Audience and the Test of Time

With every artistic decision made you’re choosing to include some and exclude others, whether it be various ideologies, races, genders, or ages. Regardless, the artist best be aware of this while producing and be aware of his or her intentions. The media that is produced to speak and be appreciated by all audiences is best judged by the test of time.

One movie that has been able to capture audiences hearts around the world for decades is E.T.–a wonderful movie presenting the differences between how we perceive a child’s imagination ad reality. While it addresses a certain issue, it is an issue that is present in everyone’s world regardless of the factors presented above.  I chose one of the most iconic scenes from the movie, when the children are riding their bikes away from the police and they miraculously escape the danger by beginning to fly. They achieve flight not only due to E.T’s abilities, but Elliot’s belief in E.T. Every viewer can watch this film and root for Elliot when he’s running away trying to save E.T’s life. No matter who, everyone was once a child with a wild imagination surrounded by adults telling them to “stick to reality.” So to the eyes of a child, this film sparks imagination and inspiration to believe in their wildest dreams; and for every adult it allows them to reminisce when they were once children, and hopefully inspires them to not only be more tolerant but encourage children’s imagination.

Much of the media produced is meant to entertain us, to distract us for a moment and emerge us into a world of imagination so we can return to our lives rejuvenated. Other media is produced with the intention to inform us, such as how the NPR T-shirt project was produced. Many individuals will never see nor appreciate the process that goes into producing a commodity we so regularly take advantage of, a simple t-shirt. While the cinematography is entertaining, it provides us with knowledge we may not have had before and I’m sure I’m not the only one who will think twice the next time I put on or purchase a t-shirt.

The test of time is not the certain measure of whether or not a piece of media can reach any and all audiences, because some of the media produced is time specific. The picture I included at the end was released just days after the Las Vegas shooting of October 1, 2017. If you saw that image in the coming days or weeks like I did, you wouldn’t have to ask twice what it may be referring to; however, viewing that image now or even further in the future may not expel the same emotional response it once did, or at least without some context.

There is a myriad of genres of media produced, all with their own intentions. While some of the things we view, read, or listen to is meant for certain audiences, many artists try to appeal to the masses. I’m sure those artists strive to hear their pieces described as “timeless,” but others look to tap into the time-sensitive emotional responses of their audiences. Either way, an artist should be aware of what his or her intentions are and the audience to which it will appeal.