Although contemporary uses of the word “technology” tend to refer almost exclusively to digital or computer technologies, throughout this paper the term will be used to describe any development, inventions or advances created by humans that were considered culturally significant at the time of their development.
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The term “utopia” will be used to refer to a perfect or near-perfect reality, while the term “dystopia” will be use as a antonym to refer to the world where everything is unpleasant or flat-out horrible.
“Utopian” and “Dystopian” will also be used along side the terms “technophilic”, referring to positive enthusiasms about technology and the possibilities it offers, and “technophobic”, referring to the fear of new technologies and the changes they bring.
These drawings also often portrayed workers, engineers and admiring visitors along side them with “exaggerated muscles and heroic poses of the saints and heroes in contemporary paintings (Klingender 72)”.
These artist portrayed the machines and their creators as heroes and saints, things to be celebrated for ushering in a new era of greatness.
This binary response to industrialization is reflected in the artwork produced at the time.
Many artists and crafts people found inspiration in depicting the new inventions that were emerging.This paper will look at technologies throughout history and into the present day and how those technologies have been presented in the popular visual culture of their time.Technology’s binary reception can be seen in artwork produced during the Industrial Revolution.This paper will explore the presentation of emerging technology or the “technological” throughout history in popular visual culture.Specially this paper will examine the tendency for technology to be portrayed in one of two ways: as an agent of dystopia or an agent of utopia.But not all artist found inspiration in these inventions, and instead rebelled against their presence in everyday life.