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Latest Topics

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Importance of 'The Goat' by Edward Albee

How far can social taboos be pushed? Analyzing the affair, bestiality, and pedophilia. Furthering with Aristotle’s six elements of theatre and the three unities.

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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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months 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 5 months ago
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    • Very cool topic. I'm wondering if you're planning to cover Instagram artists from the same field (i.e. make-up) or whether you wanted to cover artists from a variety of disciplines? – Amanda Dominguez-Chio 3 months ago
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    • While I think it's great to see social media being used as a means of supporting artists of all types, it seems to me that there is the potential for a problem in the fragmentation of content, and the necessity that comes from needing to make your art marketable. The first of these concerns is a problem, I would argue, with social media's effect on culture in general, and as we become more and more accustomed to bite-sized content the more engaging, long form content, as well as the way we consume said content, could suffer as result. I'm thinking specifically of mediums such as books, although there is definitely an argument that platforms like Instagram mostly act to entice people into further exploration of the work in question. Then there is the necessity of self marketing, and the potential of sacrificing the quality and/or genuineness of one's work in order to make it more popular, although this has always been an issue, even before social media. Ultimately I think all social media is a fantastic way to promote art of any kind, so long as one is able to sidestep the potential pitfalls of pandering to the public and becoming overly concerned with exposure rather than the work itself. – woollyb 3 months ago
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    • Instagram's a great platform for making the art world more accessible, which is still a huge problem despite the best outreach efforts of massive museums. I think it's also changed the way artists work in a way that's quite refreshing. We see a lot more works-in-progress and get insight into an artist's influences for example. – bodjaman 2 months ago
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    • I think that it's like a knife with 2 ends, it can go great or otherwise. It's a good thing that through these media channels people can get art closer to them and spread it. – AichaB 2 months ago
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    Taken by BreannaWaldrop (PM) 3 weeks ago.
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    Are podcasts changing how we talk about serious problems

    Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, and many are hosted by comedians, even though their show’s topics range from murder to history. Is this candid, improvised, and comedic take on these more serious topics changing the way that we discuss them or even deal with them in our daily lives?

    • Is this focused solely on podcasts by comedians? Might be helpful to draw a contrast between the followers of a podcast like OnBeing vs those who follow a podcast from a comedian, and how we get different consumers to relate to the same news (like CNN vs The Daily Show) by packaging and presenting it differently (like traditional news vs comedy). – Nate Océan 3 months ago
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    • I think drawing a contrast like that would be really interesting, both types of show generate conversation, but I think they change perception and how we interact with the facts presented. That seems like a great take on this – boldlygone 2 months ago
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    Freedom of Speech through Creative Mediums

    What are the most relevant examples of free speech that has been expressed through creative mediums. Have they perfectly expressed their point or even crossed the line?

    • Could you be more specific in what you mean by relevant examples? Relevant to what? – LaRose 1 year ago
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    • This sounds like it would be a timely topic. I would be interested in pursuing it especially with a view to looking at how comedians have brought about social change and have used political satire to respond to various views expressed by presidential candidates. Donald Trump has certainly challenged and some would say crossed the line in some of his comments. Is this what you had in mind?Also news reporting has become very politically correct in Canada. I regularly watch CNN and am impressed with the well-researched questions asked by various hosts. I have heard Alex Wagner a few time as well as others. In Canada we don't have anyone asking the touch questions and as a result the information conveyed is done in a very shallow and superficial way. At least in America, the topics relating race form a national dialogue.If you could clarify what take you wanted on this topic such as sticking with politics, comedy shows or news reporting, I would be interested in nabbing this topics.Thanks! – Munjeera 1 year ago
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    • I think this is an interesting topic, but definitely needs to be narrowed to a more specific instance, as above, otherwise, it could just descend into soapboxing about when free speech is justified. So, this could focus on free speech in comedy (e.g. Louis C.K's Saturday Night Live appearance). I think whoever writes this up needs to qualify what is meant by creative mediums, especially when discussing something like politics, something which is usually confined to the news side of media. – Matthew Sims 1 year ago
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    • Very interesting, you could add YouTube for this as well, since it is a creative medium to an extent and you get videos of just about anything. As long as it doesn't violate copyright, it stays up. – SpectreWriter 1 year ago
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    Social Media Aesthetics and the Good Life

    Discuss the rise of image-based social media often portraying stylized images of food, clothing and interiors. Do these portrayals (both seeing them and creating them) allow all of us to become artists, forcing us to appreciate visual beauty in the everyday? Or do they force us to value the narrowly beautiful at the expense of more complex encounters with beauty?

    • Would you be referring to reality TV here as well? – Munjeera 5 months ago
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    • Great topic. If everyone has a camera, can everyone therefore claim to be an artist? Are we snapping and sharing photos because beauty has truly resonated with us, or is it because our craving for admiration and likes compels us to capture and share everything we encounter? – bloom 5 months ago
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    • Wow this is definitely something I have been thinking about lately. Should we need images to appreciate the beauty of these things? Likewise, would we appreciate them if they weren't constantly blogged about/posted online? How are we defining art/beauty? I think the images almost create a barrier between us and experience--As if we are constantly viewing the world through a lens rather than actually being present. – Bfitts 5 months ago
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    • Brilliant topic: humans as lemmings; objectivity, subjectivity and beauty; the psychology of manipulation; natural vs. man made beauty; etc. – Tigey 5 months ago
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    • I feel like I'm in a permanently repeating matrix-world where everyday someone is sharing a new article about the harmful nature of image-based social media... it's exhausting and repetitive. However, as a visual person, the endless stream of perfectly colorful smoothie bowls and fresh-ass clean artistic barber cuts that flood my instagram feed are endlessly awe-inspiring and make me happy. I think the problem is a psychological one with people, not with "art" made in the modern world. – ssudekum 4 months ago
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    The Hard Truth: Analyzing George Carlin's take of Soft Language

    Analyze the way George Carlin, in his comedy routine titled "Soft Language", discusses the evolution of language through jargon and euphemisms in daily society and interpret the effects of this evolution over time, beginning with the groundwork laid by Carlin in his 1990 Comedy Special Doin’ It Again and ending with modern day jargon and euphemisms.

    • This would be interesting to explore in light of current political divisions— how the same idea can be split and reinterpreted in different groups, and called entirely different things. – eleanorstern 5 months ago
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    On the boundaries of the derivative in pop music

    The "Blurred Lines" lawsuit has (pun definitely intended) blurred the lines of how copyright can and should be interpreted and enforced in the popular music world. Popular music of all kinds has for generations been predicated on iteration, from the transmutation of blues into rock and roll, vocal jazz into soul, and on and on. The precedent that a song can be marked as theft because of similar "feel" is one that may cross from a defense of intellectual property into one that has a chilling affect on creative extension of our shared musical heritage (particularly for up and coming musicians who have no resources to fight off a potential copyright claim). How is our culture defining these legal boundaries, and has this process become inherently unfair to those musical artists who are young (ie not in the baby boom generation that notoriously owns much in our copyrighted cultural landscape, since they came up alongside the new mechanical media that enabled mass-marketing of musical works), and without financial resources to defend against such suits? Was "Blurred Lines" genuinely too derivative of Marvin Gaye’s work, or is this a case of judicial overreach?

    • Using a particular genre of music, like pop, alternative, or folk(etc.), as well as what culture you would be referring to, would be a good way to keep the article on track. The influence of instrumentation, into how this affects an interpretation of similar "feels," could also add another dimension to the article. – BlackLion 5 months ago
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    The Cosmopolitan Sterilization of Indie Rock?

    With standardized digital audio production, much music under the "alternative" genre sounds conspicuously similar. Marrying this phenomena with the rise of Creative Class gentrification, and ultimately eclecticism without a sense of roots (see "Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology" for more), has indie rock lost itself to indie cred?

    • What timeline are you looking to focus on? Is this the roots of indie rock being compared to the modern trend "authentic" indie rock? I like the emphasis on audio production and I think that could be really beneficial for showcasing how the genre has become mainstream. I also think that this observation could be compared to "punk rock" and maybe that genre could included, or that could be its own Topic. – John McCracken 7 months ago
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    • I referring to the contemporary world of indie rock. Let's say we're comparing the guitar-based, lo-fi sounds of Ty Segall with bands driven by synthesizers and maximal studio instrumentation and production. I like Segall's sound much better, as it doesn't feel like an affectation. I feel like too many bands played on SiriusXMU rely too much on technology and not on honesty, musicianship, and songwriting. – Kyle 7 months ago
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    • I would suggest a wariness about the idea that "digital audio production" is the standardizing factor here. A) There are a ton of records made in the digital realm that are done so simply for economic reasons--it's a lot cheaper and easier at this point to work with inexpensive software on computers that most everyone possesses than to work with, say, a 24-track analog tape machine (which I know Segall often favors, but is, at this point in time, an enormously expensive boutique undertaking). B) There are a ton of records made digitally that emphasize so-called lo-fi aesthetic choices in instrumentation, arrangement, and overall production (see: Wolf Eyes, the latest Lightning Bolt, etc). I think the culprit here may be more about the cultural/commercial forces that see "indie rock" as a commodified genre with marketable stylistic tropes, rather than digital audio production itself (and to an extent, about the loss of meaning in the term "indie rock"...much as with "alternative" before it, it has become a sonic style more than a true "independent" category of creation). Digital audio production equipment ist just a toolset, and if you are skilled with the toolset, it doesn't demand or determine what the results are creatively. You can record nasty, one-take, lo-fi stuff into GarageBand or Pro Tools just as easily as on tape (and often for less money). I do think your central thesis relating homogenization of indie rock to creative class gentrification has legs, I'd just be careful about blaming the digital boogieman. – joshloar 5 months ago
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