"Hope and Hopelessness" Between the Arts and Real World

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With the development of technologies and society, the methods of media and arts have big changes in the current worlds. From opera to street music, from concerts to televisions, no matter the contexts of arts or platform, they changed a lot in the past years. In this changing process, it may be sorted to high arts and low arts, but I think there are no distinctions between arts, and all distinctions are based on personal views. Also, the art is the epitome for the real world. The reason why some specific arts could be popular in some specific time period is based on different background. The art may show hopes to its audiences or stimulate its audiences to escape from hopelessness. In other words, arts are highly related to people’ s real lives and the real world. In my view, every kind of art is fair, there is not high art or low art. The main reason of popularity of different arts is the background. It gives hopes to hopeless audiences and encourages audiences to be better people. Also, it may be ironic for the unfair real world or unfair phenomenon.

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Considering the different background generations, the popularity of the art style may be different. For example, in recent years Cyberpunk and Steampunk become more popular, which are new kinds of art styles. (King & Page) With the development of technologies, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction come up to big screens and have been shown in front of more audiences than graphic novels. Cyberpunk and Steampunk are included in this art style, which belongs to posthumanism (King & Page). King and Page believed that posthumanism art style is a medium which is connected with visual culture and pre-colonial history background. Also, it is easily found that posthumanism art style in the current major society, such as Blade Runner, Dishonored, etc. It exists in mainstream art styles for years. In this type of art style, the hopelessness people and the broken world are major points. It is more likely an after-war world. The whole world shows a hopelessness to audiences and encourages people to love the peaceful world. It is highly related to social critiques and artistic innovation. (King & Page) Like many apocalyptic fictions, they always come with broken social structures and morality undone. It always creates a dystopia world for audiences and shows a hopeless world to all audiences (King & Page). It is an irony and a metaphor from the director to the real world. It may satirize the unfair social phenomenon or decayed society structure.

Compared with Cyberpunk and Steampunk, Zombie art is another style of posthumanism. In a short time period, Zombie hot went through all over the world, it can be found everywhere, from big screens to science books, from movies to animations. It created its special culture as a zombie culture (Lauro and Embry). Unlike steampunk and cyberpunk, the zombie is more reality and eventuality. The zombie has become a scientific word with science concepts. People become familiar with this word and trend to use this word to describe other concepts, such as “zombie functions” (Lauro and Embry). In a world with zombies, it always comes with the hopelessness for survivals and no treat possibility. Broken living environment, greedy humanity, and the nature of human beings are almost the main factors in every zombie style art. The zombie is the metaphor for some unfair society factors, such as the risk of human embodiment, the history of human’s subjugation and oppression, the colonialism history, the slave history, the balance of power and human rights (Lauro and Embry). Due to so many unfair factors, they make the world hopeless. Even in such broken world, the survivals, which is a metaphor for normal people, still try to collect living resources and look for the hope. It definitely encourages people to be hopeful and positive in daily lives. There is another metaphor for the zombie, the zombie also can be a representative of different social problems and a scene, which is that one imposes something on someone else. In other words, zombie is an object for all hopeless and negative things. People should try to live in a world with many zombies, and it encourages people to be positive in real lives and fight all negative things (Lauro and Embry). Also, watching a zombie movie can also decrease the pressure on audiences in the real world. The terror from human beings to zombies shows the human’s anxiety for their powerless to powerful negative thins and the isolation for themselves. Zombie becomes a negative object in human’s nightmare (Wadsworth).

As the zombie art style, these kind of apocalypse worlds are representatives of liberatory arts. These apocalypse worlds show possibilities to back to nature world and have chances to rewrite the rules of worlds. Apocalypse gives a fair background to everyone who lives in the unfair world and tries to do better in the real world. It gives them imagine spaces to expand themselves and hopes to build a greater world (Wadsworth). However, in apocalypse worlds, predators still exist, such as zombies in zombie worlds, monsters in fictional worlds, robots in cyberpunk worlds, and filthy pirates in steampunk worlds. In a zombie movie, people would learn how to survive and rewrite social contact. People would help each other as allies, or people would hunt others as predators and preys (Wadsworth). It gives audiences hopes and hopelessness in an apocalypse. Especially in an apocalypse style game, players have more opportunities to decide how to run their characters, in order to survive in an end worlds.

In my views, not like other movies, apocalypse style arts are always following the main theme, how to survive in a broken world. There are heroes and superpowers, except a normal people, like you and me. They show hopeless worlds to people, but they also give hopes to people. Like characters in the apocalypse worlds, they are living in a world with all negative things, but they are keeping hopes to survive and encourage audiences to seek hopes in a hopeless world. In other words, hopes are hidden in hopelessness, waiting for people to find them out. At the first, the posthumanism art was not accepted by mainstream audiences, as a minority art, which can be called “low” arts. However, with the development and accomplishment of the posthumanism art, there are more fans for this kind of art. It separated into so many different kinds of art and different platforms (King & Page). It becomes a popular art with many audiences and fans. It absolutely becomes a mainstream culture.

So, I think there is no distinction of “low” art and “high” art. All kinds of arts are the same, they are balanced. The only difference between “low” art and “high” art is audiences. People always judge an art style with their personal views, it is too subjective for an art style. In my view arts only can be sorted by majority arts and minority arts depends on the number of audiences. For instance, Hamlet and The Walking Dead are two different kinds of art. It is so hard to say which one is “high” art and which one is “low” art because they both have numerous fans. The fans for Hamlet may think that it is a “high” art and The Walking Dead is a “low” art, because they have more connections to Hamlet rather than The Walking Dead. The connection to art, other people, and other things, they force people to sort art to “low” and “high’, but, for real, there are no distinctions between all kinds of art (Cohen). The distinctions for different kinds of art rely on personal feelings, but art contexts. The philosophical distinctions are indefensible and dispensable. For instance, if one loves the kind of things of Shakespeare, there is no sense to distinguish the distinctions of other kinds of art, such as zombie art (Cohen). Because the distinction in art relies on personal connections, so, there is no distinction in different art styles.

In conclusion, the different kinds of art are creating by artists ideas, they build a world with hope and hopelessness. Such as posthumanism art, it always comes with a hopeless world to audiences, but it also provides hopes to audiences and encourages people to be positive about everything. Also, some apocalyptic fictions build hopeless worlds to audiences but they also give opportunities to rewrite social contact and fair opportunities to everyone, which are hopes to survivals. The art can be mixed with hope and hopelessness. Some art may stimulate audiences’ negative feelings and some art may encourage people to be positive. In other words, the art can influence audiences. Also, there are no distinctions in different kinds of art. The distinctions of art are based on personal feelings and connections, it is subjective. There is no “high” art or “low” art in the world. All art is equal and balance in the world, and they are the “highest” for their own fans.

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