Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Explosive forces

First presentations today, in Lived Religion in NYC. Exciting stuff, which I hope I'll get permission to share some of here. For today, let me share a passage in Orsi:

Life in the industrial and post-industrial city demanded (and demands) constant resourcefulness, flexibility, creativity, and existential inventiveness. Modernist intellectuals and artists of the nineteenth century believed that the vitality, pace, and complexity of the industrial city would give rise to distinct art forms capable of bringing the "explosive forces" of urban society to life in art - an aspiration that resulted in a series of formal experiments that included "cubist painting, collage and montage, the cinema, the stream of consciousness in the novel, the free verse of Eliot and Pound and Apollinaire, futurism, vorticism, constructivism, dada, poems that accelerate like cars, paintings that explode like bombs," in Marshall Berman's words. So it has been with urban religious creativity: the world of the modern city has necessitated, encouraged, or simply made possible a tremendous explosion of religious innovation and experimentation.
quoting Berman, All that is solid melts into air:
The experience of modernity (1988), 145

The modern arts (appreciated by our founders as a form of "social research") have changed the way we understand not only art but the way we experience the world, time, space, personality, the human body... How exciting to think of urban religion as explosively adding to experience in this way. (Can't you just see religious stream of consciousness, religious dada, religious cubism?)

No comments: