We may know the latest gossip about One Direction or how Beyonce’s sister Solange attacked Jay-Z in an elevator, but is our interest in celebrities a bad thing? Within the past few weeks, students analyzed how our fascination with celebrities impacts society in our #DoNowCelebrity post. We asked students, Given the context of income inequality and changing demographics across the country, is the American obsession with celebrities good or bad for our culture? Why?
Songs can convey a range of emotions, feelings and messages, whether the format is a ballad, a dance song, a storytelling vehicle, or other type of song. What are some of the best lyrics written and why are they meaningful to you? If you were to write a song, what would it be about?
Artists are people, and sometimes people make bad choices or behave despicably. For example, Picasso was thought to be a womanizer, and Jackson Pollock was known to be abusive due to his struggle with alcoholism. Can you still appreciate a work of art even if you don’t like the artist as a person?
Andy Warhol famously (and fairly accurately) predicted that, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes.” With easy access to video documentation and sharing tools online, and the advent and increased popularity of reality television, which broadcasts “regular” folks’ dramas and activities, it is true that fame is attainable for a broader range of people in today’s media-saturated society. Has reality television affected your perspective on privacy?
Art School-featured artist Ala Ebtekar created a project in collaboration with students at the Asian Art Museum on the occasion of the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition. If you were king or queen of the Universe, what message would you leave behind that would become your legacy for centuries to come? What are some of the major accomplishments you hope to achieve? What will you do to make the world better?
The latest episode of Idea Channel explores the business side of pop music and asks how music becomes meaningful to you, “Love or hate pop music, it’s pretty hard to escape. From Katy Perry to Lady Gaga, pop songs are recorded, packaged, and sold down a well worn pipeline, designed to make you, the listener, LOVE THIS SONG! But do you really?”
Technology and media introduce new ways to share art and new additions to the artist’s toolbox. Zeega is an online platform for creating and remixing media to create stories, montages and digital collages that express emotion. Zeegas are interactive videos made with combinations and layers of animated GIFs, images, and audio tracks. Zeegas can convey emotion or sentiment, illustrate text, and tell stories. They are mash-ups of original content and existing moments or images from the Internet and pop culture.
Street artist Olek works in the medium of crochet, covering landmarks, cars, people, and even freight trains a colorful camouflage pattern that is often infused with strong statements, sometimes of a political nature. I met Olek recently, when she was creating new work in San Francisco, and when I asked her what she stands for, she replied quickly, “Anything that is right.”
Even if you’re not a dedicated gamer, you’ve probably interacted with video games at some point in recent years. In early 2013, the Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture and Design collection acquired 14 video games including classics like Pac-Man and Tetris. Senior curator at the museum, Paola Antonelli shared in a Ted Talk that the acquisition, “caused hows of outrage to echo through the museum’s hallowed halls, as aggrieved critics tore out their hair at the disrespect implicitly being show to artistic heroes such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.”
Artists often use true stories to inspire their artwork. Which of your personal stories would you illustrate? What is a story from your life that would make a compelling series of illustrations? Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton creates her own “drawn journalism” by embedding herself in communities, talking to people, and drawing images based on their personal stories.