The term “technology” is a very broad term that covers many different disciplines and ideas. Many people use the term “technology” to refer to any and all innovations that enhance the current method of doing things – from new information systems and information technology, to new manufacturing techniques and tools, to new energy/mechanical gadgets. However, it’s important to realize that technology can be used in different ways, even if it’s only in describing the products and services that we currently receive from various sectors of our society. In fact, technology can be used in all kinds of fields and industries. Take a look at some of the examples below.
Technology in the arts. In the past, technology was reserved for more specific fields of study, such as the engineering field and the scientific community. But now, because so much technological knowledge and advancements have been made through the years, artists are leveraging the power of technology in all kinds of artistic ways. For instance, visual and performing arts now have increased interactivity, variety, and realism, which are enabled by advancements in digital art production, video art, computer animation, 3-D modeling, and more. Because artists are using technology to create these kinds of works, they’re technically expanding their scope and accessing a broader pool of scientific knowledge in the process.
Technology in culture. The field of culture isn’t expanding thanks to the arrival of new technologies like the iPod, cell phone, and MP3 player. Instead, culture is becoming more highly customized thanks to increasingly efficient technological systems and devices. This is evident in how certain music is becoming more easily downloadable and accessible over the Internet, as well as the growing number of DVD and Blu-Ray titles that are quickly gaining more popularity thanks to their availability and convenience. Artists are taking advantage of these kinds of technological innovations and applying them to their own creative process. artist’s use of these technologies can be seen in everything from Jazz to Hip Hop, from classical to avant-garde.
Technological Systems and Language. The systematic treatment of technology in this section considers the way different technologies interact with language. Language is used to represent, communicate, and control technology; it is an important aspect in understanding cultural technologies because it allows us to make meaning of the digital world. Cultural systems are used to describe the relationships between digital artifacts, people, and their interactions.
The word technology itself signifies the collection of methods, apparatus, or procedures employed to meet a need. In the broadest sense, technology is used to meet a need. Within this broad definition, the technology can be used to: create something new, improve on an existing object or process, modify something to meet new needs, or add something new to an existing system. Within this broad sense, it’s easy to see how technology and culture could be intimately connected. Both science and art can be considering technological objects. When we talk about a technological process, we’re talking about the creative process, not just the creation of new technological objects.
This chapter gives us another perspective on technology. Culture shapes and controls technology. It is important to remember that although a technological process may change existing technologies, cultures will not allow changes that would be against their interests or new needs. As technology changes, it also changes the ways in which people interact with each other. The term technology may seem to imply a uniform definition throughout the world. Although technology has affected cultures throughout time, cultures have the power to alter or transform the process of technology, if they choose.