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ARTH 353 Technology and Contemporary Art

  • Fridays, 11:45am - 2:15pm
  • EV 1.615
  • Instructor: Dr. Charles Gagnon

French philosopher Gilbert Simondon believed that the technical offered much to philosophers for the production of concepts. Contrary to many thinkers who described the technological in negative, even inhuman terms, Simondon viewed it as an aspect of human reality. In recent years his thinking towards matter, machines, and techniques has influenced anthropologists, media archaeologists, art historians, and artists.

With an emphasis on the materiality and technical dimension of artworks the class will consider conflicting attitudes towards tools, machines, and technology, from the wonders of nanotechnology to the fear of surveillance technology. These attitudes are present as well in how museum deal with machines, the artist as machine, specifically with artificial intelligence, and the language used in science-fiction exploring the humanity of robots echoing the words concerning the humanity of enslaved people.

Other topics that will be examined will be video art, weaving, and the notion of the black technical object through the artworks of American Artist (yes it is their name), and the work of Songwen Chung, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, César Newashish, Keith Sonnier and Ulla Wiggen.

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