Though the article by Bourriaud is quite dense and uses several examples from other authors, and artists, he mainly focusses on the finite nature of postmodernism, the rise of altermodernism, and
the benefits and downfalls of each. He claims that due to postmodernism’s construction as a contrast to modernism, it is to be short-lived, a form of mourning and nostalgic obsession with what once was. Altermodernism, by contrast, does not attempt to answer the same questions posed during the modern period; instead, it suggests a multitude of possible pathways, and constructs an archipelago, constellation, or network of possible answers.
Bourriaud emphasizes heavily the obsession that multicultural, or middle, postmodernism has with identity and origin, as a harsh contrast to the unification and cultural subjugation of modernism. However, he claims that altermodernism succeeds past this, to the
artist becoming what he calls a ‘cultural nomad’, given the globalization occurring through technology, surveillance, et cetera. Considering this argument, I am curious as to the connotations associated with this term ‘cultural nomad’, and if it is even possible to achieve such a position within the framework of
our current world.
As Bourriaud states, the ‘cultural nomad’ can traverse the world both through space and time, allowing them to refer, or become a part of any history. This concept is somewhat flawed given the current state of our world, in that there seems to be an emphasis both on communality, and oppositely on segregation. With many cultural structures being worn away, devalued, or erased, there seems to be a trend, at least in the western world, for people to focus internally on
their cultures, to retain as much as possible from erasure. How then, is it possible for all to simply traverse the boundaries between cultures without first understanding their own. With this understanding comes a specific, unavoidable point of reference from which the ‘cultural nomad’ must begin. How nomadic can one be within the contexts and confines of culture?