"Turning to the term 'avant-garde' itself, it seems to have become a commonplace in our ways of thinking about art. Since the nineteenth century, its use has become widespread, designating any artistic movement that can be described as innovative. The term's fate is grounded in the relevance of its military metaphorics, which liken artistic invention to the actions of a small band of forces that sets off in advance of an army in order to clear its path. We thus strike upon several basic characteristics of the avant-garde: first, the notion that the avant-garde restores the collective dimension of explorative creativity. But the term also evokes the conditions of conflict that arise between this creativity and the prevailing society; at the same time, we must keep in mind that 'avant-garde' designates artistic activity as the means for opening up new territory.
The term's current problems arise from its social and economic valorization, which has become so important today that all artists want to be considered avant-garde—even though they generally consider the essential character of avant-gardism to involve little more than a spectacular revolution in form. The notion of avant-gardism subsequently takes on a different meaning than it had originally: it has come to signify a mindset of formal innovation, rather than a dedication to exploration and radical creativity that clashes with convention. Thus the positions of an entire range of so-called avant-gardes can be accommodated within an economic consensus that values formal innovation for reasons of competitiveness and profitability. At the same time, competitive rivalry leads to the disappearance of the collective dimension of innovative creativity which had been, no doubt, a fundamental characteristic of the avant-garde. We must therefore accept the idea that the very evolution of the avant-garde, which compels it to follow the trends of the market place, also brings about its death—a death to which the contemporary art market and institutional consensus alike seem fully determined have us bear witness by crowning its most ridiculous propositions with museum exhibitions. These preliminary remarks highlight the instability of terms such as 'avant-garde,' as far as artistic experience goes. For it is by no means clear that the term means the same thing for avant-garde of the first half of the twentieth century as it does for the avant-garde that followed."
(Philippe Sers and Jonathan P. Eburne, 2010, p.850)
The Radical Avant-Garde and the Contemporary Avant-Garde; Author(s): Philippe Sers and Jonathan P. Eburne; Source: New Literary History, Vol. 41, No. 4, What Is an Avant-Garde? (AUTUMN 2010), pp. 847-854. Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
"The collective emerged in 1966 at the moment when the technocratic optimism of the first half of the 1960s was souring. The watershed was the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in China in 1966 when Mao Tse–tung gave Western intellectuals a new cause to believe in after a decade of disillusion since their faith in communism was shattered by Khrushchev's exposure of Stalin's brutalities. Events in China made Western society seem spiritually barren at a time of growing concern about the Vietnam War. In the visual arts, radicals rebelled against the extrovert imagery of Pop Art in favour of the politically engaged work of Fluxus artists like Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik. The rising tide of political frustration culminated in the 1968 student riots in Paris and copycat protests in London, Tokyo and Prague. Women formed fledgeling feminist movements such as the Women's Liberation Front in the US and Mouvement de Libération des Femmes in France. Decades of oppression against gay men and women erupted in a pitched battle in New York, when the police tried to close the Stonewall, a gay bar in the West Village and a politicised gay rights movement exploded.
Superstudio's response was to develop its 'Anti–Design' projects: themes from which were echoed in the work of other radical architects and designers, notably the members of Archizoom, a fellow Florentine group consisting of Andrea Branzi, Gilberto Corretti, Paolo Deganello, Dario and Lucia Bartolini and Massimo Morozzi. Both groups were founded in 1966 and their first important project was to express their theories about the crisis of modernism in the Superarchitecture exhibition in Pistoia, Italy. A year later, they refined the ideas aired in Superarchitecture in a joint follow–up show in Modena."
"ERGO is a project on the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As a signatory to the Budapest Open Access Initiative, the ERGO is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of open access ('free to read') scholarship in education."
(Gene V Glass and Gustavo E. Fischman)
Fig.1 Directed by: Max Hattler. Sound and music: Eduardo Noya Schreus. Animation: Matt Abbiss, Tony Comley, Valeria Fonseca, Max Hattler, Siobhan Mcelhinney, Luiz Stockler. Special Thanks to Sandra Sykorova.
"The vorticists did not have many members; nor did the movement last long, because of unfortunate timing – it formed in 1914 as Europe hurtled towards war. By 1918 there was not much appetite for dogmatic groups such as theirs.
Nevertheless, the group holds an important place in 20th–century British art history.
'They were the first abstract modernist group in Britain,' said Stephens. 'It inevitably comes out of the revolution of cubism, but then, so does everything in the 20th century.'
They were part of a maelstrom of new, aggressive art 'ism' movements, not least the one practised by the Italian futurists, who were, in Lewis's eyes, the bad guys.
Stephens said: 'Unlike the futurists, who celebrate the energy of the machine and actual war as a purging force, the vorticists were engaged in more universal ideas of identity, time and movement in a philosophical sense.'"
(Mark Brown, 13 June 2011, The Guardian)