Produced and RE-Produced Tiles
This project was created to be exhibited in the Teaching Art in the Age of Technological Change 2014 Exposition. This project responded to the ideas and theories behind replication, production, reproduction, etc. by Marshall McLuhan and Walter Benjamin.
A Realization Exercise
What is technology? The invention of a new gadget that you can utilize to make your life easier? Elizabeth M. Delacruz states in her article, Art Education Aims in the Age of New Media: Moving Toward Global Civil Society, “Technology is ubiquitous. Kids and families, students and communities are plugged in, cued to the latest electronic developments and diversions, ready to creatively adapt them to their own purposes” (Delacruz, 13). Technology has evolved over time from simple humanistic characteristics (such as walking, talking, etc.) to the mini laptops we carry in our pockets so that we can access anything we want at any time. The idea of technology has evolved at the same speed. It has gone from a simple creation, to the idea of producing and reproducing an object in order to establish a product that can be distributed to people in society. These objects are meant to help us as individuals, but are they really tearing us apart?
In his article, The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media, Walter Benjamin states, “Since the transformation of the superstructure proceeds far more slowly than that of the base, it has taken more than half a century for the change in the conditions of production to be manifested in all areas of culture” (Benjamin, 19). In which I believe that they have. Every aspect of our lives as individuals in this society revolves around technology or the idea of technology. This in turn has become a reaction to the production and reproduction of these objects and ideas, in which have penetrated our “normal” lives. We feel disconnected if we forget our cellphone at home one day, or we can’t get the latest update on our newsfeed on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Can we reach as far as saying that technology has slowly overtaken every aspect of our lives, and we are actively participating and allowing it to happen?
Would you be satisfied if you woke up tomorrow to a world where you never had to leave your bed? You could completely access the world online; communicating with your co-workers, managing your daily tasks, spending your holidays via Skype with your family in Tennessee. As great as the ideas of production and reproduction sound, they are starting to intertwine themselves into our lives more and more slowly gaining control. If it continues to seep into our lives, do you think there’s a possibility it could overtake it? These tiles were created to give each individual that interacts with them a realization of how much technology, production, reproduction, tradition, etc. exists in their lives.
The viewer will be asked to arrange the tiles as to how much of each of these they see in their lives everyday, and then again a second time for how much they would like to have them in their lives. They will then be asked to reflect on their thoughts about this disturbing (or maybe not so disturbing) realization that they have encountered with the tiles on a notecard and drop it into the bowl. Their responses will be incorporated into further research about the involvement of technology in our lives, and how it is shaping our future for us.