From Nothingness to Technology, What Do We Read Ourselves in New Media
From the early beginning of western art history, art and technology are inseparable. The original meaning of the word "techne" in ancient Greek means "art" and "craft". The term "technology", was therefore a discourse on the arts as both fine and applied. In a modern world, technology implies the practical application of science to commerce or industry. Therefore, it is not contingent that science and technology has shared a dominated part in the modernization and commercialization of western art forms. Consequently, the concepts of science and technology in pre-modern China were not very much the same as the West. This has been extensively discussed by Joseph Needham, the late English biochemist, embryologist, the writer of Science and Civilisation in China, in his question why technological development had not developed as rapidly in China as it had in Europe from the sixteenth century onward. It is not incorrect to say that art in pre-modern China was essentially different from western art as technology was not necessarily a part of the development of art in Chinese history. Starting with this cultural difference, we may be able to examine the development of media art as a global culture in China. With the increasingly engaging of science and technology in art, if there could be a kind of "local" art in the discussion of "global art", what kind of fundamental philosophical perspectives can ground our "Chinese identity" as in our understandings of new media aesthetics and practice of new media?