Art and Technology

Art and Technology is an undergraduate course which is currently running for third-year students in the Department of Art History at UCL, 2013-2014.

This course looks at the history of technology in art, beginning with the development of photography, moving through film and video, to the emergence of digital media and internet art. The aim is not to simply survey the use of technology in art but rather to explore and analyse examples in which technology might be seen to be asking questions either of itself or the category of ‘art’.

The course is framed by the theoretical work of Martin Heidegger on technology, and his concept of techne as a challenge to the instrumentalising objectivity presupposed by traditional models. It explores a range of core issues related to technology in art including: theories of production and re-production, and the pressure this puts on the category ‘art’; artist film and haptic vision; the rise of the amateur and home-video in the 1970s; intersections between performance and technology; questions of visual epistemology (the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual’); the crossover between art and medicine in the 1990s; and ‘post-internet’ art and the self-image.

Students enrolled on this course are in the process of developing a Wiki, which can be viewed here. This is a collaborative space for students to share and peer review research, as well as recommend relevant readings and exhibitions.

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