Realism and authenticity

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So I have 2 hours white space, let’s get this going. There has been many debates, a lot of them have to do with the quality of the writing at length. All media has have this quarrel brought up before, and I have to say a decent amount of it is reasonable, which is surprising in and of itself. So what am I talking about here? Surely you have heard of the terms “realism” and “authenticity”. What those terms entail actually vary quite a bit depending on what kind of medium we’re talking about, but let’s take it slow. I suppose the best range of topics we should talk about is art, so that’s what I’m going to limit this to. God knows what kind of obscurity people can pull up just to make an incorrect point. I’m not going to explain to you what those words mean, of course. You either know them or should go look them up, it’s just necessary.

Within art (the drawing/painting/printing kind) as well as music, realism and authenticity don’t actually mean a lot. Mostly they’re just buzzwords, because using them in any kind of praise shows a certain amount of snobbiness as well as implying that those of different creative flairs are not as good. This is simply ridiculous, although observed from critics everywhere. I’m not a professional critic myself, but cynical already describes me completely so I don’t have to go out of my way to get a better label. Either way, music is finite, and we’re not talking about originality, so it’s hard to say anything else. As for art, realism isn’t so much a style but an interpretation of reality, regardless of how poor that choice of word was. I suppose the same applies to sculpturing and carving as well, but the scope is getting a bit out of hand and I don’t want to lose myself in the rant before the necessary point is gotten across.

Then we have the very controversial photographs, in which realism isn’t a problem, at least in the a certain circle, but authenticity can definitely be. Surely we have seen brushed up, modified versions of models on magazines before, females more prevalent of course. These changes range from unnecessary to simply ridiculous, and is done to be nothing more than a marketing ploy that more often than not leave a bad taste in my mouth. Still, the global public still buy them like hot cakes so what the sod do I know. Is it criticised? Yes. Should it be? Well, yes, as that is pretty much a right. However, I personally will never do so. What exactly is wrong with them doing this? It’s simply a matter of supply and demand, as people keep buying into it. Those magazines have little else but anyways, so what exactly does criticising accomplish? Surely someone is screaming ‘but what about the children?’ Well, you don’t want to get my perspective on children, so that’s that.

Crafting and designs, whether macro or micro have no place in this debate, of course, as they hardly try to depict other physical means, but are physical means of art themselves. Nobody really questioned those Chinese architects on their illustration of the dragon being put on rooftops, regardless of whether they think that’s how dragons look like or not. Well, their peers did, but for the purpose of gold coins a lot of things are legitimate. A great vision isn’t necessarily authentic or realistic, is what I’m saying,

Moving on to performance arts, views can get quite a bit murkier. Dancing is quite amazing in and of itself, and if you fancy activities like figure skating or ballet then it’s a whole different scope. Realism doesn’t hold much merits here, like most old-age media. However, authenticity is certainly a key aspect in quality of the performance. It is simply not possible to reproduce the source of inspiration through pure performing arts, so how much you can evoke the emotions involved with that inspiration through the performance is the scale of which you shall be judged by. It also sounds very abstract, and it certainly is. A lot of the time the effort put in as well as the appearance of those performing can heavily sway what I think of their performance. It certainly isn’t a bad thing, because in the end that’s all that matters. If it turns out I have bad taste, so be it. Falsifying my own superior taste does not do anyone good, after all. Performing arts, of course, also include acting, in plays mostly, and that’s rather different. You can definitely speak in play, so your inspiration, be it a book or even a painting, can be very leisurely and accurately conveyed. Realism can then be called into question, but only very vaguely, and only if the source material held that in high regards in the first place. Still, it’s a possibility.

And of course, the juggernaut of literature. Literary pieces have not physical limitations, perhaps except for excessive length which rarely comes up regardless. They usually are the beginning of an inspiration and have been accessible to the first form of mass reproduction: writing. It gave literature the ability to be so widely-influencing, and thus many other forms of art then reiterates those stories. They are the truest and most descriptive ways to tell stories, and have been proven as such. Modern day literature, while much less prevalent and respected, is still very influential. Without any scopes, it is rather hard to keep realism and authenticity in check with this kind of creativity, as we have had the craziest of plots stemmed from it.

Once we get to new-age, however, things certainly get interesting.

Films is certainly the hallmark of new media. It liberates performing arts from physical limitations, and can be reproduced and broadcasted with very little effort. It also can control what the audience can see at all times, and minimises risks due to editing. Films are certainly not bound to realism a lot of the time, but they have certainly faced severe criticisms of it before. That’s mostly because there are often those who tout themselves as accurate, but certainly not at all. People have come to expect a certain degree of realism from movies, at least in a physics and characterisation level, which hardly was a problem with old-age media. It’s fascinating, not to mention that because movies can tell their own stories, “authenticity” is a very vague concern, strictly depending on what the piece is based on. It’s also very debatable how authentic an interpretation should be, although that doesn’t really stop any producers to milk their franchises to death. It is certainly interesting how the audience’s demands have changed over the course of time when it comes to ‘digital plays’.

Lastly, and you should have seen this coming, is video game. It is the only type of art with the ability to interact directly with the medium with an immediate and intended impact. Thus, ‘realism’ suddenly turns into a completely different metric, as now it measures a virtual installation and the feel of participating in that virtual installation compared to a real life experience. Depending on whether or not that was the goal, the quality of the experience is then heavily judged. It is quite the amazing feat, as for once realism is actually put into the player’s hand and senses, instead of merely being told of. The equation is further complex, when authenticity is concerned, as while like drawings, they merely shows and interpretations of objects, they have to have character to go with it as well. This makes games feel different, because you’re directly immersed in the process, making hiding things from the player much harder.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, white chocolate and truffles have never really been much of a concern for old art, but believe it or not, the standards are actually increasing. This might not be strictly a positive change, but certainly a fascinating one.

Wholly gee that was random.

The image belongs to iconhot

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