The Meaning of the Avant Garde - With Special Performance: Overcome
March 01, 2008 17:23

One of the goals of the Integral Vision is to resurrect the concept of the avant garde. The term is synonymous with "vanguard," technically defined as a small troop of highly skilled soldiers who explore the territory ahead of an advancing army, plotting a course for the army to follow. In a similar way, today's avant garde serves to open pathways for us all to grow into newly emergent artistic, cultural, and intellectual possibilities—the most current embodiment of the Kosmic impulse to constantly go beyond what went before, adding brilliance and revelation to the deadening forms of the previous moment.

While generally applying to anyone on the cutting edge of conscious evolution, throughout history it has often been the artists who have pushed that edge forward the most profoundly. This may be because, as Ken has often pointed out, artists have a certain freedom of experimentation which people in most other vocations simply do not have. Of course, for exactly this reason avant garde art has often been the product of some less-than-balanced souls—but if the leading edge is now integral, then we can begin to look to artists whose consciousness is integrally informed to offer us glimpses of a more sane and more inclusive future, and help unearth the radical potentials that await us there.

Ed Kowalczyk, lead singer of the band Live, is one such artist trying to bring an explicitly integral awareness to rock and roll, and here he offers a very intimate performance of his hit song, Overcome.


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