In response to Mel's post, I wish to expound on certain aspects of modernist thinking that continue to feed creativity and research in our world today. Though this post is inspired by Mel's and addresses some of her questions directly, I will post is as a new thread for to the number of reference it includes.
The claim is that modernism is not dead, for it is:
-a movement that is rooted in the desire for change
-a movement away from academic and historical traditions
-revolt against outdated values no longer congruent with present sociological and economic conditions
-away from the notion of innate talent (i.e. democracy in art)
-towards integration of art and technology
-towards recontextualization of all creative work as a form scientific research
-towards standardization of language and values (e.g. The Bauhaus formalist critique, or Schoenbergs dodecaphonic system of music theory)
-towards bringing together of media (e.g. multi-sensory, immersive and synthesthetic experiencesrt)
-towards collaborative models of working.
As one reads these phrases, many present day phenomena come to mind. Here are a few of my favorite hand picked examples:
-Socially conscientious collectives like Wochenklauser or Kulture Klub whose work involves real people, in real places with real problems
-Formal support organizations like Creative Time or Public Art Fund
-Action organizers like Newmindspace, or FlashMob
-Pranksters like The Yes Men
-Invasive art posses like The Wooster Collective, Graffiti Research Labs, or Minneapolis Art on Wheels (!)
-Online community driven works like Post Secret, Learning to Love you More,
-Online collections of documentation of new works like Rhizome, We-Make-Money-Not-Art, or Beautiful Vandalism
-Salient genres where art and technology meet like creative data visualization (for a impressive survey see Visual Complexity, or check out some work by one of the field's young super stars, Jonathan Harris like We Feel Fine or The Universe)
So much of the above works content is rooted in a desire for change, an interdisciplinary perspective, an art practice that is as much research as it is development, interested in reclaiming public spaces, and overtly political.
Gives me enough hope to not talk trash about modernism and what it did for the arts....