2004/12/07

On Postmodernism (2)

Post-modernism will see the center of capitalistic power shifting towards north-east Asia with China as its center. This process that is already at work should last some 50 more years at least and shall gradually pull in its track the emergence of Chinese culture on the world stage and in the process, I bet that Beijing shall impose itself as the world's premier cultural center.
But what does this imply in terms of content in the arts? Well, first and foremost we'll assist at the relegation to the dustbin of history of large swathes of so called "Western post-modern" visual productions. I don't think for an instant that this could be a loss since most of those productions are no more than garbage that only collectors' greed can establish as works of art.
I firmly believe that post-modernism will establish:

- the primacy of a new worldview resulting from the encounter of the knowings of modern science with traditional systems of wisdom as the Yi-Ching, philosophic Taoism, Buddhism... Spontaneous emergence, systemic self-organization, non determination of outcome will fuse with the teachings of the Tao to give us a worldview of life as surfing on the waves of changes toward our image of the future.

- personal visions of this worldview will take center stage instead of the visions of schools and that of their masters. Western individualism will mutate at the contact of Chinese individualism that exercises itself within the boundaries of "the way of things" and "the virtue of morality" that follows the way. Artists personal visions are thus not so much individualist endeavours but more like their visual particularization of the worldview at the attention of the individuals of the group they belong to.

- the primacy of the principle of rich intellectual content + technical skills that are so much absent of the Western visual art scene nowadays will come back with a vengeance.

What drives humanity over the long haul is not its economy, it is unmistakenly it's culture, it's ways of behaving, it's ways of interacting with the other species, the environment and it is evident that we are doing very poorly on that level. We have more goods than at any time in our history but the more our economies enrich, the more our cultures "empoor" and in this process humanity's chances of survival are thinning fast.
The coming cultural input of China could not be better timed.

I know that the conclusions that I express here are pole apart from the views and theories expressed by most recognized authorities on the arts in Western countries, from the left as well as from the right. But I have the weakness to think that both sides of the Western intelligentsia are wrong, I think that both behave as pure Westerncentrics.
They know that there is a world out there. They know that it is different from the Western world, another world that has another understanding of realities but that's about all they know. They generally know nothing about the ideas, the values and the ways of behaving inside that external world that, let's never forget, represents 80-85% of the world population. Could it be that 15-20% of the world population would have for ever in its hands the destiny of humanity?
Never, that's pure Westerncentric delusion.

One thing is for sure, our future can't be thought of as a simple projection into the future of trends observed today within the Western world. It is in that particular sense that I pretend that the present dominant description given of Post modernism shall be fast forgotten.

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