic issues and what is the consequence of this in broader social discourse?

    • Another example that jumps to mind is Jean-Jacques Annaud's 1992 film 'The Lover,' starring Tony Leung and Jane March. In the book, the unnamed female lead character, played by Jane March is 15. March turned 18 shortly after shooting began and (apparently) Annaud delayed shooting the sex scenes until after March's birthday. – Amyus 1 year ago
      1
    • This topic makes me think about the art show Sensation - it was a gallery exhibition dating back to 1997 that launched a lot of contemporary British artist's careers and the entire show had some controversial topics but the controversies differed based on where the show was held. In London, there was outrage over the Marcus Harvey's portrait Myra, a large portrait done in children's hand prints of a child murderer. It led to a massive uproar, especially by parents of the victims. While the exhibition was in New York, the Myra painting was displayed without any fanfare but Christ Ofili's portrait of The Holy Virgin Mary led the city of New York to attempt to cut off funding to the museum for displaying the work. The issue with the portrait being that Ofili's main artistic medium is elephant dung and female genitalia surrounds the main figure. Art has always been subversive and, while I do think that social media plays a big role in raising awareness, I think cancel culture can be incredibly shallow when it comes to art that is deliberately provocative.There are a lot of interesting ethical issues to probe but in a lot of cases, discussion and controversy just propel a work into notoriety. – caffeine 8 months ago
      0
    • An interesting aspect of the Salman Rushdie drama was that thr majority who protested and rioted had not never read the book but were actually told misinformation around it. The book is centred around a real historical incident which saw prophet Muhammed praise the three pagan gods that were worshipped by people who he classed as 'the ignorant' and the non believers. He later put this down to the devil had told him to say it. This caused massive distrust because how could the prophet of God get revelations from the devil and if it was possible what else had he uttered which was from the devil. The incident is recorded in early Islamic history and was widely accepted. However after more people read about it and questioned the intentions of Muhammed it was quietly put away. I would call that true censorship – saursault 3 months ago
      0