In this lesson, we discussed various examples of Technocrats and Luddites in the mid-late 19th century – artists that embraced new technologies (technocrats, such as the photographer Nadar) and artists that were resistant to technological change (luddites, such as the Arts & Crafts Movement founder William Morris). Just as in the 19th century, we are currently living in a time of great technological change.
Pretend you are a contemporary artist working today (yes, I know, I know … many of you actually are praticing artists).
1) As an artist, would you consider yourself a ‘technocrat’ or a ‘luddite?’ Why? In your response, be sure to link your personal position to the attitudes and approaches of artists from the 19th century with similar sentiments to your own.
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2) What kind of art might you make that is reflective of your relationship to currently-new technologies? Be detailed (i.e. come up with a specific art project you might want to make). Does it use (or evoke) new technologies and if so, how? Or, does it purposefully use more antiquated technologies and, if so, how?