Humanitats

Història de la Cultura Contemporània


20thcentury
“Tant de bo visquis temps interessants” és una incerta antiga maledicció xinesa, rebuda en canvi com una benedicció pel gremi historiogràfic. Fins i tot, el conegut historiador britànic Eric J. Hobsbawm (1917-2012) no es va estar de titular la seva biografia precisament Años interesantes. Sens dubte i malgrat que cap període és menystenible, l’època contemporània ha encarnat com cap altre la sentència oriental.

Prendre el darrer segle i escaig d’història és presenciar l’acceleració del món: revolucions, tecnologia, guerres, ideologies, esperances, imperis, descolonització, globalització… I, tanmateix, res com la cultura reflexa i recull les transformacions viscudes. Història de la Cultura Contemporània, dins del Màster d’Humanitats de la UOC, parteix d’aquesta constatació per fixar-se en quatre moments nuclears on tot sembla coincidir i on el nostre món pren camins decisius.

imagesEl primer trencall se situa a cavall del segle XIX i XX. En pocs anys, coincideixen en el temps la irrupció de l’inconscient de la mà de Sigmund Freud, la física es revoluciona amb els primers escrits sobre la relativitat d’Albert Einstein i la teoria quàntica de Max Planck… La ciència accelerava, però la cultura no li perdia la petja: les avantguardes avançaven en paral·lel gràcies al cubisme, el surrealisme o l’expressionisme, la literatura incorporava elements com el lliure flux de consciència o els somnis… L’arbre del coneixement creixia en paral·lel a totes les seves branques i Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Gustav Mahler, entre d’altres, no n’eren aliens.

La gran cristal·lització tindrà lloc durant el període d’entreguerres. Enfront del repte plantejat pels totalitarismes, es desenvoluparà una cultura rica i diversa, especialment a Centroeuropa i amb una forta participació d’intel·lectuals d’origen jueu. El gran ventall, del formalisme rus i a l’esplendor vienès o de la Bauhaus al futurisme italià, no podrà sobreviure a la Segona Guerra Mundial, però la seva herència seguirà present.

la-cultura-es-la-inversion-de-la-vidaEl tercer moment ja és protagonitzat per les generacions nascudes després del darrer conflicte bèl·lic i decebudes pel món que els toca heretar. Des de Mèxic fins a Praga, passant pels campus californians o les principals capitals europees (París, Roma, Berlín…), es desferma un cicle de revolucions socials amb conseqüències polítiques i, sobretot, culturals. És el gran moment de la contra-cultura i de la recerca de camins alternatius. La decepció també es demostra fructífera artísticament durant aquesta crisi dels seixanta-setanta.
I finalment, el darrer node el representa un canvi de caràcter tecnològic, amb profunds efectes sobre la Humanitat: la revolució digital. Iniciada a finals del passat segle, encara avui som immersos en ella. Ja no és només el mitjà, sinó també el contingut allò que queda afectat, mentre apareixen noves formes de comunicació i relació social, així com de consum. I on, sobretot, la cultura esdevé el centre del debat.

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Jaume Claret, professor dels Estudis d’Arts i Humanitats, és consultor d’aquesta assignatura.

18 comments

  1. I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  2. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  3. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  4. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  5. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  6. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  7. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  8. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  9. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  10. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  11. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  12. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  13. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

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