For Poggioli, futurism defines one central aspect of the avant-garde, which in Ortega Y Gasset's words, is that the historical task of the contemporary artist is to "work in the present for the future". In this "historical mythology of contemporary art" the work of the avant-garde presents the shape of things to come. Poggioli differentiates between the actual artistic movement of Futurism and that movement's claim to the concept of the avant-garde. For Poggioli,Futurism "possessed in its name the most successful and suggestive formula thought up by the avant-garde" but the movement "was one of the lowliest and vulgar manifestations of avant-garde culture" (p.143) If real futurism is dead forever, ideal futurism is still living, precisely because it renews itself in the consciousness of each successive avant-garde. (p.223). Reyner Banham also enthusiastically described the Futurist example and its exaltation of speed while distancing himself from its politics.Read More
Ford's factories required a disciplined and deskilled workforce, willing and able to perform repetitive tasks on the assembly line. F. W. Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management published in 1911 had already described how labor productivity could be radically increased by breaking down each labor process into component motions and organizing them according to rigorous standards of time and motion.Read More
Are all memoriespermanently stored somewhere in the mind, so that details we cannot remember at a particular time could eventually be recovered with the right technique? Or are some experiences permanently lost from memory?Read More
This image of two inchoate substances ressembles Plato's accounts of creation in the Timaeus, in which earth and sky are separated by the gap of space, a gap which Eros tries to fill. (see philosophy / chaos ) While these accounts are about the origin of form, the informe is a counter-movement against the authority of form.Read More
We can perhaps begin by describing formalism as the valorization of the purely aesthetic experience, as aestheticism. The principle work of formalism focuses on the techniques specific to a medium.
Michael Podro describes the critical historians of art as treading a tightrope between a sense of context in art and a sense of autonomy. He describes the concept of art as both inextricable from context and irreducible to it. When the former is elevated at the expense of the latter, art becomes a trace or symptom of context, when the latter is stressed, the position moves more towards formalism. For art, to be autonomous is to have a separate history. (The compromise solution for this tension has been to describe the "semi-autonomy" or "relative autonomy" of art.)
For the Russian formalist critics, such as Viktor Shklovsky, "estrangement" (or "defamiliarization”) was the central vehicle for a modernist aesthetics that sought to define the "literariness of literature". (although Sterne's Tristram Shandy and Cervante's Don Quixote written long before modernism, are often referred to as canonic examples of the technique)In "Art as Technique" (1917), Shklovsky claimed that the purpose of art was to force us to notice. Because of habitualization, "the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously...and art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. ...The technique of art is to make objects "unfamiliar", to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important." (Lemon & Reis, p. 12)
Formalism presents itself as moving beyond representation, and it thus moves out of the communicational social contract constituted in representation.
Russian Formalism was first attacked by Trotsky, in Literature and Revolution, in 1923. Trotsky saw Formalism as only concerned with the technical aspects of literature. In the following year, the first Soviet Commissar of Education, Anatoly Lunacharsky, renewed the attack, calling Formalism "decadent" rather than simply "narrow". for Lunacharsky, Formalism encouraged art for art's sake and promoted aesthetic sterility. (see Victor Erlich, Russian Formalism, p. 103-107)
The debate between the Marxist and Formalist critics continued for the rest of the decade and took a decidedly more frightening turn with the rise of Stalin. One of the more interesting attempts at going beyond both a-social pure Formalism and a-literary sociologism of pure Marxisms was the study originally attributed to P.N. Medvedev, but now thought to be principally written by M. M. Bakhtin, The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship.
In 1932, Sergei Eisenstein was one of the few active artists still able to defend the idea of form. In "In the Interest of Form", he wrote, echoing what Medvedev/Bahktin saw as "the main claim of European formalism" that "Form is always ideological ."
What is globalization? On a simple level, Globalization seems to be a a name for the increased interconnectedness of cultures, a world of complex mobilities and interconnections, characterized by cultural flows of capital, people, commodities, images, and ideologies.Read More
The "local" is a politically contested concept. Is it a site of resistance to globalization and the hegemonic ideological systems that go under the names of the West, McWorld, and EMPIRE? Is the local the only viable link to tradition, or is it a source of fascisms, of ethnic atavisms, of all the raging cultural fundamentalisms and defensively defined communities that Benjamin Barber calls jihad ?Read More
Modernity can be thought of
1. as a category of historical periodization: a distinct period in time.
2. as a quality of social experience, ("our" modernity), and as the experience of a qualitative difference in historical time.
3. as a project, which is perhaps incomplete. (Habermas, Foucault, Deleuze (?) ) Perhaps also as a crisis.
For Marc Augé, a non-place comes into existence when human beings do not recognise themselves in it. (see place / identity) Non-places begin with uprootedeness -- uprooted nineteenth century countrymen, migrants, refugees, etc. They provide the "passive joys of identity loss." While anthropological places create the organically social, so non-places create solitary contractuality. (p.94) Thus a space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity will be a non-place, and these non-places are the real measure of our time. (pp.77-79)Read More
In his study of the relation between the photographic frame and narrative in film, Steven Heath sees filmic narrative as the fulfilment of the Renaissance impetus for events to have their proper place. He quotes Rosalind Krauss' comments on perspective as "the visual correlate of causality that one thing follows the next in space according to rule...perspective space carried with it the meaning of narrative: a succession of events leading up to and away from this moment; and within that temporal succession--given as spatial analogue--was secreted the "meaning" of both that space and those events". (in "A View of Modernism", Artforum, Sept 1972.) cf. Alois Hildebrand, "The Problem of Form in the Fine Arts" with its stress on the coherence of spatial recession. (see vision)Read More
In " Avant-Garde and Kitsch", Clement Greenberg describes a second new cultural phenomenon that appeared in the industrial West: Kitsch. For Greenberg, the new urban masses lost their taste for the folk culture of the countryside, discovered a new capacity for boredom, and set up a pressure on society to provide them with a culture fit for their own consumption. For Greenberg, Kitsch is produced by a rationalized technique that draws on science and industry and erases the values that permit distinctions between good and bad art.
"Postmodernism is what you have when the modernization process is complete and nature is gone for good." Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, p. IX. "We might say that postmodernism is what you have when the modern theory of social constructivism is taken to its extreme and all subjectivity is recognized as artificial." (Hardt and Negri, Empire, p. 196) "The point is that we are within the culture of postmodernism to the point where its facile repudiation is as impossible as any equally facile celebration..." (Jameson, p. 62)
Any account of postmodernism must address the tangled relationship between its writing and its object. As Frederic Jameson admits, "I would not want to have to decide whether the following chapters (of his book Postmodernism) are inquiries into the nature of such "postmodernism theory" or mere examples of it." Some disaffected critics claim that "A key to understanding the postmodern temper is that, for it, the distinction between truth and illusion has lost its purchase. " (Simpson, Technology, Time and the Conversations of Modernity, p.87)
Frederic Jameson is not quite so sure. He goes on to ask whether we can identify some "moment of truth" within the more evident "moments of falsehood" of postmodern culture.Read More
In the progressivist accounts of European civilization, primitive attitudes come to be replaced by rational ones, just as primitive technologies are replaced by modern ones. But recourse to descriptions of the primitive are often motivated by the desire to criticize the civilized or the present. If civilization is thought to rely on "the renunciation of instinct" (Freud) then one is tempted to project a rejection of the modern on to the archaic.
Freud examines the contention that "what we call civilization is largely responsible for our misery, and we should be so much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions." (p.33) Freud adhered to the notion that individual development followed the lines of social development -- beginning with an animistic phase and then followed first by a religious and then by a scientific phase -- the biological notion that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." Thus the child is thought to be more primitive than the adult, just as the "primitive" individual is thought of as a child.
"The European belief in primitive magic has lead to a false distinction between primitive and modern cultures, and sadly inhibited comparative religion."Read More