High Technē: Art and Technology from the Machine Aesthetic to the Posthuman

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U of Minnesota Press, 1999 - Art and technology - 196 pages
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In an age of high tech, our experience of technology has changed tremendously, yet the definition of technology has remained largely unquestioned. High Techne redresses this gap in thinking about technology, examining the shifting relations of technology, art, and culture from the beginnings of modernity to contemporary technocultures.

Drawing on the Greek root of technology (techne, generally translated as "art, skill, or craft"), R. L. Rutsky challenges both the modernist notion of technology as an instrument or tool and the conventional idea of a noninstrumental aesthetics. Today, technology and aesthetics have again begun to come together: even basketball shoes are said to exhibit a "high-tech style" and the most advanced technology is called "state of the art." Rutsky charts the history and vicissitudes of this new high-tech techne up to our day -- from Fritz Lang to Octavia Butler, Thomas Edison to Japanese Anime, constructivism to cyberspace.

Progressing from the major art movements of modernism to contemporary science fiction and cultural theory, Rutsky provides clear and compelling evidence of a shift in the cultural conceptions of technology and art and demonstrates the centrality of technology to modernism and postmodernism.

 

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Contents

The Question concerning High Tech
1
The Spirit of Utopia and the Birth of the Cinematic Machine
23
The Mediation of Technology and Gender
48
The AvantGarde Technē and the Myth of Functional Form
73
Within the Space of High Tech
102
Technological Fetishism and the TechnoCultural Unconscious
129
Notes
159
Index
187
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