Saturday, 23 April 2011

Post-digimodernism and the Art of Blogging

There are moments of epiphany or are they lightning strikes on the road to Damascus – my grasp of religious metaphor’s a tad limited. But there are moments when you encounter the incomprehensible and wonder why it’s there:

Well, what about digimodernism, one might ask? This is akin to some of the pairings in Ihab Hassan's famous list of binaries where the qualities of modernism were placed over against the characteristics of postmodernism. If within a thematic there are logically only two possibilities, and modernism is clearly over, and postmodernism clearly followed it, does this mean that the more recent moment will be with us forever, there being no other options?

I would reply that digimodernism does not choose to focus on either time or space in this manner, but that it combines and enmeshes two relatively new definitions of both. "Real time" and "cyberspace" are the twin axes of digimodernism. The digimodern appears at the intersection of the two. It's not so much a matter of choosing one term or the other, but first redefining then superimposing them.

One might ask, might one? About digimodernism? Somehow I think this unlikely but let’s explore a little further clutching our trusty Concise Oxford for the trickier words:

Since its first appearance in the second half of the 1990s under the impetus of new technologies, digimodernism has decisively displaced postmodernism to establish itself as the twenty-first century’s new cultural paradigm. It owes its emergence and pre-eminence to the computerization of text, which yields a new form of textuality characterized in its purest instances by onwardness, haphazardness, evanescence, and anonymous, social and multiple authorship.

So it seems that this ‘digimodernism’ is something to do with the textual analysis of all the crap that we write on the web – a sort of Jacques Derrida meets the blog. That plus the bizarreness of reality TV, mockumentary and the ubiquity of computer gaming. In essence our ‘digimodernist’ already exists except he, she or it remains blissfully unaware that such an exalted status has been thrust upon them!

I wrote a few crown-sourced (well twitter-sourced really) blog posts – the best of which is:

Beards, cats and clever octopusses - thoughts on the World Cup Finals 

This post wasn’t a conscious digimodernist experiment – more of a giggle really. But it approaches this idea of:

In its pure form the digimodernist text permits the reader or viewer to intervene textually, physically to make text, to add visible content or tangibly shape narrative development.

While part of me loves this stuff – especially the arrogance of saying you wish to appeal to the ‘general reader’ and then exclaiming:

These in turn become the hallmarks of a group of texts in new and established modes which also manifest the digimodernist traits of infantilism, earnestness, endlessness and apparent reality.

The rest of me just want to take the piss – but no-one did that better than Paul Jennings!



Anonymous said...

I don't think that your comments about Digimodernism are very interesting.....Sorry, but I red the book and I do not agree with you...

Anonymous said...

What an unpleasant little piece. Clearly the "nasty party" hasn't changed one bit. Look, the world is full of people who are smarter than you, and hating them all for it isn't a very useful thing to do with your little life.