Postmodern Anxiety & the Aesthetics of Destruction Essay

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Postmodern Anxiety & the Aesthetics of Destruction To borrow a term from the seminal postmodern scholarship of Ihab Hassan, we are living in a moment of indeterminacy. As linearity went the way of modernism, today's culture is one of interconnectivity, webs and networks. We privilege teamwork, democracy, easy and equal access to knowledge above all else. Aesthetics of art and the rhetoric of corporation (that is in turn borrowed from artistic practices) are changing as a result. Formalism has given way to more open creativity. Companies are “flat” or horizontally-integrated, workers may even be skilled beyond menial tasks. But what gets lost in this tangled utopia of webs and equality is determinable truth. Because of the new…show more content…
Postmodernity & Interdisciplinary Study Although artistic practices have arguably always been products and producers of both high and popular culture, the age of postmodernism and the genesis of cultural studies allow a more integrated focus on this relationship. In the introduction to Jospeh Natoli and Linda Hutcheon's compilation, A Postmodern Reader , postmodernity is defined as a “post-1960s period label attached to cultural forms that display certain characteristics,” it is “often a mixing of the conventions of popular and high art,” and as a whole, it has “opened the way for such new counter disciplinary domains as cultural studies” (Hutcheon vii-viii). This counter- or more appropriately, inter-disciplinary scholarship emphasizes the oft incestual connection between socio-cultural politics and art. To be sure, “postmodernity's assertion of the value of inclusive “both/and” thinking deliberately contests the exclusive “either/or” binary oppositions of modernity. Postmodern parody, ambiguity, irony, indeterminacy and contingency are seen to replace modern closure, unity, order, the absolute, and the rational” (Hutcheon ix). Boundaries are increasingly blurred—nationally and globally, everything is becoming hybridized. This theoretical shift in how we view culture and its artifacts directly reflects the technological

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