While the fine arts and the humanities are widely considered closely related, with poetry, painting, and musical performance falling under the same umbrella of creative expression, their interrelatedness less frequently emerges as the product of a creative project beyond filmmaking. However, the reality is changing, and the implications are enormous.
Much like the 1920s silent film actors, who were forced to confront the sudden wave of “talkies” that upended many of their careers, artists today are finding more and more that to appeal to the masses, a creative work’s final form needs to make use of a variety of media. The books-with-soundtracks approach notwithstanding, this “mixed media” approach to art has multiplied artistic success.
In YouTube-housed “speed painting” videos, where visual artists showcase the creation of their work within a time frame that, in an odd immortalization of a time lapse, compresses hours of work into less than ten minutes. The video is often accompanied by music the artist believes complements the tone of the painting. In painter agnescecile’s most recent videos, for example, the titles of the songs (by independent artist Emiliano Ercoli) and the titles of the images (by independent artist Silvia Pelissero) are identical:
The music accentuates the often heart-wrenching, aching tone of the pictures, offering a deeply reflective personal experience that has been made more precise by the combination of the wholly independent art forms. Similarly, the pictures inspire a more guided analysis of the music, which in turn gives the musical artist his own showcasing opportunity. The music, while not directly visually represented in the video, still achieves recognition, and, indeed, consumer demand.
This subtle intertwining of visual and auditory media is in contrast to the “music painting” films, which intimately relate the score with visual artwork and, in this case, the written word.
Nevertheless, both are beautiful indicators of the direction of art in the digital and consumerist age. How the brain’s inundation with creative processes and final products will mesh with the similar oversaturation of technical and social information will be interesting to see.