Systems Esthetics Review

Jack Burnham discusses that major events in history and art are often accompanied by technology, more specifically, technology plays an important role in our attitudes about art.

I was interested in Burnham’s discussion of the emergence of “superscientific culture” in which he essentially discusses bridging the gap between is needed to sustain livability and what looks good. This is still very true today. We are constantly wanting and “needing” the next best thing. We don’t allow ourselves to fall behind even if we are living comfortably with what we already have. The next big and best thing is always right around the corner and when it is finally here it is constantly pushed on us as consumers. Often, we are willing to sacrifice our own well-being or that of our future generations for these new inventions because in some cases, we fail to see the effect it will have on our environment.

Although written many years ago, the ideas that Burnham has still hold true today. Art is ever-changing and technology is an important part of art. Just as it has expanded from the 1960’s until present day, it will continue to evolve from now until the end of time and will possibly have many of the same effects on us that Burnham described.


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