Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2nd by David Joselit, Hal Foster, Rosalind E. Krauss, Yve-Alain

By David Joselit, Hal Foster, Rosalind E. Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh

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Extra resources for Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2nd Edition)

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25). By 1970 the ratio of professional engineers to craft workers in the manufacturing sector was nine times what it had been in 1900 (Gordon, Edwards and Reich, 1982: p. 1). 8 per cent of the labour force, illustrating what Mike Davis calls the ‘hypertrophy of occupational positions in the United States associated with the supervision of labour, the organisation of capital, and the implementation of the sales effort’ (Davis, 1986: p. 213). And by 1980 it was possible to observe the peculiar demographic composition of this burgeoning class, which was dominated by 25–35-year-old members of the postwar baby-boom generation.

Class antagonisms were viewed as irruptions of irrational conflict within an imperfectly organised system which could be treated as technical problems and were therefore amenable to technical solutions. New middle-class professionals and experts thus conceived reform as the means by which social organisation could be perfected according to the ‘universal’ principles of science, reason and efficiency which, properly applied, would bring prosperity and social peace. As James Weinstein has argued, one of the principal products of this tripartite Progressive coalition of corporate capitalists, labour leaders and new middle-class reformers was the concept of consensus (Weinstein, 1969: p.

In many ways such a model sounds liberating, or at the very least more humane and responsive to the contingencies of a complex world, and there is a significant body of commentary that sees in the model of the decentralised ‘network’ organisation hopeful political implications. Not only are IT and the computer industry deemed to be catalysts for this ‘greening’ of the relations of work and of corporate organisation, but the computer itself seems to stand as a privileged model or metaphor for the ideal organisational or social configuration, one typically based on the notion of rapid, flexible and dehierarchised communication.

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