Monday, 2 March 2009

The interconnected modernity of alterity?

The Altermodern started being defined as 'the new period' after postmodernism in art.

In the article below, Bourriaud argues that altermodernity is a 'wandering in time, space and mediums', in a sense, as I see it, inheriting some of the qualitie of the online domains in the physicality of art. I quote from the article:

“Altermodernity,” Bourriaud continues, “arises out of negotiations between different agents from different cultures and geographical locations.” Artists, by this reckoning, have become nomads, a mobile community of outsiders within a vast globalised society, choosing their images, like words, from roughly the same visual language. It’s the next stage, Bourriaud claims, for civilisation after postmodernism, and artists who mocked its own claims to greatness"...

When I tried using the term Altermodernity, I felt the term 'alterity' in the name fit well the precursor anthropological understanding of 'otherness' into the differential of alterities that social cultures represent to each other. I also feel the idea of mobility and negotiations between different cultures appeals to this new period. My first reticence to using this term for anthropology was, however, that negotiations and mobilities were distinctive of the previous postmodern capacities for understanding the world. A good example of this, was Henrietta's Moore's 'global anxieties'.

A second interpretation of the Altermodern I read gave an example of Altermodernity as opposed to Postmodernity. A postmodern example was Hirst and his Shark in the Tank (in lego:, and other similar pieces. They are postmodern in their specified dismemberment of concepts but they are 'fixed', Altemodernity, on the contrary presuposes exchanges that are mobile, art that is born out of routes and meetings with others. A good example of transition between postmodern and altermodern is perhaps the lego example above.

An example of Altermodern, from this new point of view would have to be Gormley's plynth which extends the possibilities of Ewans' ideas in the Tate.

I agree with Lewis in the article that "Any definition of our age as a new era of travel, interconnectedness and political activity" as defined by Bourriad is tricky [I will continue tomorrow or soon]

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