The emergence of digital technologies coincides with the rise of postmodernist films, videos, and audio art. Postmodernism literally means “after” or “beyond” modernism. Whereas modernist art emphasizes the individual artist’s self-expression and the purity of artistic form, postmodernist art is anything but pure. Postmodern approaches to production could feature the following:
Intertextuality: Postmodernism often considered intertextual, which means it features a collage or grab bag of past styles and techniques, rather than a pure or simple form. What emerges from this menagerie of styles and grab bag of techniques is not an individual artist’s self-expression but rather a hodgepodge of different expressive forms from different periods and artists. Postmodernist art borrows images and sounds from previous popular and classical works of art with which most viewers and listeners are often already familiar. For example, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an example of a fantasy film that operates on the premise that Abraham Lincoln was secretly a vampire hunter, and the Confederate Army consisted of vampires.
Fragmentation: The postmodernist production often plays with typical portrayals of gender, race, class, genre, and time with the goal of creating something completely different from traditional narrative expression. Fragmentation often gives postmodern audio and visual art a feeling of instability, and it often focuses on the destruction of hierarchies and boundaries. It is not uncommon in a postmodernist production to find different times and periods and different locations intertwined into a new composition. For example, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! combines more modern popular music with a historical d...
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...ealism in the same manner that they have postmodernism, thus it has become the normal artistic style. Nonetheless, some of the main characteristics associated with postmodernism are already apparent. These include the production of open-ended works that encourage viewer participation and play, rather than a concern for the human subjectivity of either the individual artist or the main character in a fictional drama or a social actor in a documentary or docudrama. Postmodernist art frequently offers a pastiche or collage of simulated images and sounds drawn from a variety of different modes and genres (both fiction and nonfiction, for example), a feeling of nostalgia for the past, a plundering of old images and sounds from previous works, simulations rather than “real experiences,” and a mixture of classical and contemporary forms as well as popular and elite culture.
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