Does technology create a human world where we become numb to it’s presence? By becoming an extension of us does technology enframe us, shaping and dictating our lives? In our readings this week Marshal McLuhan and Martin Heidegger unlock the true essence of technology so that we may reveal an artistic alternative to our relationship with it and the world around us.
Through the looking glass Heidegger leads us down a trail of questions, peeling back layers to reveal that technology is not just a means to an end but rather a lens through which to see the world. The problem, Heidegger posits, is that over time it has become the dominant frame through which we experience our world. So much so that as McLuhan concludes we fail to see the gradual progression of “structural changes” that color our society. We focus on the obvious and place a higher value on the technological and scientific methodologies that we use to claim the resources of the world rather than being stewards of it. If we were to see that there are many other ways to reveal the world, such as through the arts, than perhaps we wouldn’t be so numb to the presence of technology and incorporate it holistically to gain true understanding of world around us and the universe beyond.
Let Us Return to the Electric Light
This was an illuminating week of readings, my biases were challenged and my outlook reframed. I am in Boston as I write this and there is something about being in an urban environment, ridding subways and trains, feeding cards into machines and walking through turnstiles that makes me really appreciate our reliance on technology. I wonder if perhaps technology is not a frame but a layer. When I walk through an old city like Boston I see the old bricks, the sculptures, the craftsmanship all around, mingling with technology, and I see the poetry and art alive and well. I do have this sense that as Heidegger suggested we must reassert art into our technology frame. That is what makes me so excited about our program. I feel like it is the responsibility of digital artist and innovators to shed light onto the very tools we use everyday and create new ways of seeing the world around us.