Modern Dreams explores the distinction between the theoretical and sociological production of London in the fifties and conceptually related work of New York in the eighties. The art objects and theoretical strategies presented by the artists, architects, and writers included in this book engage in a continuing, questioning struggle with the means and ends of presentation and representation, focusing in particular on the effects of media images in photographs and on television. Modern Dreams pursues the transformation of images of popular culture into meaningful icons of contemporary society on four fronts. It begins by investigating the Independent Group's landmark exhibition "This is Tomorrow Today" held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1956 as proto-Pop; examines the utilization of art related technology and imagery as a kind of agit-Pop of the streets; explores the theoretical ramifications, qualified accomplishments, and possibilities of archi-Pop; and discusses the self referential, picture oriented production of post-Pop. A conversation among the Americans who were instrumental in defining Pop interprets the impact, of the British "proto-Pop" group on emerging American Pop artists, and provides a revealing look at some of the issues at stake, in the mass media environment that informs the work of artists of the 1980s.
Distributed for the P.S. 1 Museum, The Institute for Art and Urban Resources. Essays by Dennis Adams, Lawrence Alloway, Reyner Banham, Judith Barry, Thomas Finkelpearl, Kenneth Frampton, Richard Hamilton, Dick Hebdige, Thomas Lawson, Patricia Phillips, Alison and Peter Smithson, Eugenie Tsai, Brian Wallis, Glenn Weiss, Krzysztof WodiczkoA conversation with Alanna Heiss, Leo Castelli, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, John Coplans, Betsey Johnson