‘The Question Concerning Technology’ – ‘But where the danger is, grows the saving power also.’

This paper discusses Martin Heideggers´ essay, ‘The Question Concerning Technology’, written in 1953. I will critically assess Heideggers´ description regarding the ambivalent value of technology, using a quotation from the poet Friedrich Hölderlin as a reference point:
‘But where the danger is, grows the saving power also.’
I will use two examples of video art of Nam June Paik and Bill Viola as the context in which to critically assess Heidegger’s essay.

The paper is divided into 4 parts.
In Section 1 I want to define my understanding of Heideggers´ Essay with regard to Hölderlins´ influence and his quotation mentioned above.
Section 2 then moves on by critically assessing Nam June Paiks´ work of Video Art ´Venus` from 1990, in which TV monitors circle a large painted aluminum disk that features windows revealing other TVs.
Section 3 will critically assess Viola´s latest Video Art Piece from 2014 called ´Martyrs` (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). ´Martyrs` went on display at St Paul’s Cathedral this year. The piece is announced as the first moving-image artwork to be installed in a British cathedral or church on a long-term basis.
Finally in Section 4 we provide a conclusion assessed through Heideggers´ Essay ‘The Question Concerning Technology` and both video art pieces. Is technology a danger? Does it contain within it the saving power, and if it is true, how can we use technology in this way?

Page of Content

1. Introduction   2 – 3
2. Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Hölderlin  4
3. Nam June Paik, ´Venus`, 1990   5 – 6
4. Bill Viola, ´Martyrs`, 2014           6 – 8
5 World Saving: Art!                           9 – 11
6. Bibliography                                    12 – 13

For the entire essay incl. footnotes please download following PDF File

Read Martin Heidegger Entire Essay PDF

 

 

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