Week 12

7 thoughts on “Week 12

  1. Wickham Flanagan

    I find the more socio-economic angle of postmodernism to be interesting as I wouldn’t have surmised how much postmodern living has impacted the way capitalism functions. I mostly thing of postmodernism in terms of aesthetics and the arts, though I find it odd that Kellner interprets Blade Runner to be postmodern. Is it because it exists in a world of overrun futuristic modernism? There are all of the aesthetic trappings of a modernist society, but thanks to the homogenization of cultures within the film, this modern look is overrun by the multi-cultural noise of a postmodern society. I liked Huston Smith’s definition of postmodernism the best, in that it is a reality that is unordered and ultimately unknowable. This reflects all of the paranoid thinking of some interpretations of postmodernism (in terms of being in service to robots, the “system,” and the like) with the more generalized caveat that we petty humans will never understand the ramifications postmodernism has on us.

    This is just a side note not really relating to content, but I appreciated Bell Hook’s more conversational, first-person perspective to writing as his initial anecdote and tone got me into the piece easier. I really liked his look at the hypocrisy of how the contemporary discourse that recognizes and celebrates inclusive “otherness” is said in “a language rooted in the very master narratives it claims to challenge.” Hook’s approach seems to be rather pessimistic on the nature of postmodernism in general, especially in how it doesn’t incorporate the black sense of being. I’d like to read a bunch of articles written by black philosophers who ruminated on the black experience perceiving various white dominated philosophical movements. I’ll do a little research and see if I can find more interestingly incendiary approaches to white dominated theorizing.

    I find irony to be a powerful tool in my daily life and it is the one symptom of postmodernism that I can’t live without personally. I incorporate it into most of my artwork.

  2. Namrata Sathe

    I have always found postmodernism as a theoretical concept to be very interesting to read about and also to apply in the analysis of popular culture and film. This week, I found Linda Hutcheon’s piece on postmodernism to be most useful. Although, postmodern parody can be easily dismissed as having no political value and being used only for imitation or nostalgia, if used well, it can also have a political edge and make a strong point. Hutcheon’s statement that parody is an “ironic form of intertextuality” that “installs and subverts” at the same time indicates that postmodernism and parody need not be meaningless and nihilistic. The decentering of grand narratives can actually be quite useful to those producing art from the margins. Postmodernism in some senses can be viewed as irrational, but I feel that it has great subversive potential.

    I found Lyotard’s excerpt from The Postmodern Condition very challenging to read because it was so dense, but even then, his views on how knowledge is used by the state to legitimize itself is again useful in talking about mass culture. Lyotard says that science should not be answerable to social and political practice, and should only be answerable to truth. If I am interpreting this correctly, then Lyotard is saying that any kind of knowledge should be free from the service of the government or any type of authoritative power. This sounds idealistic, but I can see how it would be dangerous for knowledge to be controlled by governments. If this idea is extended to cultural production, say film, then films would end up becoming propagandist and safe if they were regulated by the state. Lyotard’s ideas are useful for my research because I am interested in looking at how the content of films is dependent on who is producing and funding them.

  3. Kit Paulson

    I am excited about postmodernism because it seems to be relevant to craft theory which is what I am most interested in thinking and writing about. Everything about it is relevant to craft. The contemporary crafted object necessarily refers to the past because one of the most important things about craft itself is an understanding of historical techniques and materials. Most contemporary craft objects refer both to the past and the present by the nature of their existence.

    Postmodernism is also relevant in that it pushes the barriers between high art and other, “lower” categories of art, craft often being situated as one of these lower disciplines. Craft historically has been treated like a red-headed stepchild in the art world and it is good to find a theory that suggests that there need not be a choice between art and craft. Some people react against the art/craft divide by choosing one or the other but I like the both/and approach of postmodernism. I like the idea that there are differences but not oppositions between terms.

    I think that the postmodernist idea of situated knowledges is also useful in thinking about craft because of the aural tradition aspect of craft knowledge.

    P.S. Can we talk about the term “postdisciplinary”? People bandy that word around a lot in craft theory and I want to know more about how it is related to postmodernism.

  4. Laura Jimenez Morales

    I found the readings this week to be interesting because while postmodernism is something we have mentioned in class before, the concept and meaning of postmodernism was not very clear to me. I thought that the reading by Linda Hutcheon was helpful in explaining postmodernism as a mixture of opposites, something that is modern but at the same time makes reference to the historical, and mostly something that deals a lot with the idea of contradiction. I found the reading by Jean Baudrillard to be interesting as well, although I found some of the things he said to be confusing, particularly the parts where he talks about the map engendering the territory. I think he was trying to say something about what we consider to be real and what is actually real, but in the end, I don’t feel like it was very clear.
    My favorite reading was the one by bell hooks, where she says postmodernism seems to her like a theory that excludes. because she says it is dominated mainly by “the voices of male, white intellectuals.” While I do not know enough about postmodernism to say that I agree with this statement, I definitely think it brings up some interesting points that I hope we will discuss today in class.

  5. Edmond

    Postmodernism is somewhat tricky to me. If postmodernism claims to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, and races, and focuses on the relative truths of each person, then why are so many minorities, like black theorist and scholars, excluded from the movement?…
    bell hooks article, Postmodern Blackness discusses how black scholars are excluded from the conversation of postmodernism. hooks made a statement in her article that was very profound to me. She spoke about how scholars who discuss postmodernism do not include black scholars, especially black women scholars. This is one of the reasons why I asked the question at the beginning; if postmodernism is inclusive to everyone, then why are black women scholars and black women academics excluded from the conversation?

  6. SuYeon Kim

    Procession of simulacra- I was really glad I had a chance to read this article. Honestly, I remember I had read about part of ‘simulacra and simulation’ by Jean Baudrillard but I was not understand the concept at all.. But now I am still progress of understanding the idea of simulacra but I was able to feel pleasure when I was searching the examples of simulacra/simulation as I was reading the article. Simulation and simulacra can be explained with pretty early in the history, if we talk about copying/reproducing the original piece or recreating something based from the real life. For instance, classical portrait paintings, and then photography, and now TV, and Disney land.. If we view our current life with perspective of Baudrillard, simulacra are all over the place. And Baudrillard mentioned that simulacra is concealing which one hasn’t and it implies it have some absence, and simulacra threatens the ‘real’ and ‘unreal’. I am not sure Braudrillard is thinking simulacra is good thing or bad thing (I might check it out reading that whole book) but I think the existence of simulacra, which twist what is real and unreal, is just defining our current circumstances (..postmodernism?) And most of the people are noticing the simulacra is unreal or hyperreal, so it feels like we really don’t care (or don’t be afraid of the existence simulacra in daily life)

    ‘Postmodernism’ by Linda Hutcheon – Hutcheon is defining ‘postmodern’ way of thinking is using ‘both/and’ kind of logic, which can allow it can be blending of different kinds of theories or openly talk about the familiar binaries. And Hutcheon mentioned that ‘post’ have a sence of temporally ‘after’ and conceptually ‘beyond’. And as reading Linda Hutcheon’s and Andy Grundberg, Jean Baudrillad’s reading.. I strongly feel that ‘postmodern’ or ‘postmodernity’ is really fluid concept. It is really active, sometimes references from the modern era but add more layer top on it.. It might be postmodern era is not end/ we are in postmodern era (or it didn’t come yet?)

  7. jamie sheffer

    Lina Hutcheon article Postmodernism states how the definition of postmodernism is not consistent, molded differently in dance, theater, film, literature, music, philosophy, and so on. She describes the postmodern way of thinking as, “making distinctions but not making choices between the popular and the elite” (116). She argues that postmodern forces us to deconstruct conventional thinking as well as thinking outside of social binaries. Its a parody of modernism, institutes self-reflexivity.

    Bell Hooks Postmodern Blackness emphasizes the otherness and difference postmodernism constructs, and black identity which is considered other in society. She believes postmodern deconstruction of identity is problematic. Hooks calls for decolonization to become a resinating element of postmodernism. Hooks argues that postmodernism, “should not separate the ‘politics of difference’ from the politics of racism” (456). She also argues class needs to be a more prominent factor.

    I’m interested in postmodernism in relation to the horror genre. What is considered a postmodern monster? Would the films Teeth or It Follows fall into this? Is the monster in general postmodern since it is usually a manifestation of otherness living in conventional society?

    Side note: does anyone else think posting icons look like monster vaginas?

Leave a Reply