Blogging, Dance, and the Cultural Moment

Carla Peterson talked about artists and the “Cultural Moment” in her toast following Beth Gill and Daniel Linehan’s performances. See Review.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. What is this Cultural Moment? And how is a cultural moment created? Does it require dialogue? Does it require private, in-depth exploration? Does it begin as a discussion, a number of adventurers? Does it begin as one person, alone, seeing things from a unique perspective? As a working, questioning artist, am I automatically part of the moment?

There is an element of cool in the cultural moment. If this cultural moment is consciously cool and radical, what then is truly radical?

Blogs and the discussions sparked by them seem to be an important part of this new cultural moment. Can they help bring art back into our daily cultural consciousness? What happens when many voices see and discuss dance? What happens when it is an informal, normal part of life to talk about art? What happens when, instead of reading an article, we engage in a living, growing discussion about this living, growing art form called dance?

I just went to the MOMA retrospective of Martin Puryear's beautiful, touching, playful sculpture. In the notes for the exhibit, Puryear is quoted, "I think there are a number of levels at which my work can be dealt with and appreciated. It gives me great pleasure to feel there's a level that doesn't require knowledge of, or immersion in, the aesthetic of a specific time and place."

What is it that brings art beyond its "Cultural Moment?"

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