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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 2 years ago
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  • 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 2 years ago
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  • It's also interesting to think of what music never lent itself to radio edits to begin with, and what music was particularly pushed into it. The metro area I'm from has a radio station which used to have a motto "All the best hits, without the rap." For the most part it was true, the station played pop music by all sorts of artists. But when Macklemore's Thrift Shop became big, the station played it, despite the song featuring rap... Race and politics clearly play a role in determining what music is deemed "appropriate", a role that for the most part likely goes unseen and unacknowledged, just as many people observe never thinking of the impact of radio edits. On a somewhat different note, I only recently discovered the song "I Dig Rock and Roll" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. For those unfamiliar with it, it seems to celebrate Rock and Roll while actually mocking it. It has a lyric incredibly relevant to this topic - "I think I could say something if you know what I mean/But if I really say it, the radio won't play it/Unless I lay it between the lines!" Very interesting lyric, it's stuck with me! – ronannar 2 years ago
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  • I agree that this topic is fascinating. I have never really thought about it, but just reading through the idea and the comments has me thinking of different ways things are edited and how heavily (and how times we might not know it because at some point we'd only ever heard it on the radio). Could be arguments that it's helped in cases, as well? Something like Let's Get It Started? How would that have been played in so many places without an edit? (And I suppose, is that right or wrong?) – rieder21 2 years ago
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5

The Influence of Carmilla

Throughout the years following the publication of the novel, the character of Carmilla has influenced popular culture in a way that it’s been used a lot of times. Some writers have even written a sequel to the original novel, whilst others have included the iconic character in other forms of media; films, television, video games, comics.

Carmilla’s character seems iconic in the way that she seems to represent a symbol of Gothic literature and the Gothic genre in general, on the same level as Dracula. She is depicted differently in other forms of media, so much that her lore seems to evolve from one author to another. Even her personality varies, depending on how she’s meant to fit in the media that wishes to see her in another way. For example, the 2000 Japanese movie "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust" has depicted Carmilla as a noble vampire that was known for her vain and gluttonous tyranny by bathing herself in the blood of virgins. She’d even been named the "Bloody Countess" as a result. Her acts had disgusted Dracula so much that he’d destroyed her himself.

It’s quite a far cry from Carmilla’s original depiction. But somehow, she fits the tone wanted by the author.

Why would other artists choose to depict Carmilla as differently as possible? Examine the reasons why her character has such a great influence in popular culture to the point that she needs to be modified to fit in the tone of another story.

    6

    Can there really be "art for art"

    The slogan "art for art’s sake" arose in the 19th century with the core ethos being that art, true art is divorced, separated, alien from function, any and all functions.

    But with this philosophy, there is room for critique, after all nothing is created in a bubble and artists are influenced by their society and as such so are their works.

    Does art always have a message? Should it?

    Many Marxist thinkers would argue art must have a meaning and purpose but even non-Marxists have levied criticism at this school of thought.

    Is Art for Art’s sake a philosophy that is unfairly maligned? Is it a cynical defense from critique?

    • I think it’s also interesting to explore when we define that someone is to be considered an artist. As we age it’s much more difficult to explore things separated from fiction but as children there is a much more free exploration of art that is disconnected from our adult analysis. Is this something we are only able to harness in childhood? If so, is “art for arts sake” something we are trying to reconnect with in adulthood? – Denise Zubizarreta 1 year ago
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    • If one were to write about this topic, I believe they would absolutely need to mention Oscar Wilde. In the preface to Picture of Dorian Gray, he writes that "all art is quite useless". By trying to give a spin to the word "useless" -- and make it a word that doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation -- he responds to the idea that art should have a purpose, and instead suggests that it can simply be purposeful for its aesthetic qualities. I therefore don't believe that "art fort art's sake" is merely a cynical defense from critique. It simply asks you to critique it under different criteria! – chloew 1 year ago
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    • When I hear the phrase 'Art for art's sake' I think of two people: James Hampton and Henry Darger--the former not to be confused with James Hampton the actor (who plays Dad Wolf in Teen Wolf), and the latter not to be confused with Jeffrey Dahmer. These two persued making art that they seemingly never intended to show to anyone; the art they constructed had no audience, no person in mind. James built religious inspired structures out of trash, the finished products of which he kept in a rented garage. No one else laid eyes on his creations until he passed away and his landlord found them. His works are now kept in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Henry Darger wrote a 15,145-page novel accompanied by extremely detailed images and tracings he made himself. His works were not discovered until shortly before his death, oddly enough, ALSO by his landlords (there's no significance to the landlord thing, just coincidence... I hope). This all goes to say that this could be a pretty interesting avenue for an interpretation of 'Art for art's sake' to take a stroll down. I'm cringing DEEP into myself for what I'm about to type but, in a world where the ability to share everything we create is democratised so that audiences are readily available to consume it, stories about outliers such as these call into question the very purpose of art itself. So, that doesn't really answer the question 'can you really have art for art?'. But I think the question James and Henry tease out is 'without an audience can art even exist?' – JM 1 year ago
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    4

    The Arts' Love of All Things Winter

    Disney’s Frozen burst into our theaters and onto our small screens in 2013, and no one has "let it go" since. The film became a franchise, with rumors of a third installment coming in 2023 or later. But Frozen is not the only wintry tale media consumers love. "Winter tales" can be found across mediums, from TV series like Game of Thrones whose tagline is "Winter is Coming," to a plethora of books with titles like The Snow Child, WinterFrost, and Girls Made of Snow and Glass. Many of today’s super-powered or "chosen one" protagonists also have winter-related powers; Queen Elsa might be the most obvious, but there is also Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians, as well as Freya from Snow White and the Huntsman.

    Winter permeates the arts, no matter the season. Yet what is it about this season, out of four, that captures the imagination of writers, filmmakers, and other artists? Analyze a few prevalent winter tales across mediums, looking for commonalities among characters, character arcs, plot threads, powers, and more. Could the other three seasons garner this kind of attention, and if yes, what would it take to make that happen? Are artists, authors, and others who craft "winter tales" trying to make a statement about their art, themselves, or humanity through winter? If yes, what is it? Discuss.

    • Maybe write more about your thoughts? Answer some of the questions you ask? – Thorn 1 year ago
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    • The writings on winter here may include analysis of well-known as well as lesser known poems and songs on winter. Winter is an interesting topic for writing, even to those living in hotter places like mine. – Anvar Sadhath 1 year ago
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    The Rise of Virtual Influencers: What it Means for the Future of Advertising

    With the rise of virtual influencers like Lil Miquela and Bermuda, brands are increasingly turning to computer-generated characters to promote their products on social media. These virtual avatars are popular with younger generations who are more likely to trust and engage with them than traditional human influencers. However, there are ethical concerns surrounding the use of virtual influencers, such as transparency and authenticity. This article will explore the pros and cons of virtual influencers, and examine what their increasing popularity means for the future of advertising and influencer marketing.

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      "I Don't Like ****, I Don't Go Outside" An Exploration of Depression

      "I Don’t Like ****, I Don’t Go Outside" is the sophomore album by Odd Future Alum, Earl Sweatshirt. Despite maintain a level of darkness in his tone and instrumentation, Earl is distinctly alien from his former self. Gone are the edgy shock-lyrics of cannibalism and murder, replaced instead by a vulnerable young man drowning in depression reliant on drugs and alcohol to keep himself going.

      What is it to be a celebrity? A chosen one at that, to be the idol of millions of people you’ve never met while isolated from your friends and family. The album speaks to the thin veneer of happiness success can really be.

      Earl was often a center piece of the fandom from the "FREE EARL" days and yet it doesn’t seem as though the freedom was very liberatory. The lack of hope and overwhelming sense of abject bleakness from Earl speaks to the hollow nature of what was gained by his fame and his regrets seem innumerable as each song on the album falls further in further into an inky blackness of despair.

      That then begs the question, what does this album serve? Is it just a self-exploration or can there be some universal message garnered from the album? What can be said of Earl and his developments as an artist? What of the raised awareness about depression and how it can shape and distort a person’s view not just of themself but of the world around them.

      • Agree with first person. You do a good job summarizing what the album is about, but what specific question are you trying to ask? – Montayj79 2 years ago
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      2

      NFT: Nothing More Than Digits Without a Soul?

      Art in its classical sense and form has a soul. A human puts a part of their soul into something that later can be highly appreciated by society. Digital art, where all images generated by neural networks can be attributed without direct human participation, is soulless. It will acquire a soul only when it is created by artificial intelligence. One can be sure that the first picture painted by AI will be costly.

      • I completely agree. The reason we attach ourselves to artist's is because we want to know the story behind a piece, for example, Van Gogh. With NFT's there is no story, no cultural significance for the style of choice of colour. – FrankiRue 1 year ago
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      The Prediction of the Future Through Art

      In the 19th century, Oscar Wilde wrote in ‘The Decay of Lying’ that, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life… results not merely from life’s imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and that art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy." According to Wilde, what people find in life and nature is actually not there, but what people find is what artists have taught them to find through art. So, does life imitate art or does art imitate life? In light of these questions, is it possible for art to predict the future? Which artwork by which artist do you think predicted the future?

      • The writer can choose any artwork from any artist, from any era to analyze. For example, Amalia Ulman masterpiece, “Excellences & Perfections”, which was dubbed by art critics as the “first Instagram masterpiece” could be an artwork worth the analysis. – Laurika Nxumalo 2 years ago
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      • People tend to idealise life, paint a picture based on their consumption of art, even in mediums like film (especially romantic films). So many people build mannerisms, plan events, do activities, based on what they see in films, what they read in books... I don't think that art predicts the future, but rather it manifests conditions for people to build experiences very similar to what they see in art, because that's what they idealise and strive towards. Does NASA continue to fund space research because of science fiction films like '2001: A Space Odyssey'? Maybe, maybe not (and if they did we'd never know). Will the events in those films actually occur? Who knows—but if they do, you might bet the people reacting to them will have seen those circumstances in art they have consumed, and respond accordingly. – Patrick 2 years ago
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      • Recursive. Wilde also talked about dreaming of things that never were. If your starting point is that the inner and outer life is a continuum then time/timing is of less relevance than occurrence. Everything will happen. At least once. – sodapop 1 year ago
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