Lovely idea, Amy.
What is the difference between art and pop culture? It is really, really hard to say. Can you say an indie vs. a blockbuster negates the artistic integrity of the blockbuster? Or an indie theatre show vs. a commercial Broadway house show? Or a book self-published/published by a small indie press vs. a book published with a commercial and major house? In some ways there are the same as art defines our culture and our culture defines our art. It's circular. However, are the Kardashians really taking any part in art because they're bastions of pop culture? I have no immediate answer, I just think this is interesting.
As far as originality, I would almost go so far as to say there is no such thing. Everything's been done before, somethings are just more sellable or obscure than others. Take the book I'm writing now, it is a very original premise that people have become excited about, but it's totally been done before, and more than once. It hasn't been done for a YA audience, at least been published, but it is far from a one-of-a-kind 100% original story.
Intellectual property laws exist for a reason and they're great. However, with the free exchange of the Internet, it is hard to regulate. Yes, an artist who worked hard should be compensated for their novel, their acting, their music, etc., but it isn't easy to police it. People should get paid where pay is due, but it can get annoying when you can't use a quote or a song in a short on YouTube because of intellectual property laws.
When it comes to collaborating vs. myself, I think it depends. However, I will say that you learn so much more by collaborating. Everything takes a village. When you read a book through a traditional publishing house, it is really the work of the writer, their agent and editor putting their noggins together. You can learn so much by shutting up and listening. The same goes with plays I've written....after hearing them aloud and respecting choices and opinions actors have, it can only make the script more polished. You also make discoveries about your characters based on who's acting.
I don't mind having art remixed that I consent to being remixed. I'm not sure how I would feel if I found out someone remixed a story I wrote, but in a way, turning a story into a play or film is like remixing it. But I think, for me, that would depend on how it's done.
Lastly, the arts CAN really contribute a lot to the world at large. I've seen many plays and read many books that opened my eyes to things I never knew existed. Television, film, plays and books are a portal to another time period or world and hopefully makes people think critically about the world around them. No, simply producing art will not change the world, but it can motivate and mobilize change.
Created: Dec 03, 2010AnnaScanlon Document Media