kathleensumpton

Artist. Writer. Editor. Manager. Teacher. Philosopher.

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Latest Articles

Latest Topics

1

The Modern Representation of Voice

Does everyone have a voice? What has changed over the last few hundred, or even thousands of years? How has voice moved from largely belonging to one person in a crowd of thirty orally, passed on through memory, to being more textual, communal, and from the young to the old?

This topic is meant to explore the path of "voice" from the past to the present and perhaps with speculations on the future, in terms of thoughts, opinions, etc. being heard – whether it be through writing, singing, or any other verbal form.

  • The thesis of course would have to be condensed quite a bit. Perhaps focus on a particular group (e.g. minorities) as depicted in a particular art. For example, one could trace the 'voice' of black Americans throughout the work of Spike Lee's film--tracing it chronologically through his work. – Cielesia 5 years ago
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  • That's a great suggestion Cielesia! Another one, going off of that, might be the juxtaposition of different groups, different times, and the cross-section of the two - for example: when groups started merging due to increased migration and technology – kathleensumpton 5 years ago
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  • I like where this is going. There is a lot to say on this topic. – DSantoyo 5 years ago
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  • This is so broad of a topic that I think you might get a little bogged down... One could easily write a dissertation on this and still not say everything there is to address! Are you looking to focus on rhetoric? Dialect? Performativity? I think maybe if the scope was narrowed... Could you focus this to a couple of television shows, maybe through some juxtaposition of the writers' voices, or how the characters are given voice? Or maybe the culture behind the voice and rhetoric that goes with fanfiction? Just some ideas of "narrowed" topics -- there are a *ton* of directions you could go, and pretty much all of them interesting. Best of luck! – rhettrichx 5 years ago
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8

Art as Representation vs. Art as a Reality

In "the beginning", art was something that was it’s own category apart from other things, containing mostly painting and sculpture, as talents such as singing and drama was left for "entertainers" – a much less prestigious occupation.

Nowadays, our definition of art is more subjective, and has opened the doors to everything from video games to a selfie of our dinner last night.

When is art no longer a representation of our lives? When does it turn into a reality?

  • This is a fascinating subject! Sometimes people tend to forget that perceptions and interpretations varied greatly in different time periods. An intriguing book on this subject in reference to Italian Renaissance art is "Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image Before the Era of Art" by Hans Belting. The introduction especially focuses on the distinction between pre-modern and contemporary perceptions of what art is, how it functions, and its purpose for society. – skgoodwin 5 years ago
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  • I also agree that this is a very fascinating subject. My take on the relationship between Art and Reality is a triadic relationship of sorts. Reality, and the artist's existence in Reality, provides the materials that are processed into Art. Upon consumption/interaction by/with an auditor (or perhaps even upon creation owing to the fact that the artist is the first consumer in most instances) Art becomes part of reality, able to be subsumed once again into Reality. Thus when and if Art can ever escape its bonds to Reality, it may no longer be "a representation of our lives." However this seems like a very spurious possibility. Is it really possible to create Art that is completely removed from Reality? – echarlberg 5 years ago
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0

The challenges of coming up with a "new" idea

When it comes to writing, whether it be in a category as specific as film, TV, or games – we are all in the same boat. Whatever it is we say must be new. Or rather, must be heard in a new way.

What are the challenges of coming up with a new idea? What is the difference between copying and reinventing?

This topic can be explored in various ways, from various angles, but most likely under the category of writing. If you find a specific theme geared only towards another area of the Artifice, by all means, go for it!

  • When someone wants to make the next best story, the obvious conclusion is to think outside the box. That may not be really necessary because sometimes the best ideas are often simplest ones. Romeo and Juliet is a simple love story with engaging charters and themes, but is never feels complicated. When trying to think outside the box, the greater risk of making your world and the character they live in it too complicated. Sometimes, less is more. – Aaron Hatch 5 years ago
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  • I have found that synthesis, catharsis, the subconscious, and having a diverse ouevre at your disposal all play a crucial role. The greatest works that I have read, original or not as they may be, they had a lasting impact. An example of this would be Kafka's Metamorphosis. There are plenty of references to what he had read that may have sparked this "little story" of his. (Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch comes to mind.) Again, Kafka mentioned in some letters written to his then-fiancé, that he simply "had" to write this story, and quickly, so as to not be impeded in the process. A delay would harm the story; having too much thought put into it. This draws on the "subconscious." Kafka was brilliant, because his notorious story defies simple explanation, and it is because it was new, for the four reasons mentioned above. – claytonpitcher 5 years ago
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  • Emulate one thing and it's a copy, emulate two or more things together and that's a Hollywood pitch for an original idea. – Lazarinth 5 years ago
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  • Perhaps talk about very popular books and what was their "new idea" if they even had one. – nsiegel 5 years ago
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2

The Transition into Colour from Black and White

This topic could explore major artists who worked in film when the transition from black and white to film occurred, such as Disney and Hitchcock.

  • That was the original intention - to leave that fine-tuning up to the author of the topic instead of limiting the focus too much.Ideas, however, on things one might choose could be, as you say: How did they deal with it? Who was most successful at it? What are the best practices? And so on. – kathleensumpton 5 years ago
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  • Another way to narrow the topic down that may be interesting could be to look at how the transition occurred for specific roles on the creative side of film making, like how the creation process was affected for animators, editors, or cinematographers specifically. – Marcie Waters 5 years ago
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  • This topic is interesting but an article has already been written on this a couple of months ago. If you choose this topic, be careful not to repeat the exact same! It could be interesting to look at films that both exist in colour and in black and white and compare them, or take one black and white film from Hitchcock and one coloured one and compare them. – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 5 years ago
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  • Thanks for the helpful note Rachel! – kathleensumpton 5 years ago
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2

What do we mean when we "watch" TV?

As someone who does not own a Television set and doesn’t watch many shows, I have a hard time thinking of content for this category.

However, I think that someone who has a lot of background information in this area might be better at discussing this topic I’ve had in the back of my mind.

What do we mean when we "watch" TV? Does TV rather, watch us? Not like the novel 1984, but rather with the idea in mind we sometimes leave it on all the time – or feel constantly drawn to turning it on – when other things are around to do.

When I was growing up, I had a TV in my bedroom and left it on all day unless I was sleeping. Even when I was gone for the day at school I had it turned on, only with the mute button.

What is it about the Television that is so intriguing we feel we must watch it? And how do we "watch" TV now? This topic could explore the modern version of netflix, laptops, or anything to do with the connotation of "watch" when it comes to TV.

  • TV could stand in as an almost literal window into what people desire (whether it is recognition, satisfaction, justice, etc.), hence why it's so difficult to shut off that world of TV entirely by what it may promise its "watchers?" And those desires depicted by TV can literally change to whatever is of the moment, maintaining the TV fascination throughout everyday life. – dsoumilas 5 years ago
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  • I think that you can also take this in the direction of audience studies and question what it means to be an audience and what actions audiences/fans perform – DClarke 5 years ago
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3

Writing in Print vs. Digital

I have learned that there are differences between writing in print and writing for the screen, and that the way we read isn’t the same. Is this true, and to what extent? Is this something that will eventually disappear as time goes on, and generations become more and more naturalized to technology?

Another important thing to discuss for this topic would be the value of each method. Is digital more valuable simply because of the technology movement? Or will print always have its own place?

As someone who still writes down all of their notes and to do lists on paper, keeping a paper calendar organizer instead of using a digital one on my phone, I see print as holding a place for quite some time to come.

Afterall, I see the increase in technology eventually translating over to fewer and fewer jobs available to humans, and print is falling to the wayside the same way we are. Saving print might mean saving ourselves.

What do you think? Take this topic in any direction you want.

  • The way I see it, a similar dilemma to bread making or buy it from the store ready made. Writing with paper and pencil is the all encompassing process of recording ideas for others to decipher. Composing for digital media is basically the entire publishing process compressed for the individual, in a more rapid and efficient manner; but, with many more bells and whistles. – L:Freire 2 years ago
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3

How to Promote the Arts in a Dying Age

When the economy starts to fall, citizens begin holding onto their money more and spending wisely. There are certain things we can’t do without in life, such as food and shelter, and these are the things we often save our money for when times are tough. One of the first things to get cut from our expenses is the arts and entertainment, something this website celebrates in full.

Do you think that the arts suffer more when the economy falls? Do you think the economy is near collapsing entirely, therefore putting the arts in severe danger? If the arts are the way we celebrate and enjoy life, are they truly unnecessary compared to all else when times are tough? How can they be the meaning behind and representation of life if we are so quick to do away with them?

  • The answer to the question is yes; art suffers when the economy is weak. I had to shut down my studio when we had the severe economic downturn. Many galleries in my area had to close. We even had a museum that had to close their doors. Other museums had to restructure hours and staff to stay open. We also had municipal run galleries and art programs that were turned over to private organizations that now run these programs because they can concentrate on soliciting funding. A source for someone who wants to write about this would be to get statistical data from the various state business licensing and see how many art galleries went out of business in the last few years in comparison to how many have opened up. Furthermore, another addition to the story could be the privatization of the once run government art facilities due to lack of government funding available. – Venus Echos 5 years ago
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  • Agreed a weak economy can cause art to suffer. Essentials are key, but art is an essential when thinking in development terms. Whomever decides to write on this topic might also take a look at how some schools have completely removed art and music from their curriculum and how that affects child development; or how a diminish in support for the arts could affect the future . – DeGirl 5 years ago
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1

NonProfit vs. For Profit Arts Organizations in the Modern World

Nowadays, it is getting harder and harder to receive grant funding for your organization as a non-profit, but there are still many benefits one has over a for-profit business.

In the modern world, whether you are starting your own business or going to work for someone else, I believe you’re still risking the same thing: you could be out of a job tomorrow.

What do you think?

  • Although I am an art professor at a university, I have started a small business with my daughter (supposedly a summer job), called Two Dirty Hoes Gardening and Lawn Care. (My mother does not approve of the name.) I love to design, create and maintain gardens. It began by helping out a new friend with her yard. She paid me and gave me the idea that I might like to do this during the summer. As I worked in my friend's yards, clearing out overgrown, neglected gardens to put in a low maintenance grass lawn, I ended up with day lilies, sedum, hydrangea, hosta and ornamental grasses as well as landscaping brick that I was hired to remove. She said I could throw it away or I could have it or pass it on to someone. Which is exactly what I did. I filled up my yard with the lilies and grasses, built a retaining wall in the front of my house and gave an friend the rest. She is a single mom, living on a single income, and a part-time graduate student. She lives in a house build by Habitat for Humanity. They did a nice job on the house, but the outdoor living space was never finished, and she didn't seem to have the time, money or know how to maintain it or improve it. Her little boy did not play outside because with the overgrown weeds everywhere, the bugs were everywhere and buzzing biting. Among the weeds were thistles that hurt worse than the bug bites. The sidewalks were covered with months worth of grass shavings, weeds and soil that had started to encroach on the cement. So I planted the free plants and used the leftover in her yard. I brought 13 student volunteers to the neighboring town where she lived and we worked for three hours, weeding, tilling, seeding, watering, power washing, measuring, planning, and designing. That day, with the help of my students, I was able to give her a 40 hour work week in one afternoon, free of charge. (My students got to substitute this service experience for an assignment. Bribery is the key to acquiring a strong volunteer force!) It felt really good to do this. The before and after photos are very dramatic and we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet! So I decided to call this project "Landscapes for Love", which I now refer to as a not-for-profit organization. Here is the paragraph I have posted on my Landscapes for Love Facebook page. It explains a little bit about what we are doing. Although I am an art professor at a university, I have started a small business with my daughter (supposedly a summer job), called Two Dirty Hoes Gardening and Lawn Care. (My mother does not approve of the name.) I love to design, create and maintain gardens. It began by helping out a new friend with her yard. She paid me and gave me the idea that I might like to do this during the summer. As I worked in my friend's yards, clearing out overgrown, neglected gardens to put in a low maintenance grass lawn, I ended up with day lilies, sedum, hydrangea, hosta and ornamental grasses as well as landscaping brick that I was hired to remove. She said I could throw it away or I could have it or pass it on to someone. Which is exactly what I did. I filled up my yard with the lilies and grasses, built a retaining wall in the front of my house and gave an friend the rest. She is a single mom, living on a single income, and a part-time graduate student. She lives in a house build by Habitat for Humanity. They did a nice job on the house, but the outdoor living space was never finished, and she didn't seem to have the time, money or know how to maintain it or improve it. Her little boy did not play outside because with the overgrown weeds everywhere, the bugs were everywhere and buzzing biting. Among the weeds were thistles that hurt worse than the bug bites. The sidewalks were covered with months worth of grass shavings, weeds and soil that had started to encroach on the cement. So I planted the free plants and used the leftover in her yard. I brought 13 student volunteers to the neighboring town where she lived and we worked for three hours, weeding, tilling, seeding, watering, power washing, measuring, planning, and designing. That day, with the help of my students, I was able to give her a 40 hour work week in one afternoon, free of charge. (My students got to substitute this service experience for an assignment. Bribery is the key to acquiring a strong volunteer force!) It felt really good to do this. The before and after photos are very dramatic and we haven't even gotten to the good stuff yet! So I decided to call this project "Landscapes for Love", which I now refer to as a not-for-profit organization. I'm actually enjoying the non-paid work more. I can see how the business and the NPO will feed into and support each other. I am still trying to figure out how to balance everything. I would be interested in reading about someone else's experience with setting up a non-profit organization. – Drbarro 5 years ago
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Latest Comments

This is a great article, and definitely a thesis I agree with!

Although I have had my moments of illumination by dicussing things with someone, it’s only through the powerful act of writing and making something truly physical on one’s own do I truly discover the hidden gems.

Thanks for a great read!

The Act of Writing: A Semantic Exploration

Another platform to make your ideas and opinions go viral. There’s definitely nothing out there like YouTube!

The Rise of YouTube

Story of my life!

Attention Writers: The Myth of Writer's Block

How else can a woman regain her power and independence, if not through a man? An interesting twist to the ideas of power, balance, relationships, and feminism. I would have liked a longer read though!

The Awakening: Where does the dream lie in Marriage, or Lust, or Freedom?

Excellent discussion of perspective and how everything really comes into play

Anatomy of A Murder: The Art of Observation

Like Disney, Rowling is one of few artists to create a work that allows us to return to childhood. Thanks for the great perspective!

Why Harry Potter Appeals to Adults as Well as Younger Audiences

There’s been a lot of talk of in print books vs. reading text on a screen, and I have to say – Although I know we must adapt to it, I find it harder to read for a long time with a screen. The only times I’ve read hundreds of pages in one sitting has been with a paperback, not scrolling forever on a device!

The Modern Translation of Writing

This was a great analysis of a lot of things we’ve all encountered, but not pieced together so well. Thanks for the awesome article, and keep up the great work!

American Psycho: A Post Modern Horror