Architectures of Excess: Cultural Life in the Information Age
Much of recent theory has characterized life in media-sophisticated societies in terms of a semiotic overload which, allegedly, has had only devastating effects on communication and subjectivity. In Architectures of Excess, Jim Collins argues that, while the rate of technological change has indeed accelerated, so has the rate of absorption. The seemingly endless array of information has generated not chaos but different structures and strategies, which harness that excess by turning it into forms of art and entertainment. Digital sampling in rap music and cyber-punk science fiction are well-known examples of techno-pop textuality, but Collins concentrates on other contemporaneous phenomena that are also envisioning new cultural landscapes by accessing that array--hyper-self-reflexivity in mall movies, best sellers, and prime-time television; the deconstructive vs. new-classical debate in architecture; the emergence of the "New Black Aesthetic;" the development of retro-modernism in interior design and the fashion industries. The analyses of these disparate, discontinous attempts to develop a meaningful sense of location, in an historical as well as a spatial sense, address a cluster of interconnected questions: How is the array of information being "domesticated?" How has appropriationism evolved from the Pop-Art of the sixties to the sampling of the nineties? How has the relationship between tradition, innovation, and evaluation been altered? Architectures of Excess investigates how these phenomena reflect change in taste and subjectivity, considering how we must account for both, pedagogically.
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academy aesthetic African-American Allan Bloom American antique appropriation architecture argues array artistic audience auteurism authentic avant-garde Batman become Bruce Sterling cinematic circulation classical comic contemporary critical critique cultural authority cyberpunk Dances with Wolves depends discourse distinctions eclecticism Eisenman entertainment envision evaluation fiction figure forms frame function genre films Hal Hartley hean Henry Giroux hybrid hyperconscious Ignatz images imagined information technologies insists intertextual John Woo Krazy Krazy Kat landscape Lichtenstein's mapping mass culture matter Modern Modernist movie museum narrative nature notion novel ooly opera paradigms past Pop Art popular culture postmodern postmodern cultures production radical re-articulation reference relationship Retro-Modernism Richard Rogers scene self-location semiotic semiotic excess sense Shin Takamatsu significant simultaneously spatial specific story strategies structure style Takamatsu taste technophilia television texts thay theory tion tradition viewers vision Western William Gibson York
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