The Addendum

Quotes: On Being “Off Modern”

Has Art itself become a mere outtake, a long footnote to the human history? In the United States it is technology, not culture, that is regarded to be a space for innovations. Art, it seems, has overstayed its welcome. But the amateur artists, immigrants from the disintegrated homeland, survive against all odds. Often they cross the border illegally and like the diasporic repo-men try to repossess what used to belong to them, re-conquer the space of art.

The amateur artists aspire neither for newness nor for a trendy belatedness. The prefixes “avant” and “post” appear equally outdated or irrelevant in the current media age. The same goes for the illusions of “trans.” But this doesn’t mean that one should try desperately to be in. There is another option; not to be out, but off. As in off-stage, off-key, off-beat and occasionally, off-color. One doesn’t have to be “absolutely modern,” as Rimbaud once dreamed, but off-modern. A lateral move of the knight in game of chess. A detour into some unexplored potentialities of the modern project.

Svetlana Boym. “Nostalgic Technology: Notes for an Off-modern Manifesto.”, Retrieved May 6, 2015, from

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