Okay, I really want to know what people think, or, hopefully, know about this.
Are we still postmodern or are we post-postmodern. What's the deal, y'all? I've gotten the impression from some people that postmodernism has already eaten itself. But then I've read that this self-consumption is also a mode of postmodernism. Or is this the global age? If so, what does that mean in terms of art/literature?
I know we're moving through a moment in history when we are obsessed with trying to name our own situation, which is easy enough, but most likely fifty or one hundred years from now we will have been named/labeled/categorized as something else. We seem to be aiming for a kind of cultural filing process that can turn and historically analyze what happened five minutes ago. I'm not sure what to think about this. Pros and cons, I guess.
In terms of art, we're still doing things the postmoderns and many before them did: heavy experimentation (which probably has never really stopped since humans began making art), collage (which is not new), hyper self-consciousness, struggling with the meaning of form and the impotence/richness of language (again, nothing groundbreaking).
The thing that seems to set this moment apart is available technology and the increasingly wide variety of media, the mixture of different mediums. We are becoming proficient at mimicking past modes of artistic expression. We can move from surrealism to collage to stream of consciousness, and we can blend them to produce a new mode of expression. [disclaimer: use of the term 'we' is acknowledged to be a sweeping generalization]
Is our moment the art of mimicry? Have we gone from the Age of Production and Consumption to the Age of Regurgitation and Defecation? I'm not suggesting as much as asking.
I'm sure I haven't read enough about art history and the concept of modernism/postmodernism, though. So any suggested reading will be appreciated. Obviously, Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition and maybe Fredric Jameson's Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Also, is postmodernism a concept developed almost entirely by Marxists/Post-Marxists?
See, these are the kinds of things on my mind all the time. When some people are thinking about their favorite TV shows tonight, or drinkin beer, or watching the game, I spend my time wondering What is our historical situation and what cultural trajectory are we on? I'm not saying this to feel superior or self-righteous, because if I had good cable I would have all kinds of favorite TV shows; I'm just saying that my mental gears often make it tough to relate to the outside world in an unawkward way.
I've tried to just not think about things so much, and I've succeeded, but then I just felt empty and miserable. Boo hoo. I know.
So, any input is appreciated.