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The Technology of Art and Art of Technology: Exploring the Materiality of Technology through Art

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Abstract:

Recent scholarship in science, technology and society studies (STS) suggests that a greater focus on the materiality of technology can contribute to our understanding of the nature of technological change. Leonardi & Barley (2008) have suggested that the epistemological and ontological nature of the relationship between the material and the social remains unresolved. They have suggested that scholars have had difficulty grappling with the materiality of technology because “they often conflate the distinction between the material and social with the distinction between determinism and voluntarism” (p. 159). They suggest that one result of the equation of materialism with determinism is that STS scholars have generally paid little attention to technology’s material constraints and affordances, preferring instead to focus on the embededness of technologies in their social contexts, and the ways that social contexts influence technological change. Although social contexts into which technology are introduced are clearly important, focusing on social aspects of technology directs attention away from material features of technology people use. Drawing on insights gained from ethnographic observation and interviews, in this paper I explore the materiality of technology in relation to technologies used in the practices of art. Developing a better understanding of the characteristics and properties of technology can help us develop strategies and mechanisms for anticipating and responding to the complexities of contemporary technological systems. This work will help build a dialogue between artists and technologists, both of whom serve to benefit from greater interaction across what is often perceived as an art/ technology divide.
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Name: 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519809_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Balka, Ellen. "The Technology of Art and Art of Technology: Exploring the Materiality of Technology through Art" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH, Nov 02, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519809_index.html>

APA Citation:

Balka, E. , 2011-11-02 "The Technology of Art and Art of Technology: Exploring the Materiality of Technology through Art" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center Hotel, Cleveland, OH <Not Available>. 2014-11-25 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p519809_index.html

Publication Type: Paper Abstract
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Recent scholarship in science, technology and society studies (STS) suggests that a greater focus on the materiality of technology can contribute to our understanding of the nature of technological change. Leonardi & Barley (2008) have suggested that the epistemological and ontological nature of the relationship between the material and the social remains unresolved. They have suggested that scholars have had difficulty grappling with the materiality of technology because “they often conflate the distinction between the material and social with the distinction between determinism and voluntarism” (p. 159). They suggest that one result of the equation of materialism with determinism is that STS scholars have generally paid little attention to technology’s material constraints and affordances, preferring instead to focus on the embededness of technologies in their social contexts, and the ways that social contexts influence technological change. Although social contexts into which technology are introduced are clearly important, focusing on social aspects of technology directs attention away from material features of technology people use. Drawing on insights gained from ethnographic observation and interviews, in this paper I explore the materiality of technology in relation to technologies used in the practices of art. Developing a better understanding of the characteristics and properties of technology can help us develop strategies and mechanisms for anticipating and responding to the complexities of contemporary technological systems. This work will help build a dialogue between artists and technologists, both of whom serve to benefit from greater interaction across what is often perceived as an art/ technology divide.


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