Above: Trump. Credit: Shealah Craighead.
In 1983, Jean Baudrillard first put forward his concept of the ecstatic: in the modern age everything must reappear in its "ecstatic" version--a monstrous-obscene emptied-out incarnation. ("Ecstasy is the quality proper to any body that spins until all sense is lost and then shines forth in its pure and empty form.") It is thirty-five years since Baudrillard posited his theory of the ecstatic .... these days, as a tool for interpreting-theorizing modern life, it's more cogent than ever before.
Here are some current examples of the Ecstatic....
|Conversation||Twitter and social media|
|Fitness||Bodybuilding ("gym bunnies")|
|Jazz||Brad Mehldau or Ashley Henry||Television||YouPorn|
We, in the developed West at least, live increasingly in an ecstatic culture in which any object, idea or phenomenon is apt to appear--or reappear--as a monstrous-and-empty version of itself.
(11 December 2018)