Further adventures of the Avant Garde “ Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.”
In previous lectures we have established that; 1. The original function of the modern avant garde changed over the course of the twentieth century. 2. The intellectual and physical conditions of late modern culture have created a new context for a socially engaged practice. This lecture will examine a recent model for a socially engaged practice, that of Jurgen Habermas. Habermas, J. "Modernity: An Unfinished Project." in; Simon-Ingram, J. Critical Theory:The essential readings (1992) Paragon House
<ul><li>Socially-engaged is a term for an approach to visual arts practice where people and social or environmental contexts and artists' artistic and aesthetic concerns are brought together for mutual examination, exchange and experimentation. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.a-n.co.uk/cgi-bin/db2www.exe/topic.d2w/input?menu=2§ion=2&topic=74998&textonly=1 </li></ul>
<ul><li>"Acting" has multiple meanings -- "social action," "acting out," "acting the part." These meanings all converge in socially-engaged theatre. </li></ul><ul><li>In theatre, we find an especially accessible and personal connection to the idea of action. Popular theatre, people's theatre, instrumental theatre, political theatre, activist theatre -- we have rich traditions to draw on today. </li></ul>http://www.wwcd.org/action/action.html
Antonio Gramsci was the first person to challenge the modernist logic of transgressive avant gardism.
<ul><li>As early as 1964, Jonathan Miller, writing in the Times Literary Supplement , lamented: “We no longer seem able to imagine an experimental front, way up front the main body of art, beyond the reach of current understanding” </li></ul><ul><li>The reasons given for this apparent death varied, but generally can be summed up under three categories: that the avant-garde had failed in its political and social initiatives; that the glut of theory and criticism had created a supersaturated, stagnant environment that stifled the possibility of innovation; or, that the avant-garde was simply “condemned to death by its own idea of progress” (M, 40), that time had worn down the avant-garde and it had either devolved or self-destructed. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.trentu.ca/academic/cultstudies/305fw05/rooms/bedroom/autumn5.htm </li></ul>
What is an intellectual? An intellectual is anyone who has the opportunity to help create cultural praxis . Praxis is the practically expressed understanding of the self as a union between theory and practice. Praxis is in a constant state of flux as it attempts to create and resist hegemony.
We can see that there are links between Gramsci’s ideas of praxis and Giddens’ ideas of reflexivity. For Giddens, reflexivity begins with the availability of individuals and institutions to reflect upon their own circumstances. http://www.theory.org.uk/giddens.htm offers an accessible Discussion on Giddens and his work.
FEATURED LEGO SET - PART OF THE POPULAR THEORY.ORG.UK LEGO RANGE Anthony Giddens in his Study LEGO 5230 Anthony Giddens in his Study. Ages 16-35. 128 pieces. Giddens composes new works, reads books and discusses ideas in his office at the London School of Economics. The set includes one Anthony Giddens figure and two students.
Like Gramsci, Habermas privileges the role of reason. It is this promotion of reason as a universal tool for human communication that separates him from his critics who argue that reason is a hopelessly utopian idea and has manifestly failed in providing a satisfactory cultural environment for humankind.
Wikipedia as communicative action. And Habermas might argue that it isn’t. The notion of a “public sphere” is undermined by a narcissistic culture.
The formation of Wikipedia was the act of Jimmy Wales, who wished to create a free encyclopedia on the internet using free software.
Started in 2000, Wikipedia now has 22 million entries in 200 languages.
“ Through our work, every single person on the planet will have easy low cost access to free knowledge to empower them to do whatever it is that they want to do.” http://blog.jimmywales.com/
<ul><li>Communicative action is a concept associated with the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas . Habermas uses this concept to describe agency in the form of communication , which under his understanding is restricted to deliberation , i.e the free exchange of beliefs and intentions under the absence of domination. </li></ul><ul><li>In sociological terms, the communicative action is a social action that can be compared to instrumental action (self-interested), normative action (adapted to a shared value system) or dramaturgical action (one which is designed to be seen by others and to optimize our public self-image). Habermas claims that all of those actions are parasitic upon the communicative action, which goes beyond them (Habermas, 1991, volume 1., pp.82-101). </li></ul>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicative_action