Art, poetry, digital art, photography, criticism and essays.

21 Jun 2009


An interesting essay regarding, so-called "Altermodernism" published on Mute magazine. Apparently, a new art/cultural movement to replace Post Modernism. It smacks of Post Modernity to me, slightly redefined with an emphasis on Modernity (recherche, Post-Modern) evidently hoping to capture a new spirit of invention via Modernism. Now, how many times have I heard that!

Article on Altermodernism


  • At 12:01 pm , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    I made some comments on my blog but have not been able to access the article on yours....I'll keep trying.

  • At 12:30 pm , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    Read the article. Well, I think my comments may be biased, Bourriad is French isn't he? (Ozzies don't like the French and we inherited the attitude from Great Britain)

    The phrase 'playing in the remnants' says it all. Art today is about power and egocentricity like never before because the art-machine is so accessible, seductive and rewarding. The behavioural format of the Emperor's new clothes prevails. And some of us would laugh if it weren't so bloody tragic.

    I hate to say it but WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO MEANING!!

  • At 4:58 pm , Blogger crescent said...

    Well atleast Bourriad is trying to move on from Post Modernism, which I applaud. Unfortunately, he hasn't managed to do that but.. there we go!!

    Interestingly, I couldn't find any of his art work on the net. I may have missed it, but I hope he's not an art historian trying to claim his manifesto and writings are "art objects" in their own right, and that is his art - i.e.; Alter(native)Modernism.

    Why do I feel the need to deconstruct art/literature? I must be reminded of the French School of Post Modern philosophy. Mmm!

    I actually like the French (Lots of Brits don't like anyone outside their beloved Island) Paris is just fantastic! Not trying to be PC, it still has a magic and still very cultural... :-)

    Meaning... Mmm! I try not to think about that because I don't think anyone knows any more!!

  • At 12:15 am , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    I think Bourriad might just be an art historian. (My mum loved Paris too but still reckons the French are rude and arrogant. But then she's Dutch and they wrote the book on arrogance.)

    I think it is PC not to privilege meaning. I can tell that you don't think it is there or maybe have given up looking. But I do think it is there. In my academic research I come across a pervasive cynicism which often mocks those who are into meaning, yet these scholars have made an industry out of championing the case for non-meaning which is s bit of a paradox - meaning in non-meaning. Very post-modernist, feeding on itself - that can only end in tears. I suspect it is because they really do want meaning but are looking in the wrong place.

    I think we have to feed on the archetypal because it is the eternal source and that we constantly re-image it in our own unique way. I defy any thinking person to stand where I stand here on the south coast of Australia and not get that. People get the same from the desert and the bush. I don't know what it is like where you live but I suspect that there is just too much civilisation - the imprint of man's controlling obsessions. No breathing space for nature or for that rawness, that beginning of time stuff. It is here but fast being covered up. Fortunately, deserts and wild oceans are hard to tame, and not very profitable.

  • At 2:03 pm , Blogger crescent said...

    Yeah! I think there's a lot to be said for space. As you know UK is cluttered with too many people. It was interesting to note how space has had a profound effect upon US art,literature,digital arts. Probably the same (as you say) in Oz.

  • At 2:08 pm , Blogger crescent said...

    Re: Bourriad - I found some art work on the Tate site. Haha!! New movement my a**e. Installations (Modernism and P.Modernism), some nice photography (not quite as good as Flickr) and something else kind of Dada/Surreal I think.

    I don't like most of what I saw - some of it is just a mess - but some was OK. But a new art/cultural movement no no no!!


  • At 2:12 pm , Blogger crescent said...

    There's the link Michelle. If you click on "explore AlterModern" link on the page you eventually get to a list of exhibitors.

  • At 12:13 am , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    I had a look and found the exhibitors and the map but couldn't find any images. Even Google Images isn't much help, mostly references to his curating and writing. I will take your word for it!

  • At 1:05 pm , Blogger Alan said...

    Many Brits (especially those who can read/write, use cutlery etc) actually have an inferiority complex toward the French and much of continental Europe, encouraged in large part by the latter's obvious superiority complexes. A marriage made in hell, that...

    For me altermodernism is rehashed postmodernism. But the attempt to move on from PoMo is a sign of the times. You could check out Raoul Eshelman's performatism, or Philip Galantar's complexism, or even my own digimodernism. Times are definitely changing, but where to?

  • At 12:36 am , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    Well this sounds a bit familiar: 'The key element in generative art is the use of an external system to which the artist cedes partial or total subsequent control'.

    Didn't that happen in the workshops of the late Mediaeval and Renaissance artists, they were called apprentices. These days it is common for artists to 'outsource' to compensate for skills they don't have, which places it in a different context to the old masters because they at least could paint. I grant that great things are achieved this way but this tendency is also leading to the degeneration of art generally because everyone wants to be an instant artist. And it seems anyone can claim to be. I reckon I would have some difficulty in declaring myself a mechanic or a brain surgeon but anyone can call themselves an 'artist'.

    Sorry, a bit reductionsist maybe, but I believe culture goes in cycles, never the same and always evolving, but ultimately dependant on a fixed number of archetypes that are integral to the human condition. We may seem more sophisticated and educated, but information is not knowldege. Just a diversion.

    And the search for meaning.... reducing things to science is still looking in the wrong place. The world needs more poetry and mystery, instead of carving everything up and examining it under a bloody microscope. Conceding 'partial control' - that is and always was part of the job description for artists.

    I will get off my soap box now.

  • At 2:26 pm , Blogger crescent said...

    Blame Cage, Michelle and Duchamp (atleast for his urinal). Funny how the complexities of Modernity lead towards simplicity :-)

    After all, it may well be that art (the arts) is in the doing.

  • At 12:50 am , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    'In the doing' - Abso-bloody-lutely! That's the bit that feeds us I reckon. And I see you are doing pastels....paint next??? haha..
    Funny thing is (life is full of paradox) - just when I had declared I hate painting I have just got some higher level (educationally) Indigenous students who will be coming to me next semester to, you guessed it, get some tuition on painting.
    So I am being thrown back into it. It seems just about every time I declare something I am forced to reconsider it. Very cosmic.

  • At 12:52 am , Blogger michelleFRANTOM said...

    PS And yes, I do blame Duchamp and his boody urinal. And Rolf Harris and community art (for making everyone think they can become an 'artist' in 5 minutes). :-p

  • At 1:34 am , Blogger crescent said...

    Ah! Michelle - Rolf's a lovely chappie! Two little boys had two little toys.... etc. Tie me Kangaroo ... Yeah OK!

    God I had a good drink tonight :-/

  • At 1:51 am , Blogger crescent said...

    My next one is going to be a drawing that I'm going to use my photo editing program on.

    After that some photography.

    I've got an art project where I'm supposed to be painting a great big picture in an empty supermarket - With others. I'm not
    sure when that's going to start. And I've got a musical I'm in,so dancing and singing!


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