Friday, July 08, 2005

The Avant Garde Today

This story sums up the situation of the avant garde today.

A few years ago, an avant-garde artist hired genetic engineers to create fish that glow in the dark. Animal rights groups complained about the possible suffering of the fish. Environmental groups complained about the possibility of the fish being released and contaminating the gene pools of wild species. But the artist stood by his project: avant-garde art has always offended people, and he was going to stand up against the conventions of society.

Less than a year later, a Los Angeles entrepreneur began to sell genetically engineered fish that glow in the dark as pets. Animal rights and environmental groups complained, but they could not stop him. It turned out that only one state had laws regulating genetically engineered pets.

A hundred years ago, the avant garde was criticizing the society of the time when it stood up against social conventions and “shocked the bourgeoisie.” Today, we live in a technological society rather than in a bourgeois society. The avant garde has to go further and further to shock people – until it finally has to stand up against nature as well as standing up against convention. Rather than criticizing the society of our time, it is paving the way for modern society to reengineer nature and human nature.


Post a Comment

<< Home