Re: Postmoderinism : Revised quick guide


Subject: Re: Postmoderinism : Revised quick guide
From: Morgan Sutherland (skiptracer@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Oct 04 2005 - 14:37:05 EDT


"Morgan Sutherland wrote:

>>From what I've seen in this thread, I've absorbed that PM is art with
>acknowledgment of the outside world, culture... art made by an "I" who
>is not something sacred, but a result of outside influence. Modern is
>ignoring culture and influence, focusing on inner. Or am I wrong?
>
yes -- you're wrong. The part about PM and the lack of sacred self is
plausible, but the part
about modernism is completely wrong -- in the schoenberg example,
schoenberg had huge
knowledge of music, thought that he had derived the 12-tone method from
the consequences
of the technical (and expressive) trajectory a "grand tradition" had
followed. For example
12-tone inversion is about how inversion was used as a variation device
by the great contrapunctists,
the 16th c. masters and Bach.

So he would seem to be PM by your account -- it's very much part of an
"outside" world.

Another thing is that the "inspiration" of the composer was something
felt to be expressive
of an outside. Eg mahler -- "I am the instrument that the universe plays
on." The great
inspitred artist is, in some important way, selfless -- an agency
through which different
forces act.

Schizophrenic art was very important for surrealism -- another aspect of
"selflessness."

In fact the PM artist of the 80s is probably characterized through a
kind of "me-ness" --
Jeff Koons photos of himself screwing his wife the stripper, or Cindy
Sherman's
Theater of Cindy Sherman. The Saturday Night Live skit about "Rob's
girlfriend theater,"
in which he enacts plays about how horrible his girlfriend was to him
was basically of
the same cut. One thing that makes these things PM is their
author-specificty -- you no
longer see people pretending to be the instrument of the universe.
There's much more irony
about what it means to BE an artist in PM. But these are just styles.
You could think
of PM as the underlying force that drives these spectacles, not the
spectacles themselves.

We might get away with saying, "in PM, self is individual-specific,
whereas in M it's a shard of fragmented
whole." The collectivity in PM is real -- social -- whereas in M it's
part of a mythology -- something
that includes interpretations of history, the so-called
"metanarratives." This is how I might rephrase
your paragraph.

-- eliot"

That I think is much more clear.

On 10/4/05, Morgan Sutherland <skiptracer@gmail.com> wrote:
> That confuses me even further. I liked the original explanation which
> was apparently wrong?
>
> On 10/4/05, andre_mc@alcor.concordia.ca <andre_mc@alcor.concordia.ca> wrote:
> >
> > WOW!
> >
> > IMM that might be the clearest, most concise explanation of postmoderinsim that
> > I have read.
> >
> > the boundary references that are usually present in PM explanations (ie
> > qualifications so as to avoid dispute regarding other PM definitions), dissolve
> > into the whole of the explanation.
> >
> >
> > 2 cents for what its worth
> >
> > andrew
> >
> >
> > From eliot Handelman>>
> >
> > >
> > > I'm trying to help clarify a few topics in musical postmodernism offering
> > > a (of course) idiosyncratic interpretation. I don't want argue about
> > > 12-tone music.
> > >
> > > PM is to me mostly about problems of communication in the light of
> > > the circumstances of the world we inhabit. It's not about a style.
> > >
> > > One important issue is that whereas the world *is* going somewhere,
> > > we're at the beginning of the most radical social revolution that ever
> > > happened,
> > > escalating changes, etc.
> > >
> > > In the Ferrari interview that someone mentioned, Ferrari said:
> > >
> > > "I think 1968 benefitted from our action."
> > >
> > > May 68 is in fact THE event that defines the enlightenment impulse in all
> > > later discussions of postmodernism, especially when french writers are
> > > concerned.
> > >
> > > This was still the moment when artists "were the antennae of the race,"
> > > in Pound's phrase.
> > > By making your little noises you were somehow helping to create a new
> > > feeling about the
> > > kinds of freedoms that were possible and which should be taken (see also
> > > F.'s comments
> > > about a workshop realization of Tautologos 3 "I am free, you know ...")
> > > and which eventually WERE taken.
> > >
> > > Postmodernism, in some (I think important) ways, means "post-68".
> > >
> > > One paradox of postmodernism is that in many ways art DID succeed in its
> > > social views about creative liberation. Everyone can now be an artist on
> > > their
> > > own terms and find their own public. This was totally not true even in
> > > Ferrari's day -- the GRM said about "presque rien 1": "it wasn't music."
> > >
> > > Of course F laughs about this, as do we, because how can it not be music
> > > if someone
> > > says it is? Do we require anything more? I may not like it ... but to
> > > challenge its
> > > ontology --- to situate music in some space beyond its actual practice?
> > > People used to
> > > talk about "the rules of music," but nowadays we say "the rules of a
> > > style" and what we
> > > probably mean has something more to do with Chomsky than with parallel
> > > fifths.
> > >
> > > So one aspect of postmodernism is : art has become a "social practice", or,
> > > of course, many social practices.
> > >
> > > At the same time, if I may say so, this is exactly NOT how that part of
> > > the world
> > > that is organizing our revolution works. Let's take one example -- the
> > > protocol.
> > >
> > > Eg, TCP/IP or 'the "information processing paradigm" of cognitive science,
> > > etc. Standardization can have enormous power to create foundations on
> > > which things
> > > can be built.
> > >
> > > Now we get into the "blank slate" problem. If we are, in fact, purely
> > > social organisms,
> > > then we have infinite freedom to say who we are and to become whatever
> > > we want.
> > >
> > > If we are actually complex machines with built-in programs, our freedom is
> > > illusory or, to put it in a different way: there is such a thing as
> > > music. It's music
> > > not because someone says so, but because we can observe the music part
> > > of the
> > > brain doing something when we scan ourselves.
> > >
> > > Postmodernism in music means to me: address this discrepancy.
> > >
> > > Of course there are also many ways of thinking about PM as "the end of
> > > ..." but
> > > I'm personally much more interested in "the beginning of ..."
> > >
> > > PM is NOT, to me, importantly about "there are 10 million active
> > > composers at present,
> > > and all of these different styles, so how to make your mark." NOT.
> > >
> > > PM is likely to be: there is no distinction between producer and
> > > consumer. Excuse
> > > me while I kiss the sky.
> > >
> > > Or composing will become a kind of serious research in a way that it
> > > never was.
> > >
> > > Or new kinds of virtuality.
> > >
> > > Or the ability to confer technical possibilities on everyone.
> > >
> > > These things all have one common issue -- listener-centricity.
> > >
> > > To me that's the single most important issue surrounding the problem of
> > > postmodernism.
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >In other words, 9/13 of postmodernism is still modernism.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > We only ever have intimations of postmodernism -- the quote from the
> > > Gibson book
> > > I was mentioning earlier. It's an imaginative sweep at present, not a
> > > product.
> > >
> > > >Okay, but postmodernism includes a vast swath of everything, making it
> > > >possible to pick and choose what can be perceived.
> > > >
> > > Picking and choosing is a kind of listener-centricity -- remember what
> > > one of the punks
> > > around here said a few years ago -- that arranging songs in playlists is
> > > a creativity of no
> > > different order than anything else. There's something to that.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >Of course, I've also made the claim many times that this is a Golden Age of
> > > >new music.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > Well I totally believe that this is THE time to be living if you're
> > > interested in music, on
> > > whatever level, composer, listener, student. There was never a moment
> > > with greater possibility
> > > than right now. And the possibilities are going to increase.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >I'm still typing as your messages come in. Something like, "there's no such
> > > >thing as a theory of music that isn't, in the first place, a theory of
> > > >musical quality." The advantage of postmodernism is its charming lack of a
> > > >theory of music, so that quality never need come into question.
> > > >
> > >
> > > On my terms, hit song science is postmodern. It's not my kind of theory,
> > > because it doesn't provide
> > > any kind of explanation, and it's not a good theory because it has no
> > > power to predict
> > > what might interest people other than through the framework of what they
> > > previously liked, but it is a theory
> > > in the sense of predicting quality. This kind of thing WILL increase.
> > >
> > > producer-centric free-for-all-ism to my mind is only a transitional
> > > phase of postmodernism.
> > > Things are due to change.
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >>The underlying idea is that we should not allow our social world to
> > > >>instigate parameters
> > > >>on truth for us. Instead this must be individually accessible.
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >You're the intelligence theory guy, so I'll not be able to hold my own in a
> > > >discussion about how an individual can even be identified as such without
> > > >being part of a 'social world to instigate parameters on truth'.
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > By thinking? By doing research? Do I allow my bosses to tell me what
> > > problems I'm allowed
> > > to think about? Am I afraid of not getting tenure? Do my student reviews
> > > affect me? Am I afraid
> > > of not getting the grant because what I'm doing doesn't fit in? Am I
> > > able to evaluate research on my
> > > own, or should I check to see how many times the article was cited? Can
> > > I spot the flaw? Does
> > > it disagree with my own experience? Do I have some way of evaluating the
> > > plausibility of my
> > > theorizations other than appealing to a peer-review committee?
> > >
> > > -- eliot
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Andrew McCallum
> > almaudio@videotron.ca
> >
>



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