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 + TECHNOLOGY (+SCIENCE + PHILOSOPHY) 4/2016, Vol. 65