Questions for Nicholas Bourriaud

Before I can begin to understand Nicholas Bourriaud’s definition of Altermodernism, I must have a few questions answered:

Q: If Post-modernism is dead, when did it die and what should be written on its epitaph?

“What is postmodernism?” This notorious question has been dodged by students and artists alike for decades. David Foster Wallace avoided this question at all costs, and he is, arguably the epitome of postmodern authors. When did this become an easier question to answer? If it still cannot be answered, how can we be so damn sure that a new period of art exists? There seems to be a pretty clear shift from Modernism into Postmodernism. The rise of mass media seemed to usher in the era of relative truth, yet still, it appears that when anyone asks the question, what is postmodernism, everyone shrugs and says “no fair.” If this period is dead, define it in a phrase. What can we write on its tombstone?


Q: Can Altermodernism fit within the realm of the Postmodern?

It appears to me that we don’t even need the label Altermodernism. In his comic Nicholas Bourriaud defines Altermodernism as art on a Trans-global scale. Is this art anything more than this: transglobal? Why claim that Postmodernism is dead? Transglobal art is aware of relative experience is it not? What is fundamentally different in their two MO’s? Please I would really love to know?


Q: Why not Metamodernism?

In an article written by Seth Abramson of the Huffingtonpost he very clearly defines the difference between Postmodernism and what he believes to be Meta. In this article he stresses the necessary components of Postmodernism and why we are moving in a different direction. He claims the age of the internet is making way to this new era of rejecting distance. If Postmodernism was about the distance between irony and sincerity, cynicism and naivete, then Metamodernism collapses these distances. Artists create art on a global scale in order to create positive change in world communities.

Q: I find the argument for Metamodernism more compelling. Can you open my eyes? 

It’s hard for me to believe another modernist manifesto can be written without discussing the internet! The internet has changed EVERYTHING. It has affected everything from popular culture to social discourse. We have apps like tinder that allow us to meet strangers we are sexually attracted to. Uber is crushing taxi drivers everywhere. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are United States presidential candidates. I refuse to believe that the art that is being created today is not influenced by the transglobal monster that is the internet! Not until someone can explain it to me.

Nicholas. I want to believe. Please… please…


Link to Metamodernist ponderings from huffpost:


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