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July 15th, 2004


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the_puffin
12:27 am - art discussion. i don't mean to offend anyone, this is just my p.o.v.
I'm so glad i could find a community like this. i'd like to start a discussion of postmodern art and postmodernism with this:

so is bypassing postmodernism necessarily part of the post-modern avant-garde?

foucault's famous quote that the only cure for postmodernism is the incurable illness of romanticism always reminded me of nuclear halocaust.
specifically, on a macroscopic level, we'll all blow ourselves to nuclear hell and we won't have much of a choice except for being noble savages saved by nature.

Of course, the conceptualized front end of postmodern art is basically a worn down nub of reused and rehashed styles augmented slightly or along the vein of hyper-real shock value with gore, blood, fecal matter, etc.
I believe this is somewhat tied to the rampant technology present here in the 1st world (and fueled by the commodity production of the 2nd world), which has had a profound effect on our electroclash / garage-techno-influenced independent music and future-fetish/urban-tribal fashion styles.
So is technology the future of our art? as a progressive nation, are we going to be forced to have to choose between mechanicized art and primal art?
And is mechanicized art really art? the cyberpunk movement had its hey-day in the 70s, 80s and early 90s but it died quickly to be replaced by the euphoria of utopian rave-lifestyles. And while the cyberpunk era was a preaching of things we hoped and also did not hope would come, did it really accomplish anything besides giving an outlet and a target for our transgressive fear of being left behind by technology?

this post-cyberpunk era would give rise, i would think, to a similar vein to the soviet constructivist movement, where individuality of personal expression were erased in favor of something _bigger_ and _better_ (and in replacing communism with capitalism, we have the propaganda machine of advertisement).
but that would end up being a rehash, and by definition, a continuation of post-modernism. Am i correct in predicting this?

The other way to go of urban tribal/primal fetish would give rise to punk music and its precursors, gangsta rap culture, indie music culture, rave-culture etc., all in an effort to take the relativism of postmodernity in stride and etch out a cave where we, and those like us, could live and play without fear of ostracism from the larger subculture, since we would end up creating our own islands of safety none but the initiated could enter into.
Obviously this isn't a recreation of the romanticist notion of the unsocialized (removing oneself from the larger culture of western civilization) being noble in both beauty, concept and act, since the pornographication of violence of our hyper real condition eliminates much of our concept of personal nobility (examples being gangsta rap lyrics of mysogyny, rape violence, gang violence, etc).

one fitting incarnation of romanticism these days is the eco-sensitive movement of the green party and sierra-club style nature-loving. Were we to embrace this fully, would our world truly be a better place? or is the american grand narrative too large and too progressive and too far reaching to even be influenced by the nature-lovers?

also, though nature contains much in the form of chaos and fractalization, wouldn't loving nature return us to a dead end in the maze of human expression?



Current Music: chk chk chk - me and giuliani by the school yard

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From:incroyable12
Date:July 15th, 2004 01:26 am (UTC)
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Post Modernism is the descendant of Modernism. It presents the world as meaningless. It seems to draw its inspiration from Dadaism.

Foucault was part of the deconstructionsit movement I believe with Derrida, et al. So he would have to make a statement of that nature.

Of course, the conceptualized front end of postmodern art is basically a worn down nub of reused and rehashed styles augmented slightly or along the vein of hyper-real shock value with gore, blood, fecal matter, etc.

To this point, at least in my opinion, most of "conventional" art is essentially a motley combination of styles from the past. But then art as a concept inevitablely draws upon past refrences towards inspiration. Surrealism to Symbolism, Pop Art to Realism, and etc.

However I agree to the fact of obscenity. The majority of contemporary art is to have the inital value of shock. Jay and Dinos Chapman for one with their phalliclly endowded girls, and battle wastelands. And the recent influx of Chinese contemporary art gives testimony to that.

From what one might presume Post Modernism is simply an evolution of a concept that has seen its comodious vicus since man had the ability to base cognitive thinking. I.e. Soviet Construtionism. Which has a sort of correlation the Spanish Inquisition almost.

Loving nature, and a dead end. Yet another vicious circle.

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From:incroyable12
Date:July 15th, 2004 01:38 am (UTC)
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There is also Jameson's responses on the capitalistic correlations.

1.Market Capitalism

2.Monopoly capitalism

3.Consumer capitalism

The last one is directly related to PostModernism.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 01:55 am (UTC)
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would that be jenna?
[User Picture]
From:incroyable12
Date:July 15th, 2004 01:58 am (UTC)
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No, Fredric Jameson.

Although without capitalism Jenna Jameson would not have gotten her start.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)
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true. she's quite an entrepreneur, though she sells borrowed goods that aren't quite hers anymore.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 02:24 am (UTC)

coming from an anti-hegelian

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you point out the recirculations of postmodernity, thus leading to self-inflected conceptual torture and desolation. Is this the ultimate condition of artistry in our hyper-real simulcra of post-industrial commodity central existence?

however, what if one were to return to Hegel's concept of the multi-linear apex of the Absolute in beauty and art? Were one to explore this many-times tapped vein of existentialism, one would find a path leading to a service in the duty of the absolute, however blind and egocentric that would be in this day and age.

Of course, it is hard to disregard his german grand narrative underlying motives (especially the huge flaw that his desperate and white supremacist views marred his latter life with) and as summarily dismissive as it is, i'm sure his vision of the absolute would have almost white-like blond hair, eyes the brightest cyan and skin so pale it would be transparent to the underlying bone.

unless there's a way to apply the absolute to 1) nature, 2) the micro-universe, 3) the cosmos but that would lead to a rehashing of the work of Adams, Weston and the like of the "f64" group, which might result in a salvation of my view of postmodern romanticism?

so is that it? is our condition a mindless milling about through our Great Malls, laughing and joking the entire time, working for McSoftware, like an imitation of Monty Python's Meaning of Life, destined to be lost in the anals of history through foucault's historical revisionism?
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 02:32 am (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian

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sorry, insert "except" before "through foucault's..." on the last line
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From:incroyable12
Date:July 15th, 2004 06:36 pm (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian

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I am not explicitly stating the recirculation of Postmodernism per se but as the conceptual entity of such an example as PostModernism. Hence my addition of Jameson's capitalistic correlations.

Which I can somehow relate to the Aryan esoteric theories of the Age of Fire, Ice, and etc.

One can debate whether the "Absolute" is a priori or a posteriori however sometimes it lends itself an axiomatic distinction. Almost in a vein of contradistinction since it is paradoxical. Somewhat.

From what it seems your text is intermingled with trascendentalist ideals.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 10:36 pm (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian

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From what it seems your text is intermingled with trascendentalist ideals.

'course. i've been contemplating foucault's ominous line and i'm open to interpretations aside from my own musings.

hell, i don't even know if foucault was credible enough to state such a thing. he lived most of his life during the cold war and had the age of anxiety stamped on everything he's done, especially the fear of annihilation by nuclear war, so his infamous line might have inadverdently been influenced by his desire for self-preservation, and the disillusionment in the overachieving spirit of capitalism, which we, in our post-communist world, don't really have to worry about aside from the socioeconomic byproducts of poverty and resource depletion all over the world (like say 9/11 etc).

but thats another story, and lets not go there.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian part 2ish

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From what it seems your text is intermingled with trascendentalist ideals.

Also, what foucault said is like the old saying that if you tell someone to NOT think of pink elephants they pop into her/his head.

if someone says there's an exit, you automatically look for it, especially when you're sick of the hyper-reality media saturation.

i see us accelerating towards the cyber-fusion of man and machine (or at least, genetically perfected man who can simulate mechanization) and the possible end of all conceptual art in favor of our commercialization and conformation to the machine of errant capitalism gone wild, and resulting in a world wide lobotomization of anything that could be seen as remotely human and/or individually expressive in us.
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From:incroyable12
Date:July 16th, 2004 01:27 am (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian part 2ish

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Your rather bleak vision tends to draw the images of 1984, and all that. However with the adevent of minimalism isn't even such a movement as a badge of one's individuality?

Note that in the greater mass the hoi polloi do not embrace minimalism; it is simply another niche movement per se.

But then even if we did draw towards that cynical version there is probably not going to be total eradication of personal identity. I.e. Nazi Germany could be termed one a past example. And also there are the revolts of Dada or the fin-de-siecle in France to keep in mind.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 16th, 2004 02:18 am (UTC)

Re: coming from an anti-hegelian part 2ish

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well, actually, my high school days were filled with 1984 correlations, but i see my bleak future vision more like Huxley's Brave New World, which you will remember as being a world-wide genetically engineered dysfunctional heaven of consumerism and social castes, where war isn't as much of an issue. also, coupland's microserfs gives a not-so-bleak portrait of cubicle warrior-ship.

as for the minimalism reference, that is true. My exgirlfriend's aunt is such an artist, and her style draws heavily on paying homage to the little things and the commonplace things in everyday life .
Also, i've also been in love with Rothko's work for as long as i've known about it, though quibbling over which movement Rothko's color field expressionism falls under (postmodern abstract expressionism, a stand alone field of color field expressonism, or minimalism usually comprises the dividing lines of argument) is common among certain professors.

i've long since thought that the underlying universal appeal of certain pieces that reach across national lines, ethnic groups, socioeconomic upbringing (without the underlying dollar signs and price tags that we see in commercialized art these days) could comprise an exciting form of postmodern constructivism, the way color field painters have done, but one runs the risk of pandering to the lowest common denominator or even seeming obtuse. :-/

but your absolutely right, the personal identity issue is probably not going to be a problem, since for every build up of society/intra-networking, there is, somewhere, a backwards blowback that changes the course of human progress the way that 9/11 has redefined americans and their views.
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From:plasticman111
Date:July 15th, 2004 05:28 am (UTC)
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I thought I'd put my two cents in even though I puked on my first day studying Hegel 1020: WHY PHILOSOPHY IS A POOR DISCURSIVE STRATEGY FOR GETTING LAID and the teacher kicked me out for negating some of hegel's most convoluted arguments. years of tradition down the toilette.

This is difficult for me to talk about because I overheard that post-modernism was dead (after I left university) and I threw out all my notes, needing room for more pornography. But here it goes.

The difficulty of post-modernism lies in the relationship of avant-gardism to tradition and especially humanist enlightenment tradition stemming from the renaissance (not to put to fine a point). Our "tradition" is born and reborn out of a break with tradition in an ever accelerating and contracting spire (I think yeats called it in one of his more paranoid moments). Someone perhaps deleuze i cant remember, convinced me that this was a transition from a static to a dynamic world view... we passed from a mythic vision of an eternal celestial sphere or if you want, a metaphysical vision of eternal verities. blah blah. to something that changed constantly at first because we 'progressed' toward enlightenment and then after we discovered that was just chasing shadows around with a flashlight, because our world was constantly changing (which it was by that time, for instance we no longer had a static social system but a mobile one) and we were just catching up, keeping our data complete. Which we are. I'm sure.

Now what happened for me personally with the avant-guard was that at the turn of the century, tradition was really drying up, and artists and politicians were depressed cause there was nothing against which they could break, reborning culture: no hitler in springtime no birds singing in the coal face. The avant-guard was a rupture that had some new finality to it (after all it came after Nietzche and several others had begun to launch a right proper assault on the eternal verities of the whole enlightenment magic show), and like a woman who's had too many children and tries to squeeze out one last one, well, something breaks, and the god damn uterus comes gushing out with the bathwater. disgusting. Anyway, a real bloody rupture thats a bit different from before. Now we still have the forms of our "tradition" but none of the tradition which we needed to break with and we're really sad because of it, and that's why so many can't get laid (to the profit of philosophy) and we're condemened, a highly refined engine of progress accelerating to the whine of an insect as it spins and spins out of gear a proliferation of mirrors on mirror on mirrors which is really good if you like to dress well because you can never have enough mirrors.

It was all bound to happen sooner or later. Really we shouldn't be so worried about the hole in ozone. Thats nothing compared to the fact that we've lost our entire horizon.

Anyway, my wife is calling. She needs her tea warmed and her feet rubbed. Forget everything I just said, its silly. I don't know what I'm saying. Just lonely I guess.
From:the_puffin
Date:July 15th, 2004 10:49 pm (UTC)

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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hmmm that would explain the renewed surge of neoconservatism these days, and it would give T.s. eliot's "the wasteland" an ominous prophetic quality, especially his call for renewed sprituality with the fallacy of consequence that turned out to be not such a fallacy afterall.

also, i could see your analogy of the lost placenta fitting the current mold, but i'm not yet ready to agree with its finality.

otherwise, i like what you've said about commercial art. except for the getting laid part, because i find these days its much easier without the philosophical discourse. ;-) cheers, let us toast the snow
[User Picture]
From:incroyable12
Date:July 16th, 2004 01:22 am (UTC)

Re: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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I would also draw a correlation to W.B. Yeat's "The Second Coming."
[User Picture]
From:plasticman111
Date:July 16th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)

feeding a little life with dried tubers

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But wasn't Eliot's call for renewed spirituality an article of faith from The Golden Bough? Just another metaphysical vision of nature as cyclical and modernity was fallen from grace with nature and can no longer renew... april is the cruelest month breeding lilacs out of the dead land. Lovely yes. But I wasn't talking about nature, I was talking about a particular socio-cultural formation. Yes nature can be cyclical (and the spire I was speaking of can be considered an instance of it(if I'm not full of shit)), but that certainly isn't its total mode. Nature plays all sorts of other tricks... Anyway, it makes me sweat whenever people start looking to nature for solice or direction. Nature is not our friend or a very good god, as bountiful as it might be.

I guess what I was talking about above is an awareness I have that we seem to be hard-wired or soft-wared into certain metaphysical habits of historical apprehension and even though we love to talk about the discontinuous and fractured nature of modernity, we still continue labour within a traditionalistic sense of continuity, seeking out our precursors to insert ourselves within continuous narratives. But where is the precursor for globalism, where is the precursor for our current world population and the rate of its increase, where is the precursor for polyglot post modern culture? What kind of return can you imagine? I haven't found much to give me hope. As you say, we've reached the nub end of the thing: sounds pretty final to me.
This is why I speak of the loss of the horizon, because all our ancestors had one of those, toward which they could proceed (be it the new world, utopia, the second coming), they could speak of the 'known world' wheras if you look far enough these days, you can see straight to the stars and I promise you they won't serve as your guide. I'm not saying that we know everything, but that the context within which the search for knowledge and the 'advancement' of mankind make sense is no longer. Who the fuck takes progress seriously these days? And while progress was one of those hated grand narratives and we're all glad to be rid of the superstition of it, it was the dream that got us this far. Now that its run out of steam our great machine stands idling, panting like a bull waiting for a target to appear on which it can unleash its vast fury. Which usually means war which is what we're getting.

We've perfected the teleological mode, whether christian-millinerian or social utopian, to such a degree that I'm worried now that we're disoriented as to which direction we should go in. I'm nervous by nature but we've built our space ship to go somewhere, its not a lawnmower, intended for doing cirlces on our front lawn.

Anyway, read Petronius' The Satyricon, it describes modernity far better than I can. A society that has exhausted the ideo-ethical foundation from which it had grown to such great stature. Sound like anyone we know?
From:the_puffin
Date:July 19th, 2004 04:03 pm (UTC)

Re: feeding a little life with dried tubers

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actually he predicted the coming spiritual crisis quite well, and i doubt the poem really had anything to do with renewal through nature, as you put it. those two lines are only the beginning; the other five parts have little to do with nature and more about urbanization. but thats besides the point.

as for perfecting anything, we're far from it. I think a suburb in every city is the goal here, and a dominos 30 mins away from any citizen of somalia (actually it doesn't matter what third world area you're talking about, the goal is to fill everything up with its commodious junk)

as for the satyricon, i'll pick it up at the library. thanks!
[User Picture]
From:plasticman111
Date:July 19th, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)

Re: feeding a little life with dried tubers

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yes, you're right, the nature spin was a bit of a distraction. I was thinking of the comparative anthropology of The Golden Bough which found regenerative myths in every society and culture it looked at and derived from these a universal archetype, or if you will an ideal form. In other words, another myth. The Anthropologist, and I think by association, Elliot looks on these myths as signifying nature, (which is not the perspective of the society that believed in these myths). Thus when Elliot integrated this perspective into his take on modernity in 'The Wasteland', I was thinking of his references to eternal natural processes... But nature should not have been my main concern, it was the eternal and universal perspective on regeneration that I don't think applied to what I said above. I was talking about a specific, contingent historical and cultural formation, (what we call Western Society)that has developed a very unique form of self reproduction which I think is reaching its used by date. That Elliot was thinking mythologically is not something I believe even he would deny, (and anyway, no matter how up on the social sciences he might have been he was essentially and unapologetically Christian). Anyway, my point was that I was not talking about eternal processes, but something historically specific.

As for perfecting the teleological mode, I mean only that we think in terms of going somewhere but have lost any sense of a definite goal toward which to proceed. So yes, the increadible project of the tower of babel, a machine meant to get us to heaven is spent spreading the rash of suburbia, making money, spinning the world.

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