Magazine Submitted by mute on Wednesday, 21 January, 2004
- By Ewan Morrison and Matthew Fuller
5. Foucault's critique of technology. The myth that technology is a 'tool'. Technology always serves the interests of power. Artists get used by technology. Not the other way around. The horror of the artist/reviewer meeting Imaginaria is that it is technology and science that sets the agenda. Thus, artists fall prey to an agenda which is not theirs, to a set of concerns that they cannot control or limit, and to a set of outcomes (since many works are set up as 'experiments') which are predetermined and not as 'open ended' as the artists would like to think.
6. Heidegger's opposition between art and technology. The debate on art and technology is always prefaced by some reference to Heidegger. For Heidegger, technology keeps humanity from recognising 'being': we deny ourselves when we see the world 'technologically' - that is, as a tool for our own use. Against the evils of technology Heidegger set the virtues of art, through which 'being' expresses itself to us. Heidegger's views on art were dominant in the 50s and have had a lasting impact.
Although very few contemporary artists would support Heidegger's philosophy and its endorsement of the notion of the autonomous individual, the ethically existing subject and the expression of inner truth, the art world continues to distrust technology.
The postmodern rejection of Heidegger should have seen an abandonment of the old opposition between art and technology and paved the way for a reconciliation of the old opposites. However, the result has not been a new belief in the compatibility of art and technology, but the belief instead that both art and technology are equally lacking in an ultimate justification. In this way Heidegger's split is reconciled - through mutual failure.