Барроуз У. Мягкая машина. Трилогия. СПб., 1999 (Фамилия этого известного на Западе писателя у нас пока употребляется в двух транскрипциях)
Victor BYCHKOV (author of the project)
The Lexicon of Non-Classics
Twentieth-Century Artistic-Aesthetic Cuiture.
(Editorial Board: Oleg Bychkov, Ljudmila Bychkova, Nadia Mankovskaya)
The 20th century is the century of the global transition from Culture to something radically OTHER that has not yet had place in the history of civilization. It is art — the main barometer of Culture — that felt this process most acutely and expressed it through its essence throughout the century. The reasons for this essential cleft in the human being-consciousness are rooted somewhere in the depths of the cosmo-socioanthropic process and are beyond human understanding. At the level of civilization they initiated an avalanche-like development of the scientific-technological progress (STP) in the Euro-American (Western) regions in the 16th-20th c. on the basis of ratiocentrism and the radical fissure between the scientific-technological way of thinking and the spiritual, ethical, and religious foundations of Culture. With all that, the 20th century became something of a breakpoint, beyond which one sees either the destruction of the Earth's biosphere or the mankind's leap into the new aeon of being.
The STP, in principle, provided for the humanity's material needs, but in the atmosphere of predominant lack of morality and the accelerating growth of the capital it placed the humans on the verge of the nuclear and ecological disaster and stimulated the development of the society of unbridled consumerism (in the developed countries, first of all, that serve as a beacon to others). Having rejected its spiritual and ethical ideals, the contemporary society has become a producer of temptations, and the contemporary human - a "desire machine" that cultivates his own corporeity. The thing and thingness, the body and corporeity are now at the helm of the developed Western civilization, which is wantonly looked up to by the peoples of the East that have not reached the necessary level of prosperity.
The last stage of the technological civilization has found its, if unwilling, theoreticians in the form of many of the greatest 19th-20th c. thinkers (starting with Nietzsche and Freud), and its expression in the artistic movement: from the avant garde of the beginning of the century to modernism to postmodernism. The main tendencies of the "advanced" 20th-c. art practices: abandoning, the traditional principles of art (mimesis in all its aspects, idealizing, symbolism, expression); departure from art as an aesthetic phenomenon; in the area of artistic-near-artistic activity - going beyond the traditional framework of art (into life at various levels: from the theourgy of the symbolists to the utilitarianism and functionalism of the constructivists, designers, organizers of environment, etc.); rejection of ethical and spiritual criteria in art; the "re-evaluation of all values" that goes back to Nietzsche, and replacing them with anti-values (from the point of view of traditional Culture). A certain aesthetization (or, more precisely, presentation) of evil, violence, ugliness, exaggerated sex, aggression, etc. are the main tendencies of that which is coming to replace art in contemporary POST-culture.