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What is Post Culture? Can we as a society ever achieve a state past culture? What is postcultural society? What are the implications of such a society? The answers to all these questions are yes, no, and maybe...in no particular order.
Rumor has it that Modernism is dead. Some people even think Postmodernism is dead. The truth is, there is no truth. Everything is subjective and open to speculation. In the postcultural world, everything is possible. The question of whether we are in the modern, postmodern, postpostmodern, remodern, premodern, or altermodern period is ultimately unanswerable and meaningless.
Post Culture might be about art, music, and culture. Post Culture might be a moment in history in which we have moved past culture. Post Culture might be an intersubjective subjectivity.
Metaphysical, epistemological, and ontological concerns aside, we only know that Post Culture is here.
Twenty-Four Hour Cocktail Party (2010)
This performance is a simulation of a 1950’s American cocktail party lasting for twenty-four hours in a public environment that resembles, as closely as possible, a mid-century bachelor pad. The piece is interactive, as members of the public will be welcome to join or leave the cocktail party at any time. The piece is both a subjective and intersubjective durational experience that, positioned within Henri Lefebvre’s Critique of Everyday Life, combines aspects of Nicolas Bourriaud’s concept of Relational Aesthetics with Jean Baudrillard’s idea surrounding simulation.
Thematically the piece will focus on Exotica, the Space Age, and the bachelor as concepts that, at face value, will seem utopic. However, the dystopic elements of 1950’s bachelordom, Exotica, and the Space Age will surface as the piece progresses. This creates a shifting dialog within the dialectic of mid-century ideals and historical realities. The intention of the piece is to create a parallel world within a gallery setting that reveals the optimism of the 1950’s along with the darker implications of the post-war American ethos.
Please see the selected bibliography.
The piece is a performance within a mixed media installation. During the performance, music of the period will be played on a phonograph within an environment constructed to resemble a bachelor pad of the 1950’s (e.g. furniture, home décor, books, ephemera, etc.).
It remains in question as to whether I will be able to sufficiently, for the concept, perform the role of a cocktail party host for twenty-four hours; therefore potential issues surrounding my physical endurance are raised. Furthermore, ways in which potential participants may contribute or detract from the work could greatly alter the piece, putting into question the both the role of the participant(s) and of myself as “host.”
The piece may change in size, scope, or duration depending on available funding, spaces, and institutional backing. Furthermore, if I should become sick or in some way incapacitated the piece will be forced to change to a sculptural environment.
Adinolfi, Francesco. Mondo Exotica: Sounds, Visions, Obsessions of the Cocktail Generation. Trans. Karen Pinkus and Jason Vivrette. Durham: Duke UP, 2008. Print.
Agnew, Jean-Christophe, and Roy Rosenzweig, eds. A Companion to Post-1945 America. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002. Print.
Augé, Marc. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London: Verso, 1995. Print.
Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan, 1994. Print.
Bourriaud, Nicolas. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon: Leses Du Réel, 2002. Print.
Hayward, Philip. Widening the Horizon: Exoticism in Post-war Popular Music. Sydney: John Libbey, 1999. Print.
Kirsten, Sven A. The Book of Tiki: the Cult of Polynesian Pop in Fifties America. Köln: Taschen, 2000. Print.
Kirsten, Sven A. Tiki Modern: — and the Wild World of Witco. Köln: Taschen, 2007. Print.
Klein, Norman M. The Vatican to Vegas: a History of Special Effects. New York: New, 2004. Print.
Lanza, Joseph. Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2004. Print.
Lee, Alfred McClung, and Elizabeth Lee. Social Problems in America: a Source Book. New York: H. Holt, 1949. Print.
Lefebvre, Henri. Critique of Everyday Life. London: Verso, 2008. Print.
Lefebvre, Henri. Everyday Life in the Modern World. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print.
Matusow, Allen J.. Joseph R. McCarthy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970. Print.
Olson, Philip G. America as a Mass Society; Changing Community and Identity. New York: Free of Glencoe, 1963. Print.
Toop, David. Exotica: Fabricated Soundscapes in a Real World. London: Serpent’s Tail, 1999. Print.
[This proposal was rejected largely on the grounds of lacking sufficient institutional backing, however a derivative piece based on this proposal was performed in the Fall of 2010]