Tuesday, September 28, 2010


OK, I know it's not goats, and it's not cooking, or gardening, or any of the other bazillion things I do for fun, but it's on my mind.
Food for Thought
Postmodern art is defined by Wikipedia as :

"Postmodernism describes movements which both arise from, and react against or reject, trends in modernism.[20] Specific trends of modernism that are generally cited are formal purity, medium specificity, art for art's sake, authenticity, universality, originality and revolutionary or reactionary tendency, i.e. the avant-garde. However, paradox is probably the most important modernist idea against which postmodernism reacts. Paradox was central to the modernist enterprise, having been introduced by Manet. Manet's various violations of representational art brought to prominence the supposed mutual exclusiveness of reality and representation, design and representation, abstraction and reality, and so on. The incorporation of paradox was highly stimulating from Manet to the conceptualists...
One characteristic of postmodern art is its conflation of high and low culture through the use of industrial materials and pop culture imagery. The use of low forms of art were a part of modernist experimentation as well..."

OK.  In order to have Postmodernism, one needs to have first assimilated Modernism (defined by Wikipedia below):

"Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes both a set of cultural tendencies and an array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The term encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world....A salient characteristic of modernism is self-consciousness. This often led to experiments with form, and work that draws attention to the processes and materials used (and to the further tendency of abstraction)."

The Magic Garden: http://www.phillymagicgardens.org/
I read this all to mean THIS in a nutshell: I have been teaching fragments, background, building blocks.  It's a postmodern world; there's multiplicity, assimilation, reaction to learned elements and principles, and informed individualized response.

Apparently, I've been walking THAT razor's edge.

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral: http://sspeterpaulcathedral.catholicweb.com/index.cfm/NewsItem?ID=196582&From=Home
It's a postmodern world.  I saw that last Saturday, in Philadelphia.  Within one hour, I saw a stunning Catholic Cathedral, Hare Krishnas, Black Panthers and a guy in tie-dye singing folk songs; Logan Square was teeming with eclectic, ecstatic life.

Ratha Yatra Festival, the Festival of Chariots: http://www.phillyrathayatra.com/

I had no idea.  My mind is still wrapped around carrying my baby there in a back-pack in 1979, after taking mass transit for hours from Drexel Hill. It was pretty quiet in Philly in the late 70's, at least in the daylight. To a girl from Boyertown,Chinatown was pretty exotic.  So was the Italian Market.  I walked a lot in those days. 

That baby is 32 now, and I suppose I should get my head around the changing climate of the world, as well as my up-till-now relatively static pedagogy.

My baby girl
There are problems though.  NCLB has moved the focus of education even farther from the arts; there's the debate of integration vs. interdisciplinary, vs. independent subject matter.  There's the press for data, the drive for accountability and assessment.  It's a modern system in a postmodern world. I'm reading journals and articles, and researching on the University's database.  I finish my classwork and go off on tangents.  Yee-HA!

Well; there it is in a nutshell.  I'm even dreaming about it; rehashing my life, with overlapping characters; it's a 4th dimensional postmodern approach to my personal and familial history; rather confusing.  I guess you had to be there.

So please forgive me if I'm not posting regularly these days.  I'm going through one of those intellectual growth spurts that turns you on your head and shakes all of the lint out of your pockets.  I'll post some of that lint here, as I catch it.

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