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Teemanumeron etusivu

Categorically speaking, every tool and utensil that human beings have ever used is "technology". Again, the root of the concept of art derives from notions of skill (like the Greek "tekhne"). In quite general terms, then, the two definitely share an intertwining prehistory and would be difficult to understand separately. However, discussions about art and technology are bound to look different in our age. The backdrop for the current reconsideration of this relationship is formed, firstly, by art's emancipation from other social practices, and the politico-ethical counterreactions that followed this retreat into autonomy; and second, by the huge leaps in the natural sciences in the 20th and 21st centuries that enable us to see and mould reality in mind-boggingly unprecedented ways. Indeed, questions regarding art and techonology, and art and science, have been one of the prevalent themes in artistic and art-theoretical discourses since the turn of the millennium. Is the separation of art and science as two entirely different forms of knowledge valid? Is it useful? Can art and science teach each other in terms of, e.g., bioethics and interspecies dependencies? How does the emergence of post-humanist perspectives and BioArt challenge and shape our concepts of art and aesthetics? Is art permitted to experiment with all new technologies and what is its responsibility? These, among other issues, are taken up in the present theme number.
Art and technology are inseparable by definition. In Plato's and Aristotle's Greece the word “tekhne” (“τέχνη”) meant a skill of applied arts or knowledge. For Plato and Aristotle the aim of tekhne was the imitation of nature. According to Aristotle in some cases art could complete what nature couldn't finish. Despite that the both words tekhne and logos were used by the both philosophers, the word “technology” didn't appear until the 17th century. Still in Oxford English Dictionary (1919) the definition of the word technology meant the discourse or treatment of practice or terminology of practical arts. In the 20th century technology got new meanings, relating to technical processes and infrastructures more than tools or machines. For art, the "modernization” of the term happened earlier.
I have never felt the need to collaborate with a scientist to be able to make my own science. What I am looking for is a companion in dialogue. A companion who helps me to stretch my thinking and to understand its limitations, who helps me to develop a practice where the bodily, sense-based knowledge can be supported and extended by other ways of knowing.
In some sense, you may consider CERN as an extremely unique performative stage on which humans and particles dance together to understand each other better. Maintenance cycling around the LHC tunnel, the “training” of the superconducting magnets, or the “collision dance” of particles are just a few examples.
The first, long phase of the history of film, where the viewers passively consume films made by filmmakers, is horizontally oriented, which is only natural. But when viewers become users, the dynamic cannot remain untouched. The logic behind vertical videos was dominated by grasp, not gaze. As smartphones are rather big, it tends to feel more secure and handy to hold them in portrait and not in landscape orientation, especially when using only one hand. Eventually, this very practical preference starts to have consequences for the overall aesthetics of moving image.
Even a casual follower of the discourse around electronic or experimental music cannot have missed a phenomenon that could be called an “analog revival”. During the last few years there has been a notable increase in interest towards analog sound synthesis and its history. Alongside the established canon of post-war pioneers, recent archival reissues of recordings by perhaps lesser known figures suggest that there is an orientation towards forming a more nuanced picture of the formative decades – mid-1950s to early 1970s – of electronic music and of analog sound synthesis technology in particular.
The discourse introduced in the paper and the Toolkit invite the reader and Toolkit user to think about symbiotic relationships between human and non-human organisms. The paper is organized into three parts. The first part presents the idea of symbiotic relationships among organisms, the second part is a short compilation of related artistic projects, and the last section introduces the Toolkit, an artistic and educative set of tools and ingredients for practicing collaborative work with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).