Monday, February 4, 2008

what comes next

"Postmodernism, like modernism and romanticism before it, fetishised [ie placed supreme importance on] the author, even when the author chose to indict or pretended to abolish him or herself. But the culture we have now fetishises the recipient of the text to the degree that they become a partial or whole author of it. Optimists may see this as the democratisation of culture; pessimists will point to the excruciating banality and vacuity of the cultural products thereby generated (at least so far)."

alan kirby, "Death of Postmodernism and Beyond"

i think things will happen so quickly now, everything changes so fast, fads are in and out faster than a virgin boy that it doesn't really make sense to argue these points any more. the avante guard will never be able to exist again because the ideologies they protest will continue to shift at an ever faster rate. what comes next is something more genuine, to oneself and one's potential... i think our generation yearns for that. growing up in a world where everything meant nothing and something all at once, i think we want integrity to grab us and hold on. we want to believe in something, but the past has proved that the grand narrative will not provide the escape we need and the integrity we seek. postmodernism showed that anything could be possible with the right twist, and in this world of endless possibilities, it seems now more than ever being true to the voices in our heads is the best direction we can take, not for the sake of one's ego or celebrity or riches or material wealth, but because we genuinely could not see our lives any other way.


meghann said...

i have three things:
a. this is meghann sommer
b. i'm glad you read and enjooyed that essay.
c. i agree that all of this puts us in a strange place, and for many, one that makes us wish for a set of standards. being raised in a culture which sort of leaves open the possibility of being whatever you want to be, doing whatever you want to do, etc. etc. it's hard to pin-point our responsibilities as human beings. if we can be a rock-star, why would we worry about anything else? in art making it's even more evident. we can do and create anything. do we revert to traditionalism, or do we ride with the opportunities that postmodern (or maybe the possibility of the pseudo-modern) have opened up by creating works of art with distinct purpose and function bring the same sort of meaning back to "art"?
d. direct action is in need.

Gary said...


I think what you are expressing is what many thoughtful young people are expressing. And that is significant. I personally believe that the pace, flux and instability is just an appearance of the surface of things, which is where most of us live most of the time. The depth is still, more pure and more mysterious. I believe that going deep into oneself is a path to universal truths. And its worth the work.

Isis said...

two words for yer blog.\

Information overload

and we wear it so well


Matt said...


I'm gonna let Meghann's and Gary's comments ride here, because they're both thoughtful and smart responses.

If you're interested in the demise of the avant-garde read all about it in The Last Avant-Garde by David Lehman. It's a pretty great book.

You might also really get something out of Ann Lauterbach's The Night Sky.


Katie said...
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