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Someone I follow on Twitter was commenting on corporate multiverses and the endless reuse and processing of content. This reminded me of my previous thoughts, but this person put it better than I – my favorite part bolded:
“Corporations will absolutely unashamedly shit on everything every artist has ever made, chew them up and spit them out and offer nothing. No art, just endless content.“
Now I’ve commented on quality in some corporate multiverses, and even praised them, but I also have gotten tired and uninspired by a lot of media lately. Few things seem to connect to me outside of some anime/animated properties, and I find myself exploring more esoteric corners and non-fiction.
No art, just endless content. Their words stick with me.
Art is something that connects with us and also knocks us into somewhere else mentally. I’ve had that moment of deep, meaningful experience in everything from anime to samurai movies to audio-visual collages. They don’t even have to be “good” per se, but they’re visions that mean something.
Content is when you just fill things in, check the boxes, and call it a day. It may be enjoyable, and there may be art in there (and often is), but it’s not deep or meaningful and doesn’t stick with you. It’s not necessarily bad (Indeed, I can think of a cooking show or two that fits this), but it’s not something that feeds the soul and leaves you someone else.
Of course, content is easy. It doesn’t rock the boat (or does just enough to get attention). It can be boiled down to a formula and yield some success. It can be made regularly. It’s nice and predictable, even when it presents to be unpredictable. Modern technology makes it even easier!
Art is wild, unpredictable, and disruptive (even when intended not to be). It’s when you get out there and make something not to check the boxes but to do your vision, do your thing. Sure you may make money, and you might need SOME checkboxes, but it’s about something deeper.
Many a good artist knew how to get asked for content and deliver art. Some HK action movies fit that vein. I’d count the He-Man CGI as the same. The unexpected success of the Early-00’s My Little Pony remake is an example. But that quest for Content overshadows the future of each property that takes the money for content and makes art.
I suppose the point of this rant is now I understand some of my dissatisfaction. There’s so much content, but I want art, and I want to share it. This doesn’t exactly solve anything, but now I have better language.
That’s a start towards me understanding what I want to find – and what I want to produce with my writing.