Monday, February 21, 2011

P52/8: Technology - Friend or Foe?

This week’s challenge is thought provoking. Coming from Germany it is not actually about technology, but the term ‘Technik’, which shockingly does not even have an English translation. The root of the word comes from ancient Greek τέχνη (téchnē) meaning skill, art and labor/trade. Consequently I need to define the challenge for me as this is a huge area and almost anything could be part of it, like cutting parsley with a sharp knife. If I consider the question in its most basic idea, the answer would have to be that technology is our friend, because that is what makes us human: the making and use of tools? Looking at weaponry and other tools of evil points the other way though. Tough question it is!

* click for big!

Therefore, I have decided to interpret technology in regards to this challenge as man made tools with a concrete purpose and use and also being very complex in their built. So narrowing it down like this I conclude in line with my typical juxtapositional mindset, that the answer is both. I associate technology with pollution, noise and other annoyances, dehumanizing our lives with mechanical and electronic means, pushing us further away from the basics of life. Then again, I am an early adopter and embrace technology left and right as walking though the house shows clearly.

We have a house full of tools that help with cooking, cleaning, wood work and regulate temperature and humidity. They freeze, boil, melt, cut, move, print and even curl hair. My studio has a as many gadgets as the kitchen or the work shop. Looking further we get to computers, ipods and digital cameras (making me wish we had more Apple stock and at least some Canon). We use technology to be entertained, to stay in virtual touch or arrange for real socializing, to be creative and to be not creative, to make time and to kill time, to help us make a mess in the kitchen and to help us clean it up again. It helps us move faster or slower and even tells us where to go, it makes our world brighter and louder. It makes life easier and it makes life harder. (I’d like to meet the person that has not yelled at a piece of technology out of frustration.)

We all take the harder and the frustration for the reward, video chatting with friends on the other side of the world, picture sharing and critique through blogging and watching BBC’s Robin Hood streaming through the marvel called Wii. And when we are without power - something rather routine in this part of the world - we just as happily sit by the fire, read books, play boardgames, write with ink and take our instruments and make music. So yes, technology is a friend, but we are okay with an occasional leave of absence.


hamti said...

Sehr gute Fotos. Kaum zu glauben, dass all die alltäglichen Gegenstände so ästhetisch aussehen können :)
Und großartiger Text.

Mick said...

sehr schöne Details!

czoczo said...

Wau ... da hast Du aber eine Mega Collag zusamengabaut . Und ich kann mich nicht mall auf eine idee entscheiden .

Fantastisch und perfekt passend zu Thema . Auf die Frage ob Freund oder Feind werde ich jetzt sagen ... : na Klaar Freund !

Eike said...

in jedem detail steckt ein großes stück technik. super!

jtw73 said...

Mensch da hast du dir aber viel Muehe, meine Herren - super toll!!!