whither avant-garde?

I can’t quite remember where I most recently had this conversation, but it comes up a lot. I believe it was with a Norwegian at a party last weekend – what is the avant-garde? Is there one? Is the terminology of “avant-garde” or “experimental” useful or accurate in describing the vast swath of non-traditional performance?

Well, George Hunka over at Superfluities has written a short essay about postmodern drama (as opposed to postmodern performance) which adds some insight – or at least fuel to the fire of discussion.

It is a pretty wide-ranging essay and deserves close reading. Particularly his brief list of the features that some of the more prominent playwrights seem to share to a greater or a lesser degree, features that we may think of as “postmodern”.

Also, after a bit of a hiatus it appears that Daniel Mufson’s AlternativeTheater.com is back up and running.

It is great to see that the community of people fostering online discussions of alternative performance is growing by leaps and bounds. When we started Culturebot there were just a few sites, now there are many. (Or maybe we’re just finally finding them all!)

Part of our ongoing project is to compile a better links section. We’ll add it to the list of “things to do”, just after “world domination.”

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