ARTS & SOCIETIES
 

LETTER OF SEMINAR 18

Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po

 
 
 

the opacities of thechnology


Goldeneye (Martin Campbell, 1995), video stills from the 2007 MGM DVD.


André Gunthert
Veiled Transparence, or The color of Passing Time

Christian Walter
Recording Technologies and Images of Uncertainty

 


Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Assistant: Elodie Antoine
Translator: David Ames Curtis

PREVIOUS LETTER

THE INFLUENCE OF THE SAINT-SIMONIANS AND THE IDEA OF ART IN THE VANGUARD OF THE SOCIAL REFORM

BODY MORALITY

DANDIES

The Model Child

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE USEFUL

Photographs by amateurs

The market, at the start

art in the republic

the voyage of the avant-gardes

Major exhibitions

WHAT IS SOCIAL ART ?

PRIMITIVISMS

realisms

Joseph Beuys : A shaman's factory

the Artist and the philosopher

appropriations




 
EDITORIAL


    
 
        The singularity of technology lies perhaps in its an aura of objectivity and timelessness whereas reality demonstrates just the opposite. Like everything else, it complies with the dictates of history and obeys conventions. André Gunthert goes back over some of the arguments that might bid us to rejoin the land of history, the land formalism’s supporters had left behind. Using some well-known examples to which we had never truly paid attention from the standpoint of technology, he reminds us that every recording operation--perceived as transparent at the moment it is carried out--has a tendency to become opaque as it recedes in time. In fact, there is no end to the redefinition of technology, as there is no end to the variations in taste, by nature temporary, that depend on this constant redefinition. Nothing takes place without a minimum of historical consensus, the most lasting of which indeed assures all possible aspects of immediacy and transparency.
        Christian Walter extends to the economy this reflection on the pseudo neutrality of technology. What he shows us is that a market is dependent on its recording. The recent stock-market crisis would indeed have confirmed him in his insistence on the nature of the apprehension of uncertainty in the economic and financial worlds, where probabilistic modelings dating from the 1960s rest on statistical conceptions that are themselves inherited from the nineteenth century. According to Walter, the practices that follow therefrom are unsuited to take into consideration some of today’s major phenomena: spasms of opinion and liquidity crises. Arguing for a “clear image” of uncertainty, he sheds light on the role representation plays in economics as well as elsewhere.
        Each in his own way and on the basis of very different objects of study, both authors demonstrate how powerful is the role technology plays. Deceptively innocent, technology succeeds insofar as the viewer does not desire to know what lurks behind its filters.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac




Letter published with the support of the Foundation of France

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