Wednesday, January 11, 2012

aVANT-pOP: Weakening the Ideologies that Keep the People Calm.

 "The emerging wave of Avant-Pop artists now arriving on the scene find themselves caught in this struggle to rapidly transform our sick, commodity-infested workaday culture into a more sensual, trippy, exotic and networked experience."
-Mark Amerika & Lance Olsen

In Memoriam to Postmodernism: Essays on the Avant-Pop is a collection of works by some of the main proponents of the Avant-Pop literary art movement. If you need another reason to fuel your passion for the protection and freedom of the internet, this collection will give you a real good one.

Avant-Pop recognizes the popular media for what it is: a vile monster of distracting misinformation and zombifying"entertainment" that holds a tenacious grip on the minds of a majority of people, insidiously defining them from without and diverting their attention from more important things like the revocation of their rights and freedoms. The Avant-Pop artist believes it's too late to fight against it, so he or she gears up for a journey into the heart of the beast in an attempt to change it from within.

Ron Sukenick writes it best in his essay aVANT-pOP, sUR-fICTION, hYPER-fICTION:

"...actually what we have here is a reversal of the old consumerist tactic of 'co-optation' -i.e., if some rebel-rousing movement comes along, defang it, package it and sell it, absorb it into the mass market, render it harmless -Avant-Pop, on the other hand, co-opts mass-market schlock, twists it and tortures it till it becomes dangerous and injects it back into the market as a virus that destroys its host from within...where monolithic mass market was, many mini-markets there shall be, making clear the difference between consumerism's 'free market,' and a democratic market which offers the consumer a wide spectrum of choice." 
That "spectrum of choice" may become much more difficult or impossible to offer if Congress passes SOPA. It would limit the people's choices even further, decreasing their amplitude of vision and insight by serving up only the few narrow options provided by popular media.

Avant-Pop wants to widen and enrich our options, encourage individuality, and support the sharing of our ideas and art.

To learn more about Avant-Pop and get inspired to create art that keeps communication open purchase a copy of In Memoriam to Postmodernism: Essays on the Avant-Pop from SDSU Press.

Also, check out the editors Mark Amerika and Lance Olsen.
And to learn more about the Stop Online Piracy Act click here