This video essay was created as an assignment for an Art Appreciation class at Richland College. The purpose of the assignment was to find and explore an Art Movement, and provide artistic examples of how that art movement was unique.

In the video essay, Taylor Cleveland provides a brief historical context to “Post post-modernism”, and introduces Taylor Effin Cleveland as a specific example of that. The piece lives as digital media accessible through different social platforms that is constantly being engaged with.

 

Welcome to Post Post-Modernism

If someone were to describe today’s society in one word, that word would be change. Constant developments in technology and science on an everyday basis affect the way we live in our current world. Everything from the way we communicate, to the way we perceive life, to the small impulses we act upon at the convenient store are all dependent on the constant changes that we are exposed to due to advancements in technology. So where does that leave us in the art world? By exploring Modern, and Post-Modern themes and ideas(the most recent/relevant art movements), we start to see/understand where we are now, and what to expect for the future.

Before I dive into Modern/Post-Modernism, understanding different art movements is important to understanding cultures and the way they evolve. For example, the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The Middle Ages were times of trouble, chaos, and sickness, whereas The Renaissance was beauty, aesthetics, and prosperity. So what initiated the change? Well, its hard to pinpoint every factor, but the most important, in my opinion, would be society’s shared philosophy on what society is.

People were tired of being in chaos, tired of the trouble and sickness, so together, they started addressing the things they didn’t like, resulting in a period focused on creativity, beauty and structure. It seems to be this way for every art movement; a natural, somewhat logical progression to the next. So with that being said/understood, we move to Modernism.

Modernism found itself within the Industrial Revolution in the late 19th, early 20th century, with themes of progress, machinery, and efficiency. As time went on artists like Picasso, Rothko, Pollock, Rivera, and Lichtenstein became more dominant due to their relevancy in the modern ages. Their works focused not so much on aesthetics addressing beauty and class, or being the best per se, but they were “moving forward” through techniques and “efficiency,” while also depicting the modern times.

Modern authors like Fitzgerald, Kerouac, and Thompson acted in the same way. They depicted modern life through their non-traditional methods of telling their stories, and it is through this process of technique that made the artist.

In response to Modernism, Post Modernism was born. Beginning in architecture, post-modern set out to deconstruct and pick and choose from any/everything before, to find value, resulting in a loss of technique, and a stronger focus on the architect’s personality and taste. The natural progression from the architects to artists birthed a celebrity culture that once again, focused more on the artist’s personality rather than technique, giving us artists like Warhol, Basquiat, and Haring.

The most dominant form we see post-modernism in is within pop music. Artists like Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber tell the story of a time when the art isn’t within the artist’s art or even technique, because these artists have a team of people who make their art for them, but rather, the art is within the personality.

Due to the advancements of today’s technology, these ideas have trickled down to the general public through social media and digital networks online, so now, anyone can expose their art and personality to the world, giving these pop icons less leverage because there are stronger personalities that require a lot less work to maintain. For example, everyday people who have thousands of followers on outlets like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

So what does this mean? We are evolving into a Post Post-Modern society where artists have to use life as the medium. Artists must generate content in real time to add to their public personality that people want to keep up with and support. I predict that the next dominate artists will be well rounded people who know a lot about a lot, and can do everything they need to do to accomplish their vision on their own while simultaneously keeping up with their fans and followers.

“What comes next is something more authentic, more sincere, more earnest, less ironic, less sarcastic.”(Pastabagel)

My creative project/endeavor/outlet or whatever you want to call it is my self. I’m a painter, I’m a musician, I’m a producer, a DJ, a writer, a filmmaker, an actor, event coordinator, technology enthusiast, a student, a designer, a teacher, you can call me an entrepreneur, I’m 20 years old, and never before in history could someone like me make what I have made with my life so far. I come from a family with not a lot of money, but we are pretty smart, work hard, and motivated to move up, and that is where the next generation of artists will come from.

Everything here is my creative project and it is a constant work in progress that may never fully be achieved, but as we have seen, the art isn’t always within the works produced, or in the techniques, or even in the personalities. The art constantly evolves to different forms, so knowing where the art lies within me may seem a little difficult, but knowing that my art exists, is a pretty obvious observation.

Understanding our place in society allows us to know what our boundaries are, and knowing where our boundaries are lets us go passed them. Art is all about going passed boundaries, and with all of the technology available, and as we settle into our new Post Post Modern society, we will get to see the birth of a new form of art that blurs the line between concept and reality.

 

Works Cited

Pastabagel. “What Comes After Post Modernism.” Partial Objects. N.p., 19 Aug. 2011. Web. <http://partialobjects.com/2011/08/what-comes-after-postmodernism/>.