Ten Reflections on Mark Amerika’s PHON:E:ME .04

The modernist ideals of self-consciousness and self-reflexivity were once seen as means for resisting hegemonic culture. The modernist spectator was supposed to be alienated from the work, made aware of its status as a representation. The work of art was supposed to reflect back upon itself, to foreground its own fictionality, to reveal, and to revel in, its status as a construction. It was supposed to become its own end and justification. And it was supposed to be subversive: to violate the bourgeois social and political order, together with the laws of representation. Today, these strategies of displacement, demystification, and transgression are no longer rebellious or avant-garde. Rather, we take them all for granted as techniques of TV advertising. This is a big problem for those artists who still want to "make it new," as well as for those cultural theorists who still want to find moments of utopia, redemption, or resistance.

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