Technology and Its Ideological Implications

Today I created a test shot for a new photographic series I’ve been wanting to produce. The photographs will address technology from an ideological perspective. Specifically, Neil Postman’s Technopoly plays a significant role in this framework. As one of the 20th century’s more interesting cultural and media critics, Postman warned against technology’s ability to eclipse humankind through what he called the “tyranny of machines”.

This series of images depicting various forms of technology will be paired as diptychs contrasting analog and digital technologies from across various scientific disciplines. As such, I hope to investigate social and institutional ideological stances and influences that creep into our sense of personal self-identity without our awareness. In other words, we assume this aspect of life to be normal.

The image below is my first test-shot in the series and it depicts a 50-year old Paragon Engineer’s Transit, manufactured by the Keuffel & Esser Company. K&E, as it was known, was founded in 1867 in New York and last produced this particular model of transits in 1969.

© 2011 Terry Ownby

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2 comments

  1. Great idea! I’m curious to see how many different aspects of our lives you hope to portray. As much as that, I look forward to an entire post-MTV generation respond quizzically to the concept of analog anything.
    I’ve come across a few articles similar to this track recently, e.g., ‘Atari, Merlin, and other early computer games in the hands of 10-year-olds’, however, this project of yours seems much more ambitious.

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