“A Journey through the Culture-Technology Valley” presented by Wohn

  • ©ISEA2019: 25th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Kwangyun Wohn, A Journey through the Culture-Technology Valley


Presentation Title:

  • A Journey through the Culture-Technology Valley




  • Born in 1952, in the middle of the Korean War, I am one of the rare species who has witnessed and experienced all of the major industrial revolutions (IRs) – the first represented by machines, the second by electricity, and the third by computing. In retrospect, it is interesting to observe that my perception on the IRs has evolved; whereas the first IR was all about the matter of survival, the second one was intertwined with political ideology. In the third IR, I was proud to be in the mainstream, as one of the actors who led the technological innovation. In the course of these developments, I noticed that many crucial social and economic indices which are supposed to be in the form of the normal (Gaussian) distribution polarized into binary form: the rich and the poor, right and left, natural and artificial, technology and culture. Of course art and science is no exception.

    In this regard, I coined the term Culture Technology (CT) in 1994, to provide a stepping stone on which the techno-cultural studies and practices could be systematically approached with the goal of narrowing the gap between technology and culture, more specifically science and art. In this presentation, I will review some of my conventional and unconventional attempts in the context of Culture Technology (CT), with the hope that my storytelling will entertain (and hopefully stimulate) the audience who are interested in bridging the gap between science and art. As a bonus material, I will present some personal thoughts on the fourth IR in regards to HAI (Human-Artifact Interaction), claiming that 1) the fourth IR could be the last IR that we humans will ever experience, and that 2) the essence of the fourth IR lies in how we position humanities with respect to artificiality.