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Latest Topics

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Page to stage: adapting works for live performance

Consider examples of literature or film that have had theatre adaptations (e.g. Dorian Gray, Sydney Theatre Company; Cyrano, Melbourne Theatre Company, and analyse how these works have been shifted and/or restructured for a live performance context.

  • I think it would be interesting to explore how the constraints of the new medium affect the adaptation, as well as the choices that are made (what is taken out, what is kept in and why) by the person who adapts it. Maybe you could narrow your topic down to a specific adaptation to make it a little more detailed, since it currently seems like you are taking on a huge deal if you're studying multiple texts. – Sangnat 1 year ago
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  • For the record, Cyrano de Bergerac was a stage play FIRST, before any of its many film adaptations. – ProtoCanon 1 year ago
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The Fashion of the Met Gala: Why Are We So Obsessed?

The Met Gala, an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York, invites famous actors and actresses, artists, designers, internet personalities, and even athletes to walk the steps of the Met in usually very elaborate themed costumes.

Some of the most iconic past Met Gala themes include “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” (2022), “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), and “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018).

The internet explodes with praises, critiques, and even mockeries of Met Gala attendees’ fashion every year. So why are we so obsessed with it? What are its impacts artistically, historically, socially, politically, etc.? What is its place in art history?

  • Personally, in my opinion a lot of the met gala's appeal can be explained by the popularity and wealth of the attendees. Which leads us to ponder the question: Why are we so obsessed with celebrities in the first place? I think that to write this topic, you would have to address this and clearly contextualise the met gala as existing within a globalised, capitalist system. This is a really interesting topic and I feel like further contextualisation would make for a more insightful article – 64bitdreaming 2 years ago
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  • To simply put it, we are obsessed with bourgeois events such as the Met Gala because we are bored and have poor time management. We don't believe that we too can achieve such heights as those invited to the gala so we resolve to the idea that they are somehow superior to us. They are GODs and we are mere mortals meant to dote and fawn over the pumps of Cardi-B or the bustier of Nicki Minaj. Society has always been like this and it will never change, the hierarchy of human beings is established to keep those up UP and those down DOWN. It's not at all about fashion or glamour it's about the variety of unhealthy addictions society continues to engage in because why would we want to obsess over things that actually matter such as global warming? Simply because it's boring? Or is it because we need distractions from the unfortunate truth about society and the world? – Seth1995 1 year ago
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  • Very interesting! I think it has a lot to do with class and how unreal it seems. What is not inherently entertaining becomes so because of its detachment from the common experience. – Anna Samson 1 year ago
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  • Fashion is exciting! I think we take interest in or obsess over the fashion at the Met Gala because it's themed. We get excited at seeing how our favorite celebrities interpreted the theme through fashion. Sometimes we just want to have a good laugh or just deepen our admiration for a certain person. – Laurika Nxumalo 1 year ago
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September 11 in the Arts

September 11, 2001 changed the world as we know it. Mere weeks after the terrorist attack that destroyed the Twin Towers, artists from all mediums responded to the tragedy with forms of self-expression that gave themselves and their consumers safe, multifaceted outlets to express their complex emotions. September 11 is now the subject of everything from hard-hitting documentaries and touching memoirs to gentle, yet serious episodes of kids’ shows and perhaps controversial country-western songs.

Analyze and discuss some of your favorite, or least favorite, tributes to September 11 within the arts. What makes these tributes powerful, or conversely, disturbing or controversial? Which pieces do the best job of honoring the 9/11 survivors and victims? Do we need more 9/11 pieces, and if so, what should their focus and goals be? Can new pieces be tied into more current tragedies, historical ones, or a mix of the two?

  • Jonathan Safran Foer's "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close" and Art Spiegelman's "In the Shadow of No Towers" are both deeply profound works revolving around 9/11. Both provide insight into the aftermath of 9/11, particularly how it affected families of the victims and the mindset of Americans. Any article on this topic would be incomplete without mentioning these books. – Zack Rynhold 2 years ago
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The Mystery Behind The Influence of Instagram And The Popular Culture Industry?

Analyze how Instagram influences humans and the popular culture industry. Has this fueled our addiction to the fan-based product industry through the impact of social media? For example, Selena Gomez is one of the most popular Instagram influencers in the music industry today. She has over 400 million followers on Instagram and Facebook. She has worked with many major brands such as Adidas NEO, Pantene, and Coca-Cola. Artists and Influencers brand their products differently today on social media than when television was popular. Platforms like Instagram have produced more fake branding and advertisement than ever; compared to TV in the past, social media seems to have sponsored fan-based products on an enormous scale, and many artists/influencers have "sold out" to consumer franchising. Product placement is highly prevalent in today’s world. Although social media is excellent for connecting people and selling products, it is controlled by executives who make decisions on product placement, creating a culture of consumption and distraction with no end. What can we do to save humanity from consuming fan-based products, and how are social media influencers like Instagram over-promoting consumption for society? – Richard

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    The Influence of Social Media Marketing on Artists

    Analyze how artists and entrepreneurs use social Media Marketing. How have platforms like Facebook and Instagram transformed the way artists communicate and market their products. How can the art world benefit from social media, and what are the disadvantages of doing business online?

    • It's a fascinating subject. As provided, I believe it is quite broad. It should be more explicit and concrete, taking into account relevant case studies. Finally, it may be beneficial to specify why such an examination is required. – Samer Darwich 2 years ago
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    • You need to be more specific. Pick 2 or 3 examples of social media marketing that used a good creative campaign and how this was received by the audience. And maybe 2 or 3 examples of bad campaigns that, despite aiming to be trendsetters as well as using creative innovation, received a backlash for not being able to read the room and be sensible. – Dani CouCou 2 years ago
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    • I would also look at the added responsibility that social media marketing lays on artists. Artists are now often both full-time artists and marketers, which can wear them thin if they don't have the opportunity to outsource. – dallykay 2 years ago
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    • Artists are likely to be "kidnapped" by the audience, because if they do not cater to the audience's own work will not be taken seriously. – Bruce 1 year ago
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    9

    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 2 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    • This definitely intrigues me, i'm excited to see what you continue to write about it! – OpalReads01 2 years ago
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    • You should write this! I tend to avoid things related to suicide, but the premise of your topic is sound. – derBruderspielt 2 years ago
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    • 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 years ago
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    • 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 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    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 2 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    • 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 years ago
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    • 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 2 years ago
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    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.