Week 3- David Wieser

Industrialism has always been one of my favorite periods to study in history class. It may just be due to the fact that industrialization is much easier to relate to than the Revolutionary War or the Crusades, but I also like the idea behind it. Efficiency and capitalism are the name of the game when it comes to industrialism; both are concepts I believe are highly important. I greatly appreciate the advances in technology that the Industrial Age began and considering how much my current life hinges on modern technology, I’ve not the slightest idea what my life would have been like had I been born in the past. This is especially true given that my major is Computer Science. Robots are undoubtedly a product of industrialization, but they won’t be quite so prevalent in the future as sci-fi movies lead us to believe. Artificial intelligence will not likely be able to rebel on us, as The Matrix may lead us to believe. Humanoid robots are both too expensive and not useful enough to be common in everyday life in the future. As a result, “scary” movies feating robots on the attack are not particularly intimidating.

Speaking of industrial, I found the industrial rock presentation interesting. My classmates did not seem to like math rock very much, but although I did not get a chance to observe their reactions to industrial rock. I imagine it would be more positive, as industrial rock seemed more accessible and less noise-heavy. I listen to bands such as Ministry and Nine Inch Nails on occasion, so at least I can relate. However, I was slightly disappointed at the lack of references to other industrial music. According to Wikipedia (see table at the bottom of the page), industrial music is a very broad term that encompasses a number of subgenres and industrial rock is only one of these. I personally listen to aggrotech and power noise, some different subgenres. There are even more that I haven’t listed. Although some industrial has less of the pounding, machine-like “industrial” sound as older industrial rock may have, industrial music has a new meaning as of modern day.

I found the kinetic art intriguing as well. The noise that the motors produced in the kinetic art killed it a bit, though. It was more interesting as a piece of history as a precursor to digital art. Flash animations on the internet are a much cleaner, more integrated art form, with less motor sounds attached. Kinetic art is effectively obsolete due to computers. Art has a broad definition in this class.

Modern industrial art, such as Stelarc and Survival Research Labs, is a bit freaky, to be honest. Stelarc, for example, has practiced flesh hook suspension and got a cell-cultivated ear grafted onto his arm. Why you would do such a thing confuses me. Survival Research Labs sounds more difficult to call art, but the freaky, violent machines they make are cool nonetheless.

Considering all the contributions Nikola Tesla made to modern electricity, I am vastly surprised that Edison is so much more well-known. Great, Edison made the lightbulb, but Tesla made modern electricity vastly more efficient with the popularization of AC current. Plus, his last name is cooler. Tesla vs. Edison. Tesla wins.

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