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Carly's avatar

What will come after the postmodern era?

Asked by Carly (4550points) August 3rd, 2010

I took an Art and Literature Theory class just recently and the last era of thought we studied was Postmodernism. The class ended with the idea that the world may or may not be in this era, and also that the next era is still highly debated about when it comes to what features it will possibly have.

what’s your opinion on this matter? do you believe we have moved out of Postmodernism? What could we be all headed for, or already in? Also, what do you think this new era will be called?

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66 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t know what the next phase (if any) will be called but I have always thought that the feature that would separate it from postmodernism would be that we, as subjects, would be indivisible from the spectacle as it is being played out. When we ventured into postmodernism and got to Baudrillard defining the age of simulacra, we still (on some level) were able to see culture around us and deconstruct it as a separate product. In the future, as technology and humans fall into one another and get more intermingled, there will be no boundaries – the reality show will be from our living rooms, from our heads (that will have computers within them) and people will be their own stars – that’s where this obsession with consumption is getting us.

janbb's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sounds like you’re talking about Facebook. Maybe it will be called Facebookism?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb Exactly, as FB is one of the features of the new generation – it is indicative of the kind of thing I’m talking about. I don’t think it’ll be called Facebookism because people will not admit to it being so important to them – you see, another feature of this new phase will be one’s complete negation and denial of the very thing that sustains them – a superficial nihilism or superficial activism (I’m going to buy something ‘Green’ today and buy and buy and buy).

Rarebear's avatar

The postmodern era has already lasted too long. I’m hoping it breaths its last breath soon.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rarebear Why do you say that? And what do you hope will replace it?

lillycoyote's avatar

Whatever it is, whatever mode of thinking about the world it is that follows “postmodernism,” the only sure thing, in my humble opinion, is that it will be a world view created by academics, discussed and argued about endlessly by academics, will be the subject and theoretical foundation of an almost infinite number of doctoral dissertations and professorships and will, in the end, eventually be replaced by some other world view, equally useful or useless. Really, I’m not an anti-intellectual, really, I’m not, I’m just kind of practical and pragmatic, just my nature. Yes, these things have value, the inquiry and investigation and theorizing and the contemplation and thought all has value; I have no argument with that, but, well… in the end, the world has real problems and if just a few more of those bright minds and critical theorists would put themselves and their minds out there, in the service of solving those problems, I, for one, would be much happier, but that’s just me.

YARNLADY's avatar

Phases are named by the successors of the phase. The next generation will choose a name that best typifies the previous generation

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lillycoyote I hope to both be in academics and create real change – I think I will succeed in this.

DominicX's avatar

I really hope to God we don’t call it post-postmodernism. Can’t we come up with something better than that? It’s time to start a new reference term.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Knowing what I know of you, and that may not be a whole lot, but I sometimes have a pretty good sense of these things, I have absolutely no doubt that you will succeed and I feel very good knowing that you are smart, educated and “on the side of the angels” as they say.

lillycoyote's avatar

@DominicX Sorry, post-postmodernism, if you maybe wanted it as your username, is already taken; not available. Maybe post-postmodernism123?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lillycoyote Thanks, I do need support sometimes like your words.
@DominicX In online discussions, people have called it post-postmodernism – we can just call it postmodernism redoux.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

After Post Modern comes the Age of the Petabyte. It’s already begun.

zophu's avatar

Probably a little bit of mass-death. Then some kind of enlightenment, hopefully.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zophu Sounds just like an orgasm!

lillycoyote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Good, everyone needs some support sometimes and hopefully, knowing what you know of me, and that may not be whole lot, you at least know that I am not a suck up or given to flattery for the sake of flattery. I really do think that you will make your way in the world, informed and with passion, and make it a better place.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m still living in the Age of Aquarius

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I would totally make Simone my president.

kevbo's avatar

When I studied this question (very briefly) 17 years ago and as it relates to architecture, the postulation was about two threads: technological façacdes and modular construction.

What the discussion above sounds like is a variant of transhumanism—a melding of technology and the human body and mind.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DrasticDreamer My god, I would never go into politics. :)
@kevbo Something I am totally in favor of.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

After post modernism comes PMS.

post modernism sucks

Rarebear's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Because I see the world and universe as a hard reality. Postmodern relativists like Deepak Chopra, who believe that the moon is just a quantum probability if you don’t see it, is just crazy. Here is a humerous example of my point of view on the matter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB_htqDCP-s

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rarebear That vid is pretty funny but I don’t think Storm represents post-modernism, whatsoever. No one in that story does, not to me, anyway.

zophu's avatar

I tend to think of the “next step” more as ascending to being human, rather than transcending it.

SeventhSense's avatar

It doesn’t matter. These concepts are all created in looking back and creating a convenient framework around works of art or a group of art coming from a certain corner of the globe. They are then reconsidered, interpreted and analyzed as to their involvement with previous movements and it’s all just constantly fluid. There are always a few really influential artists and these are very significant indicators of a climate and have strong impact on the art world. Pablo Picasso for example. Maybe someone like a Chuck Close today.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zophu Is that definable?
@SeventhSense – don’t know why I so rarely think of art when discussing postmodernism – it’s how I began studying it, after all.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Well yes it’s definitely more than art. It’s just my introduction to it as well.

zophu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Being human? Not really. . . Or only really. I mean, the definition isn’t going to fit in a dictionary. It just is, whatever it is.

LostInParadise's avatar

I read an article on this question not too long ago. I can’t locate the article, but I can summarize it. In postmodernism, although the viewer is able to interpret the work without regard to original intent, there is at least separation between the artist and the viewer. The article expressed the idea that we are getting away from that distinction. We have reality television shows where the viewers get to participate by voting off members of the show. We have Wikipedia, where people are free to alter what is written. There seem to have been a number of cases of plagiarism lately and someone even wrote a book defending the practice. In the view of the article, the postmodern age is being replaced by the interactive age.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zophu So can there be a society if each of us strives to be human, given our own understanding of it? Does it take us back to tribal times? What of societies living as tribes right now?
@LostInParadise – exactly!

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
the reality show will be from our living rooms, from our heads (that will have computers within them) and people will be their own stars – that’s where this obsession with consumption is getting us.
I think we’re already there.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense In some ways, yes but there isn’t enough fusing (in my opinion) with technology on a biological level. Stephenson, in The Diamond Age really gets at how all of this will play out.

zophu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It’s just how I tend to think. “The future is achieving humanity,” whatever humanity is. I can’t define my sense of humanity, let alone what humanity actually is. Although, I’ve thought before, that “trying to achieve humanity is being human.” I guess humanity, to me, is almost synonymous with balance. But that’s not something that can be defined either.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zophu Yep. Tough stuff. Can be both meaningful and meaningless – kind of like postmodernism.

Rarebear's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Postmodernism is the rejection of an objective truth. I reject that rejection. That said, I really do like postmodern classical music. (And I do realize that you consider yourself a postmodern when it comes to gender roles, and that’s one aspect of postmodernism that I accept).

SeventhSense's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Well biologically no, but I think we have thoroughly entered the age of Narcissism.

zophu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir About the tribal stuff. There’s no going back to tribal times and modern tribes are ultimately unsustainable as they are, I think. The definition of tribalism, for me, is an organization where people work for themselves, from themselves. I imagine that, in the future, civilization will be much more like a tribe in that it is clearly understood by all people involved through efficient sharing of information. It’s not about the size of the group, it’s about the awareness the group has of itself.

Maybe that is the “next step.” Civilization becomes truly self-aware.

Oh, and it’s not meaningless. It’s just disrespectful to try and define it with anything less than being it.

Coloma's avatar

I just live in my own era, early bohemian abstract. lol

@zophu

” Maybe that is the “next” step, ” Civilization becomes truly self-aware.

ZING!

zophu's avatar

@Coloma it felt zingy

Coloma's avatar

We can only hope!

mammal's avatar

don’t know. perhaps an even deeper skepticism, perhaps therefore an ever more sophisticated rhetoric with which to justify one persons mistreatment of another. Maybe a cyber propaganda war of epic proportions.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Coloma And to paraphrase: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that ZING!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

do whap do whap do whap do wahp do!

Coloma's avatar

@lillycoyote
@RealEyesRealizeRealLies

Thanks heaps guy’s…7a.m. sharp, hittin’ the road and NOW..I have been imprinted with that song…lol

Zyx's avatar

after the postmodern era will come the postpostmoden era

@DominicX The fact we used the word “post” already makes the system worthless, no use denying it.

mammal's avatar

…....perhaps the complete abandonment of the thinking, intellectual fetish ie total relinquishment of philosophical aporia for the here the now and the this.

Hobbes's avatar

My understanding of Modernism is that is what happened when artists like Jackson Pollock realized there was no reason art had to be restricted to the creation of illusion. Before Modernism, most painting was concerned with creating the illusion of a three-dimensional space behind the canvas. The Modernists were saying “look, this is just paint on canvas, but it’s still interesting to look at”.

Post-modernism came about when people began to realize that there was no reason for art to have any restrictions at all. To the postmodernists, every expression of human creativity was fair game for deconstruction, interpretation and recombination. Andy Warhol pointed out, for example, that advertisements and commercial images only differed from museum art in purpose, not in aesthetic value. Furthermore, any expression of creativity was valid, and the traditional divisions of art into categories like “sculpture”, “painting” and “performance” were meaningless.

As people above me have pointed out, however, there was still a division between artist and viewer. The relationship was still one of transmission from a creator to a receiver. It seems the trend has been to break down this barrier as well, facilitated by the ease with which creative work can be shared and altered through modern technology. I imagine that the line between artist and audience (which is illusory anyway) will become ever more blurred as we go into the future.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rarebear I agree with that rejection – there are fields in which the rejection of objective truth makes sense and some where it isn’t fruitful – while I do agree with some postmodernists in rejection of the way society puts science on a pedestal and in trying to analyze scientists and their world as full of constructs and human fallibility (in the way science has been historicized, accepted, rejected, etc.), I don’t agree with saying ‘Gravity is just a construct’ without giving due to facts as we understand them now.
@SeventhSense Completely agree
@zophu Sadly, I truly believe, people are becoming less and less self-aware and I know how this next bit will sound but I’ll say it anyway: the more we disconnect ourselves from nature and focus our happiness on individual progress (rather than that of a community and Earth itself) amidst exponentially expanding in number choices, the worst it’ll be. Capitalism is not in crisis, it is the crisis (someone once wrote in Adbusters).

zophu's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Well, that’s where the little bit of mass-death comes in to play.

zophu's avatar

@Coloma Oh, I see, the postmodern era is all about self-awareness. Well, I wouldn’t have believed it if someone told me instead of mocked me for being unaware anyway. or maybe I would have

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir “people are becoming less and less self-aware”

Could this be the consequence of suffering through an era Post Modernism?

Perhaps we should step into an era of Cognitive Prevalence.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Not for me – Because of post modernism, I feel much more aware of what’s going on around me – I am a child of deconstruction, so to speak and it has served me well.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

How does one set about constructing deconstructionism?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Why, are you particularly interested in that as a project?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Oh yes. The only mechanism that I’m aware of that one can use to construct deconstructionism is psychedelic drugs. I’ve been studying them for years, yet not had the opportunity nor the bravado to actually partake. But I find the Psychedelic community fascinating nonetheless.

I’m not speaking of recreational drugs. I speak of the once a year shamanic experience that breaks down deep seated cultural boundaries, addictions, prejudices, etc…

The Psychedelic community claims to have found the Philosophers Stone. It suggests a quicker path to enlightenment than long term suffering or religion requires. Yet it is still a planned event, thus it is specifically designed to construct deconstructionism. I asked because I’m very interested in how one becomes a child of deconstruction. If it is pursued with intention, then that pursuit is constructed.

And I further propose that will give us clues to what comes after the era post modernism. The ability to find one’s self, by deconstructing the self, indicates a desire for cognitive prevalence. Very similar the the message of Christ. Practically identical, in that the old self must die, and the new life is born.

Coloma's avatar

I went through the enlightenment process about 7–8 years ago now…words fail me.

The ‘new’ self is fully integrated these days, but the highs and transformations were nothing short of a miracle.

My shift had nothing to do with psychedelic drug use, although I had a few of those experiences way back when.

I think a ‘natural’ awakening is preferable, but I see and respect the place of these drugs as aides to the process.

zophu's avatar

It is possible that psychedelic drug use was natural through points in our species’ evolution. It may even be that there are natural brain functions that depend upon it. I don’t know if shrooms should be handed out with vaccines, but I think they should at least be legal under regulation.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I have rubbed shoulders with some of the psychedelic community – as you know I’m a big fan of Alex Grey and have one of his paintings tattooed on me – he is a big proponent of psychedelics as a way to reach the universe – to plug in, so to speak. I am strictly anti-drug though, for myself and I think doing psychedelics as a way to enlightenment is a privilege because people into this forget how drugs are cycled in the U.S. and from where and at what cost people get high.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’m just interested in all potential pathways to, to, to whatever… So I’m interested in yours based upon your comments.

I don’t reject anything. Certainly few would accept the pathway I have chosen. Perhaps I’ll pursue Alchemy next. Initial learning indicates that it is most capable of constructing deconstructionism.

Hobbes's avatar

I have had the opportunity to take psychedelics on several occasions, and would agree that when treated with respect and taken in the proper context they can be incredibly powerful tools for both introspection and transcending the ego. I think one of the ultimate goals of postmodernism is to allow an awareness of the self and an awareness of the illusion of self, a dissolution of boundaries, and it seems that psychedelics can help one achieve this state. I don’t see a conflict between their use and the pursuit of other spiritual practices. In fact, I think psychedelics are best used in conjunction with systems like meditation and yoga.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I imagine you’re referring to organized crime, but from what I know the origins of psychedelics tend to be less violent. Mushrooms grow wild in parts of the US, and can be fairly easily grown in a home, so the distribution network is generally separate from the more dangerous organizations. LSD is extremely difficult to synthesize, and so the distribution networks are smaller and tied to a single individual. Plus, mushrooms and LSD are non-addictive and so don’t give a consistent profit on large scales.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Thanks @Hobbes

A little closer to the OP, one thing I’ve noticed in current art (the past 20 years) is a trend towards mocking pop culture. Perhaps history will look back on this era as the Age of the Cynic.

Hobbes's avatar

It seems to me though that art has mocked or undermined the status quo since time immemorial. In fact, I think that’s one of its main functions. And while we may be more cynical in some ways, we are more gullible than ever.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Pop culture should absolutely be mocked – that’s realistic, not cynical.

mammal's avatar

or post materialism….that sounds really nice :) i think storm would agree

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