C AN WE SPEAK OFPOSTMODERN HISTORY ? Not if we take postmodern theory seriously. Postmodernism challenges the idea of unilinear history.
A RCHITECTURE CLAIMS TO HAVE A PRECISE DATE FOR THE INAUGURATION OF POSTMODERNISM ...
T HE DESTRUCTION OF P RUITT- LODGE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN ST. L OUIS , MISSOURI Charles Jencks: “This proclaimed the death of the International Style of Modernist architecture, the end of “buildings as machines for living” envisioned by the abstract functionalist”.
PO MOV ERNACULAR In 1972, the American Architect Robert Venturi formulated the postmodern creed. In place of the unilateral “glass boxes”, po mo architects offers the vernacular, an emphasis on the local and particular as opposed to modernist universalism. A return to ornament, with reference to the historic past and its symbolism, but in the ironic manner of parody, pastiche, and quotation.
V ENTURI AND OTHER POSTMODERNS PROPOSE A ― COMICSTRIP ‖ ARCHITECTURE — ECLECTIC , AMBIGOUS , HUMUROUS : UNPRETENTIOUS . The New York AT&T Tower now, the SONY Tower by Philip Johnson.
Po mo Architecture’s ironic energy, its radical eclecticism, seem to give immedicate credibility to postmodern theory. This is because the building itself serves as visible proof of the theory. Le Cobusier: “We could achieve the transformation of sociallife by transforming architectural space as a substitute for political revolution.”
C OMPUTERIZING DIFFERENCE Modernist experimenters failed to change the world of capitalism—in fact, the utopian purity of their glass towers ended by glorifying the power of banks, airlines and multinational corporations. Po mo architects CANNOT avoid being employees of capitalism. They CANNOT invent history simply by changing the look of buildings.
C HARLES JENCKS Computer-modelling , automated production and sophisticated market research allow us to mass produce a variety of styles and almost personalized products.
Theorists believe that computer can replace the stereotyped uniformity of modernism by multiplying difference...
H YPERMODERNISM The amnesiac zone of postmodernity Technology and economics merge and are disguised by alternative labels. Example: olestra,a sucrose polyester of hyperreal fat
CYBERIA Cyberspace -coined by science-fiction writer William Gibson in his novel “Neuromancer” - defined as “consensual hallucination” - any “room” or any space generated by software within a computer that produces a Virtual-Reality experience. - designed to trick our senses that we are in another world
CYBER Cybernauts - those seeking computer driven transendence and travelling through cyberspace Cyberpunk - started all the cyber-enthusiasm - represents the implosion of the future into the present and total intrusion of technology into human lives.
Cyberculture - the culture spawned by cyberpunks and cybernauts Cyberia - civilization springing up on-line
J EAN B AUDRILLARD• The trueneuromancer-theorist of PoMo.• Introduced thefour phases ofimages
S TEP 1: T HE IMAGE IS A REFLECTION OF BASIC REALITY A paintingby VincentVan Gogh.
S TEP 2: THE IMAGE MASKS AND PERVERTS A BASIC REALITYClassicalPre- Industrial PhaseAn image is a counterfeit of reality“Art Imitates Life”
S TEP 3: THE IMAGE MARKS THE ABSENCE OF A BASIC REALITYAge of mass reproduction
S TEP 4: THE POST- MODERN SIMULACRUM- asimulacra, expensive street–credmodels, sportwears withnothing to dowith sports
C YBERIAN STREETSCENES :POSTMODERN HABITAT Advertising Hyperreality - advertising is not merely to create dreams and desires, but to endanger a new commodified reality shaped by a company’s logo or slogan.
The Benetton campaign encapsulates the past, present, and future in a single time frame offering images which conjure historic, futuristic, and apocalyptic element within a grammar of race. Difference is commodified and a portrait of plurality is produced. This is advertising as a “social conscience”, an artificially constructed reality that projects an image of harmony to sell a brand name.
X- RATED CYBERSEX GAMES Cybersex fiction takes a quantum leap towards reality with the arrival of the “teledildonic” suit. This consists of a head-piece with video and audio input connected to a suit that stimulates erogenous zones.
M ADONNA , CYBERGIRL Postmodern icon of the 80’s The Queen of Appropriation The Cyber-Model of the New Woman
E NDLESSLYC ONTEMPORARY AMNESIA Hyperactivity - Zapping or zero-consciousness- is a postmodern symptom of impatience without depth. The traditional richness and subtlety of nature, art and religion have faded away before our eyes and we are left with the “recession of reality”. Zapping out the past
T HIRD W ORLD POSTMODERNISM Islam and the so-called third world are left out of most accounts of postmodernism. Parallels on the condition of colonial or neo-colonial dependency. Transformed post-modernism into a culture of resistance.