Bourriaud Altermodern Essay

By continuing with the botanical metaphor Bourriaud utilizes the image of the Radicant: a vine or creeper plant that plants it roots constantly as it moves along.

Unlike the rhizome, which is defined as a multiplicity that brackets out the question of a subject from the beginning, the radicant takes the form of a trajectory or path; the advance of a singular subject. It accepts the need for multiplicities and the need to not be fixed upon one stable point.

Through this construction we will then articulate how this nomad exists in the parameters set forth by Bourriaud and what journey forms are made and how.

This essay will not look at the art or artists of the Altermodern exhibition (Tate Triennial 2009), but instead extend the central thesis put forth by the show’s curator and lead theorist, Nicolas Bourriaud.

Bourriaud looks to the world of botany in which to explain the new world.

In ‘The Radicant’ a book considered as a companion to the Altermodern exhibition, he explores the notion of roots and extends the ideas set forth by Deleuze and Guattari in the opening chapter of ‘A Thousand Plateaus’.That is, instead of throwing up a quick link here and there.That's the beauty of studying: the forced concentration, the singular depth of thought.While Modernity is predicated on a rupture with the past and a desire for progress, it was also concerned with it’s historical roots.The duality of the sprouting tree encapsulates Modernism and the Radical individual: focused on the future but aware of it’s heritage.Apologies for the academic language but I don't have the energy, headspace or the smarts to work through and rewrite it.This essay was written last year, during what I'm calling my Bourriaud phase when I was knee deep in art theory.As I write these words I realise I'm going to have to quote myself and turn this depth into easy bite size links for Heterochronia.The images aren't connected in anyway to the essay, but should be seen as a visual counterpoint.Consider this a conceptual precursor to my other blog – Heterochronia – as it works through some of the ideas I was stumbling my way through in a previous post.Thinking in Tumblr, while fun, is hard to make a comprehensive point.


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