Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Assignment 1: Response to Heidegger

For the first assignment I attempted to create a machine in response to Heidegger's essay. I was interested in making a machine that dealt with the futility outlined in the essay, in hopes that I could use technology to criticize itself. I wanted to build something that was difficult to turn off once it is turned on. I thought it was interesting in class when we brought up that if we wanted to go back to a time un-entrapped by technology, we would either need to stop using it or reveal its true nature. Heidegger seems to state that technology is man's way to dominate nature to his will. This was not the true purpose of technology and it was the duty of artists to begin revealing that truth. I wanted to make a machine that would be as difficult to stop as it is for society to give up their selfish use of technology. In hopes that this would show a Heideggerian form of art and and an object that shows how technology can be manipulated to critique itself.

My machine spun around in circles symbolizing the futility and self serving nature of technology. The idea was that the machine would spin the more light was shone on it, the more it was "revealed". I didn't intend for it to destroy itself but during the gallery presentation the batteries became intensely heated due to a wiring issue. This suggests the only way for the current uses of technology to subside is for them to run their course, or to destroy themselves in the process.

Practically this project was one of the most difficult to create, I spend twice as long if not more on this project than any other in this class. The work didn't show and my piece looked largely incomplete and didn't function properly in class. This was my first conceptual work and it was challenging being as my artistic focus is largely visual or sonic in all of my past projects. Responding to Heidegger is no easy feat and I'm not sure my project said much about technology other than it's unmanageability and futility.