The Altermodern exhibition opened at Tate Britain yesterday… French cultural theorist Nicolas Bourriaud who identified ‘relational aesthetics‘ as an emerging art movement curated it – and claims it marks the end of postmodernism and the emergence of the ‘Altermodern’.
Bourriaud’s thinking is outlined in a manifesto and will be presented in his new book, the Radicant, this month.

I wrote a piece on it for Palladium magazine, which isn’t published online. I was interested to see if the claim that postmodernity had given way to the ‘Altermodern’ would create much interest.

In the nationals: The Telegraph’s Richard Dorment gives it a thorough review; and The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones examines the ideas behind it.
The Times also gives it a show.

But maybe days when many of us have had our lives hemmed in by snow aren’t the best for wrestling with Bourriaud’s arguments about the impact of globalisation on art.

Art collectors and critics have been sceptical – one I spoke to said it was a lot to do with the Tate wanting to assert itself as cutting edge:

“Bringing in Bourriaud is just re-establishing the Tate as a brand leader,” says David Gleeson, art historian and writer. “I suspect it’s a move to show just how serious, academic and hard-hitting and in the know it is. A brand new theory will establish the Tate as international, cool, cutting edge, sharp and clever. All the major reviewers will give it pages. In a way it’s as big as the new limited edition Barbie. Anything in that bracket where they are bringing out something new knowing that there is already a demand for it, is an enviable position to be in. ”


Steve Hewlett focused on how twitter was used during the Mumbai attacks on the Media Show today.
Among those interviewed was Rory Cellan Jones who blogs about Mumbai and Twitter here.

Over on The Ushahidi Blog, Ory Okollah reflects on how her open-source crisis project fared in the DRC.

Okollah points to the need for a strong blogging community such as those that exist in Mumbai and in Kenya – where the project was first launched as a tool for people who witness acts of violence after the election.

The nature of the crisis in DRC also played a part: “As one person closely involved in assisting people affected by the crisis in DRC pointed out to me, in a crisis situation most people are on the run – they don’t have time to file reports etc. In a place like Eastern DRC that is compounded by things like electricity cuts so phones can’t be charged; difficulties having the resources to buy credit so the SMS functionality doesn’t really help them…”

The project got some coverage in Forbes and Kenya’s Daily Nation.