marc garrett on Mon, 14 Sep 2009 18:27:36 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Altermodernism: The Age of Stupid.

Sorry for any cross posting...

Altermodernism: The Age of Stupid.

Article by Ellie Harrison

Ellie Harrison highlights concerns for the future of humanity and the
future of art, focusing on 2 central texts: Bourriaud's Altermodern
Manifesto and a faux encyclopedia entry from the future which
retrospectively defines 'the Age of Stupid' released as promotional
material for Franny Armstrong's film.

"Set in the year 2055, The Age of Stupid focuses on a man living alone
in a world which has all but been destroyed by climate change. In an
attempt to understand exactly how such a tragedy could have befallen his
species and the society and culture which they created over the course
of several millennia, he begins to review a series of 'archive'
documentary clips from 2008. His aim is to discover how his ancestors -
the one generation of people who had the power to prevent the impending
disaster - could have demonstrated such disregard or contempt for the

"What is most terrifying about Bourriaud's Manifesto therefore, is its
absolute lack of acknowledgement of the real and dangerous future that
we face. Rather than speaking out and demanding the dramatic changes
that are necessary, it seems to support a continuation of the status quo
of the last twenty years. In his video interview on the Tate website,
Bourriaud describes the purpose of the altermodern as the "cultural
answer to alterglobalisation" (Bourriaud 2009a). However, rather than
questioning the carbon-heavy lifestyles that a globalised world promotes
he seems to complicitly buy into them, insisting that "our daily lives
consist of journeys in a chaotic and teeming universe".

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