Cult@edu.Com

By Taylor, Mark C. | Bucknell Review, June 2002 | Go to article overview

Cult@edu.Com


Taylor, Mark C., Bucknell Review


THINGS are shifting we are caught a and in middle that seems to have neither a clear beginning nor evident ending. This situation is not, of course, new, for we are always betwixt and between without any certainty of where we have come from and where we are heading. Nevertheless, this time things appear to be different--the shift seems more shifty, the middle more muddled. There is a pervasive awareness that something is passing away but no clear sense of what is emerging. Many people realize that we live in a "post" age but have no idea how to imagine what might be coming next. Indeed, the post age is largely defined by a preoccupation with recycling the old and suspicion of the new. When everything seems caught in the web of the "always already," we are left with a recombinant culture in which creative innovation no longer seems possible. Been there, done that--always already been there, done that.

And yet, things are shifting--something is passing away but something is also emerging. Not everyone shares the suspicion of the new; indeed, now, as always, prophets confidently proclaim the New Age that is arriving in our midst. The louder prophets preach, however, the more suspicious critics become, and, conversely, the more critics criticize, the louder the prophets shout. This struggle between prophets and critics involves contrasting assessments of the impact of technology on social, political, economic, and cultural processes. As the millennium begins, many technophiles are rewriting the Western metanarrative of progress to fit the information age.

To appreciate the importance of this shift, it is helpful to understand its historical context. While critics often interpret the excessive faith in technology as an extension of the Enlightenment narrative of the liberating effects of universal reason, the utopian expectations of technophilies actually must be traced to the notion of salvation history, which characterizes the Western theological tradition. In the secular version of this three-part story, the ages of the Father, Son, and Spirit become the eras of agrarianism (farming), industrialism (manufacturing), and postindustrialism (information). (1) Throughout the course of modernity, belief in the salvific potential of technology has been widespread and sometimes is found among unlikely suspects. During the early decades of this century, art effectively displaced religion as the vehicle for human salvation. Influential members of the avant-garde insisted that the artist is a modern prophet who would lead the way to the Promised Land, which was envisioned as a utopian human community. Such a community would, in effect, be a beautiful work of art. No longer isolated from the world by being hung on a wall or set on a pedestal, art becomes worldly as the world is transformed into a work of art. This transformation is the end of the work of art in every sense of the term. On the occasion of the controversial 1921 exhibition entitled "5 X 5 = 25" mounted by Moscow's Institute for Artistic Culture (INKhUK), Rodchenko echoed Hegel and Nietzsche's proclamation of the death of God by confidently declaring:

   Art is dead! ... Art is as dangerous as religion as an escapist
   activity ... Let us cease our speculative activity and take over
   the healthy bases of art--color, line, materials and forms into
   the field of reality, of practical construction. (2)

However, just as the death of God is not a simple negation but is a complex process in which the divine becomes incarnate when the profane is grasped as sacred, so art ends not because it disappears but because it appears everywhere. Art ends when everyone, in Andy Warhol's famous words, "becomes an artist" and the world itself finally becomes a work of art. For Rodchenko, the move from "speculative activity" to "practical construction" entails a commitment to create socially useful products. Turning from "pure art" to "production art," he moved from gallery to factory and began to create propaganda posters and industrial designs for state industries. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cult@edu.Com
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.