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Can the Artificial Be Art?

Artificial Intelligence has already caused changes in the way we conduct our lives. Will it change the way we make and perceive art? It has been predicted, for example, that AI will replace many jobs in the film industry. AI has been used in many types of writing and "artwork" already: legal and business documents, advertising, students’ assignments …
What is your definition of art? Can something created by AI be called art? How would AI affect the creation and appreciation of the arts, especially visual and verbal arts? Would anyone want to explore this topic, philosophically and prophetically?

  • Can't wait to write about this. I have thoughts. – Sunni Ago 1 month ago
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Taken by Sunni Rashad (PM) 1 month ago.
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Manga to anime adaptations vs. book to film adaptations

Do they follow similar patterns or is one typically more successful than the other? What have you noticed about the reception from fans for each type of adaptation? Why do you think these results have occurred?

  • Hmm... interesting subject, but I'd add more explanation as to why this topic is in need of an analysis and reflexion. – Beaucephalis 1 year ago
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  • This could be an interesting subject! Though I feel like the fact that anime is episodic and longer than a movie would make the comparison a little odd - in some ways, I feel manga to anime vs book to tv show could be a more apt comparison. While the latter isn't as common, I feel the differences in the length of a single movie vs a series makes comparing the two in a productive way a little harder. It the comparison being more about the mediums for their structural differences in length rather than being about adaption. There's also a lot of factors here that can influence the difference between manga to anime vs book to film/tv show - the strengths and limitations and costs of animation vs live action, the nature of prose vs manga/comics as a medium, and of course cultural differences between the places making these movies and anime. – AnnieEM 11 months ago
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  • I think this is an interesting topic. Though I'd argue that these are a very large categories to explore, which could make analysis challenging. – Sean Gadus 8 months ago
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  • Fascinating Topic! I feel that in terms of visual aesthetic Manga to Anime is more closely affiliated when compared to book adaptations. With Manga, one is clear as to how a character looks whereas with books oftentimes the cast is completely different from their on-page persona. That difference could be worth exploring within this topic. – Eeshita 8 months ago
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Taken by Beatrix Kondo (PM) 2 months ago.
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Primate Representation in Media

This topic is concerned with the representation of non-human primates, especially great apes, in television, cinema, music, and more. This topic isn’t necessarily concerned with the quantity of primate representation as much as it is the quality; how they are represented in relation to humans, in relation to their endangerment, habitat loss, mistreatment, evolution, intelligence…etc. Some examples of primate media representation one might consider are: The chimp in Jordan Peele’s "Nope," The Planet of the Apes franchise, meme culture…etc.
Writers in this topic would be exploring how the current attitudes towards our closest taxonomic relatives is embedded either blatantly or within the subtext of modern media, or how these attitudes have changed overtime. In the Planet of the Apes example, one might write about humanity’s ability to share our planet, or even consider sharing our planet, and what qualities of life are required in a species for us to even begin to consider sharing resources. Just about any example will require writers to discuss the prevalence, or the rare absences, of speciesism in our culture.

  • More details for the person who will write this topic would be much appreciated ;) – Beatrix Kondo 4 months ago
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  • Could you clarify what you're looking for the writer to explore? – Sunni Ago 4 months ago
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  • Regarding the Planet of the Apes franchise, one could consider the representation from the 1968 film in comparison to the more modern films as a bit of a possible starting point. – Siothrún 3 months ago
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A Decade of BTS: Celebrating Achievements, Impact, and Cultural Contributions

This topic invites writers to reflect on the first decade anniversary of BTS, one of the most influential K-pop groups globally. Explore and celebrate their journey, from debut to global stardom, and analyze the key milestones and achievements that have defined their success. Delve into BTS’s impact on the music industry, cultural landscape, and fandom culture worldwide. Examine their advocacy work, including social and mental health issues, and discuss how BTS has transcended traditional K-pop boundaries. Reflect on their unique approach to music, storytelling, and the use of social media, and explore the ways in which they have redefined the dynamics of fan engagement. Additionally, consider the challenges faced by BTS and how they have navigated the complexities of fame and global influence over the past ten years.

  • I know absolutely nothing about BTS but from my general understanding their success in the last ten years has catalyzed a growing awareness and appreciation for Korean music (even more broadly, Korean culture) in America (and other nations, I'm sure) in a way not too dissimilar to the Beatles era dubbed the British Invasion. I think a comparison of these two influences could be interesting. – Ryan 4 months ago
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Twelve Days of Christmas: An Analysis

The Twelve Days of Christmas is one of the best known, and arguably more exhausting and annoying, Christmas songs in existence. It’s so complex and has been around for so long, one might expect it to have vanished from the carol canon decades ago.

However, the carol lives on, as do the stories and legends behind it, and the projects it has inspired. Origin stories float around social media every year. Perhaps the most popular claims that the carol was a way for Catholics in King James I’s era to express their faith without fear of persecution (the partridge is Jesus Christ, the three French hens are faith, hope, and charity, and so on). Another origin story claims every gift in the carol is a different bird, not just the gifts directly associated with birds (e.g., "five golden rings" refers to ring-necked pheasants).

Along with this, touching or funny riffs on the carol are found in almost every fandom and subculture (Harry Potter, Redneck 12 Days, 12 Days based around political satire, and more). Hallmark’s expansive list of holiday movies includes no less than two based on the conceit of giving 12 meaningful gifts. Even some of today’s more orthodox church denominations (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and others), still treat Christmas as a 12-day affair, ending on the Day of Epiphany.

Examine how and why the 12 Days of Christmas, song and concept, are so ingrained in our culture even if not everyone celebrates the holiday as such. Pick a few origin stories or 12 Days-inspired projects to analyze. What does this carol and concept mean for us? What is it about the concept that has staying power, even if some people dislike the song? Are some inspired projects better at capturing the spirit of 12 Days than others? What might a literal or figurative "12 Days" look like for secularized culture, and would it make the holidays better or worse? Both? Discuss.

  • The reason why "12 Days of Christmas" is as long and convoluted as it is is that it's an elaborate metaphor. Each verse of the song is meant to represent a different aspect of Christian (especially Catholic) observance. It was written in England during a time when Catholics faced persecution, so in order to teach what made their own faith unique, they had to be sneaky about it--hence why the song never refers to Catholicism directly even as it uses a lot of Catholic imagery. Some of the songs sung on the Jewish holiday of Passover operate in a similar way. – Debs 3 months ago
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The Cultural Impact of Elf on the Shelf

In 2005, Carol Abersold and her daughter Chanda Bell dreamed up a new Christmas tradition. Parents could purchase one of Santa’s elves, a cute little creature sent to "scout" for Santa and report whether the kids in a certain home had been good. The elf would stay with their chosen family from December 1-25, getting up to creative antics while the kids were asleep every night.

The combination elf doll and book were an instant smash hit with their target demographic. In almost 20 years since inception, the original white, blue-eyed male elf has received female counterparts, as well as Black and Latino/a counterparts, male and female. Parents of disabled children have bought or handmade accessories like wheelchairs or braces for their dolls. The Elf on the Shelf has its own theme song and has spawned a made-for-TV movie, as well as a 2023 elf-themed baking competition on Food Network.

However, not everyone wants this elf on their shelf. Every year, parents flock to social media to panic–"It’s almost December 1 and I can’t find the elf/I need an elf!" They commiserate with fellow parents and guardians–"I hate this [darn] elf!" Parents, teachers, and child development experts have excoriated the elf as a "Christmas spy," a tool that encourages extreme behaviorist thinking and doesn’t contribute to concepts of grace, making mistakes and learning from them, or doing well without doing perfectly. In a season where kids are already excited, anxious, and overstimulated, the elf feels like an enemy. Plus, many parents find it "just plain creepy."

Discuss the pros, cons, and cultural impact of the Elf on the Shelf, as well as any alternatives you know (e.g., Kindness Elves, elves who use their time to make the journey to Bethlehem, elves who celebrate Hanukkah or Diwali). Why do you think culture embraced or rejected the Elf on the Shelf? In what capacity if any was it needed? Do alternatives "work," or do we need better alternatives, if any? Will the phenomenon ever leave us? Choose a couple of these or other questions upon which to expound.

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    Can Creators Redeem the Horror Genre's Inherent Ableism?

    Whether or not it’s "spooky season," the horror genre has hordes of devotees, and well it should. Horror gives us a safe outlet for facing our fears, exploring our inner demons, and pitting our inner heroes against some of the most frightening scenarios ever conceived in creators’ minds. Whether in books, in film, on the stage, or in some other medium, horror has earned its place as a revered genre.

    However, the 21st century has exposed a particular underbelly of horror: ableism. Many if not most horror villains either have some sort of disfigurement or disability, or can be read or "coded" as such. Frankenstein’s monster is a reanimated, grotesque corpse who speaks and acts like a caricature of an intellectually disabled man. The impetus for Dracula and vampires came from sufferers of porphyria, a fairly rare disease still poorly understood. Several seasons of American Horror Story, notably Asylum and Freak Show, paint disabled characters as frightening or grotesque if not outright villainous; at best, these characters are pitiable. The recent TV series Changeling centers on a demonic being whose changeling status has been compared to autism for centuries. Stephen King’s disabled horror characters aren’t villains, but are stereotypes, and pop up in almost all his novels.

    These examples might tempt us to "cancel" horror altogether, and certainly, the ableism within warrants serious discussion. But is there a way to stay true to the horror genre in coming years without sacrificing its conventions (e.g., updating classics to the point of unrecognizability)? Can a form of "new horror" decry ableism while bringing true dignity to coded disabled characters, or characters who are shunned or feared? Discuss.

    • I'm not sure I'd say that ableism is a problem in all horror genres, but it's definitely a reoccurring issue especially when it comes to monsters - though some also pull on other negative stereotypes, like Dracula as a European foreigner. I definitely think this is an interesting topic! – AnnieEM 7 months ago
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    • There's definitely hope for horror, it's just a matter of getting more accurate portrayals of disability on the screen, and that does happen every now and again. Movies like Hush and Sightless are examples (moreso Hush, which was a box-office success). It's just a matter of writers realising that 1. disabilities are not forbidden topics, 2. disabilities should not be used as metaphors or treated as supernatural phenomena, and 3. disabled people aren't superhuman. Sometimes the issue is just plain ignorance (like Changeling) but other times it seems like abled-bodied writers and directors are frightened of getting disabilities wrong, so they stick to the status quo of either mystifying or over-powering their disabled characters. – Ezra Chapman 5 months ago
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    The triad of Min Yoongi

    As a musician, composer, and producer, it is essential to explore the following aspects when delving into the multifaceted identity of Min Yoongi/Suga/Agust D:

    Artistic Evolution: Trace the evolution of Min Yoongi’s musical journey, highlighting the growth and transformation of his artistic style and sound. Explore how his diverse musical influences and experimentation have contributed to the layers within his creative identity.

    Genre Fluidity: Investigate Min Yoongi’s ability to navigate and excel in different musical genres. Explore how he seamlessly transitions between rap, hip-hop, R&B, and other genres, showcasing his versatility as a musician and pushing boundaries within the industry.

    Personal Narrative: Unveil the personal narrative and introspective themes that Min Yoongi explores through his music. Examine how his lyrics and compositions reflect his own experiences, emotions, and perspectives. Explore themes such as self-reflection, vulnerability, and resilience.

    Producer’s Perspective: Highlight Min Yoongi’s role as a producer and the impact he has on shaping the artistic direction of his music. Explore his creative process, collaborative efforts, and production techniques, shedding light on how he brings his vision to life.

    Social Commentary: Investigate Min Yoongi’s ability to use his platform to address social issues and deliver impactful messages through his music. Examine how he tackles topics like mental health, societal pressures, and cultural identity, offering a voice to those who may feel unheard.

    By exploring these aspects, you can delve into the rich and intricate layers of Min Yoongi/Suga/Agust D’s artistic identity. Emphasize the diverse range of skills, experiences, and perspectives that contribute to his multifaceted nature as a musician, composer, and producer.