We rose up slowly as if we didn’t belong to the outside world any longer… like swimmers in a shadowy dream who didn’t need to breathe.
Our clearest motivations are to seek pleasure and avoid pain. However, daily life in the Society of the Spectacle offers many more opportunities to experience pain than it does to experience pleasure. Consequently, most people have ceased to expect much pleasure in their daily lives and are content to support a social system which simply offers less pain.
If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it.
Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.
It is not modernity that is dead, but its idealistic and teleological version. […] Art was intended to prepare and announce a future world: today it is modelling possible universes.
The love of Western classical music is the mark of China’s burgeoning State-encouraged haute bourgeoisie consumer class, to the chagrin and delight of philharmonics world over. The view of the sublime, whose history in Chinese culture runs deep, has been mashed up with Occidental Classicism and Romanticism, and honey-spun through modern technologies. What it really reflects is something more profound than the works themselves; the confusion and perplexity of China’s rising middle class, the return to an ersatz capitalist state, the savagery of a lack of religious choice and the layering of aspirations that straddle the divide between the military Politbureau state and the longings of the human soul. As another contemporary Chinese artist Cai Quo-Qiang said, art’s ‘role is to help people preserve a distance, to provide a distance for people to see certain issues, events and activities. With distance people can find meaning below the surface instead of taking the work at face value.’
Livius: They have a god.
The Lord Sto Odin: A god? What do you call a god?
Livius: A person or an idea capable of starting wholly new cultural patterns in motion.
An image or a link can be used anywhere on the web. The idea of ownership is antithetical to the internet. In fact, sharing images is one of the more interesting aspects of the internet. There has been a discussion about the whole notion of gatekeepers and aesthetic filters that has put the high-art curators in an odd position. They have insisted that they (and by extension, the whole art gallery/museum system) are the only true arbiters of quality. This is actually an interesting discussion. Artists are the ones who create the initial aesthetic products; they define what art is at any moment in time. The gatekeepers, on the other hand, simply verify that the work is of good quality. Of course, this is a simplification of the idea of curating, but it’s interesting to note that the recent past has had artists acting as curators and conversely curators who consider their projects to be art. On the internet, you might look at content conglomerators as curators with various degrees of aesthetic filtering, from un-curated to narrowly focused.
We can now look at the way files (text, image, video, sound) on the web have two or maybe three different values. One is the intrinsic value of the artwork. That is the original meaning and intention of the work — the meaning of a word is its meaning. A second is the extrinsic value of the artwork (the meaning of the word is its use). We can also say that there is a collective unconscious (memory) that has been created with the World Wide Web, which many view as a new form of global consciousness.
Thus transparency explodes into a thousand pieces, which are like the shattered fragments of a mirror, where we can catch a last glimpse of our image furtively reflected before it disappears. Like the fragments of a hologram, each piece contains the entire universe. It is also characteristic of the fractal image to be contained entirely in its minutest details. In this sense one can speak of the fractal subject, which - instead of transcending into a finality beyond itself - is diffracted into a multitude of identical miniaturised egos, multiplying in an embryonic mode as in a biological culture, and completely saturating its environment through an infinite process of scissiparity. While the fractal object is identical to each of its elementary components, the fractal subjects dreams only of resembling himself in each one of his fractions. That is to say, his dream involutes below all representation towards the smallest molecular fraction of himself, a strange Narcissus, no longer dreaming of his ideal image, but of a formula to genetically reproduce himself into infinity.
The artificial purification of all milieus, atmospheres, and environments will supplant the failing immune systems. If these immune systems are breaking down it is because an irreversible tendency called progress pushes the human body and spirit into relinquishing its systems of defence and self-determination, only to replace them with technological artefacts. Divested of his defences, man becomes eminently vulnerable to science. Divested of his phantasies, he becomes eminently vulnerable to psychology. Freed of his germs, he becomes eminently vulnerable to medicine.
For it is often the way we look at other people that imprisons them within their own narrowest allegiances. And it is also the way we look at them that may set them free.
We should not mistake reality for fiction - we should be able to discern, in what we experience as fiction, the hard kernel of the Real which we were able to sustain only if we fictionalise it.
…architects and artists increasingly abandon the aesthetic precepts of deconstruction, parataxis, and pastiche in favor of aesth-ethical notions of reconstruction, myth, and metaxis. […] When we speak of metamodernism we do not refer to a particular movement, a specific manifesto or a set of theoretical or stylistic conventions.
The metamodern structure of feeling evokes an oscillation between a modern desire for sense and a postmodern doubt about the sense of it all, between a modern sincerity and a postmodern irony, between hope and melancholy and empathy and apathy and unity and plurality and purity and corruption and naïveté and knowingness; between control and commons and craftsmanship and conceptualism and pragmatism and utopianism. […] Each time the metamodern enthusiasm swings towards fanaticism, gravity pulls it back towards irony; the moment its irony sways towards apathy, gravity pulls it back towards enthusiasm.
That opening of a door changed her own world and changed life on thousands of planets for generations to come, but the opening was not itself strange. It was the tired caprice of a thoroughly frustrated and mildly unhappy woman. Nothing more. […] She was shocked because the door opened on steps and the steps led down to landscape and sunlight—truly an unexpected sight on any world. She was looking from the New City to the Old City. The New City rose on its shell out over the Old City, and when she looked “indoors” she saw the sunset in the city below. She gasped at the beauty and the unexpectedness of it.
There, the open door—with another world beyond it.
We are nostalgists as much as we are futurists. We blissfully relive the 8-bit primitivism of a bygone age, preserved forever by the endless archival capacity of the internet, whilst utilising those same networks to shape the fantastical landscapes of tomorrow. […] We are thus cynics, and yet eternal optimists, our technologies driving our melancholia and invention in equal measure.