From Postmodernism To Postmodernity: The Local/Global Context

    Andreas Huyssen called that decade, straddling the sixties and seventies really, the “great divide.” Within ten or fifteen years, the United States experienced an astonishing succession of liberation and counter-cultural movements: the Berkeley Free Speech, Vietnam Anti-War, Black Power, Chicano Power, Women’s Lib, Gay Pride, Gray Panther, Psychedelic, and Ecological Movements, to mention but a few. Street theatre, happenings, rock music, aleatory composition, concrete poetry, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E group, pop art, and multi-media events spread, blurring the borders of high and popular culture, art and theory, text and metatext and paratext (my Paracriticism, for instance). Hippies and Yippies, Flower Children and Minute Men, Encounter Groups and Zen Monks crowded the landscape. Elitism and hierarchy were out, participation and anarchy, or at least pseudo-anarchy, were in. The forms of thought and art shifted from static to performative, from the hypotactical to paratactical–or so it seemed. Not Heidegger but Derrida; not Matisse but Duchamp; not Schnberg but Cage; not Hemingway but Barthelme–and again, most visibly, not Gropius, Mies, or Le Corbusier, but Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Isozaki in architecture, among countless others.


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