[-empyre-] Is Modernity our Antiquity? fugue
Like the Well Tempered Clavier, -empyre- plays in Bach mode, thus
it's time for a tuneful restatement of the theme.
Is Modernity our Antiquity? : a discussion for the Documenta
"It is fairly obvious that modernity, or modernity’s fate, exerts a
profound influence on contemporary artists. Part of that attraction
may stem from the fact that no one really knows if modernity is dead
or alive. It seems to be in ruins after the totalitarian catastrophes
of the 20th century (the very same catastrophes to which it somehow
gave rise). It seems utterly compromised by the brutally partial
application of its universal demands (liberté, égalité, fraternité)
or by the simple fact that modernity and coloniality went, and
probably still go, hand in hand. Still, people’s imaginations are
full of modernity’s visions and forms (and I mean not only Bauhaus
but also arch-modernist mind-sets transformed into contemporary
catchwords like “identity” or “culture”). In short, it seems that we
are both outside and inside modernity, both repelled by its deadly
violence and seduced by its most immodest aspiration or potential:
that there might, after all, be a common planetary horizon for all
the living and the dead."
--Roger Beurgel, artistic director of Documenta 12
Let's indulge momentarily in a look at the meta level of this
discussion. Let's start with 'seduced by its (modernism's) most
immodest aspiration or potential: that there might, after all, be a
common planetary horizon for all the living and the dead' .
An event horizon? the next (N)?
Regarding the discourse about (N) or the 'next' thing to 'succeed'
postmodernism and modernism -- one catches a glimpse of a gyre
shining out there at the edge of the mind. Ah, on closer examination
(zoom in, examine, pan (must be in VRML) ! A Hegelian model? to
transcendence achieved through a third path dialectically generated
from the interplay of two previous models (the spiral).
(Don't you agree, Hegel is perfect for VRML. Kind of old fashioned
and difficult, crusty, a little louche).
May we truly spin back upon / into our Antiquarian modernism then ?
(I can almost see the torques and explosions in 3D animation).
As if Modernism is our antiquity, even an archaeology, but land
mined, with Maya generated exploding layers (VRML wasnt agile enough,
got to get into some sophisticated software, learning curve is tough
The 'common planetary horizon for all the living and the dead' brings
to mind, not only Revelations from St John to Teilhard de Chardin,
but on the level of culture and environment, the end game which
humans are already playing out via global climate change, as Joy
Garnet and Henry Warwick of this list frequently observe.
Sometimes it seems all these questions will be as dust and shards in
the tells of Iraq after the 7 degree rise in terrestrial and marine
temperature surely comes.
Looking back, 'bureaucratic' model of database art may recall, for
some, standardisation and hierarchical regulation by a power elite.
Eric observes irrational undercurrents in the coupling of
transcendent aspirations and technology ...
,deeper layers of motivation that inform the creation and the wider
adoption of these technologies will continue to elude us. To grasp
these rather hidden motives it is necessary to excavate some of the
seemingly irrational undercurrents that accompany much of the
visible history of technology, and thus to probe more deeply into
the realm of the mythological.
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