Avant-gardism does not sit well in a captalist landscape, where art (the arts?) are measured (athough, as yet not invariably so) by their potential to make money or literally, at the point of sale.
Originality is not dead, after Modernism, only an idiot would believe that new ideas are completly dependent upon the whim of government or the resultant, mediocracy of capitalism. However, the nature of originality or avant-gardism has changed.
Far from the romantic introspection of Modernity, where the West defined "newness" in relation to Western ideas/thought, we now have to define avant-gardism in terms of an increasingly global arena. We in the West cannot deem art to be of intellectual and cultural value when we are exposed to a global culture, and we have yet to understand cultures that are new to us. Indeed, who is to say that, for example, Amazonian tribes or Brazilian people shouldn't see art through their intellectual/cultural values and prescribe values that art from all over the world should confom to, to be considered worthy of possessing intrinsic value?
Evidently, today's Avant-Garde is the meshing of Global cultures via new and informative ways. This leads towards a state of Global art, where ideally, art (or the arts) can be deemed to be of value because arts practitioners, historians and audiences from around the globe can find value in art works.
As cultures shift toward globalism, the effect upon intellectual thought, politics and economies may be startling. For sure, life will never be the same again!
Article originally posted on the "New Renaissance group" on Flickr.