Marconi Wireless Station

E00 — The Antenna of the Species


Technology can be strange and wonderful. It is a creative, expressive, and speculative pursuit that can tell us about who we are and where we’re going. In this episode, I introduce the topic of the podcast series and reflect on the similarity of engineering and art. Like artists, people who make technical things act as antennas: they pick up the invisible currents of life and translate them into tangible things.

Just for fun, here are some more images of antennas:

Sources and Notes:

The Ezra Pound quote “Artists are the antennae of the race” is from:¬†Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading (Norfolk, Conn.: New Directions, 1951). It is probably better known from the introduction of Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, (New York : McGraw-Hill, 1964).

For some core text on the philosophy of technology look for: Robert C Scharff and Val Dusek, Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition, An Anthology (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2003), or, if you can find it: Anthonie Meijers, Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences: Handbook of the Philosophy of Science v. 9., (Netherlands: North Holland, 2009).

Music for this episode is: Pocahaunted “Track 6” from Live at the OCCII – June 22, 2009

The featured image is from: Rankin Kennedy, Electrical Installations, vol. V, (London: Caxton, 1903), via the Wikipedia Commons.

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