Relations between Culture, Environment and Technology: Concept of Artificialisation

By Kurmo Konsa.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The dichotomy of nature and culture has remained for various epoches, and various traditions one of the key ideological oppositions. Today we are living in an age when this distinction seems to be on the brink of extinction. The artificialisation means the disappearance of clear boundary between nature and artifical. Our age is undoubtedly the age of technology. Technology, in one form or another, has always been a significant element of human condition. Both physical environment and human organisms are influenced by technology. Human beings have already changed nature totally. The idea of all technology may be to control and transform the natural world. Wild nature in Earth is becoming very rare or even idealization. Environmental influences are processes as old as human culture. The human influences on physical and biological environment are manifold. Evolutionary process has within fifteen thousand years transformed the biophysical world from one to which the human species was small influences to one where the human is main geophysical agent. There is only one more border area to colonize - the cultural resources of mankind. The culture that we have always considered man’s naturally evolved environment is to be redefined as an artificial environment with countless opportunities. The artificialisation of culture means actually creating artificial cultures according to our aims and needs. Two directions for creating artificial cultures are being evolved. The first is the computer modelling of cultures, with which completely artificial simulations of cultures are being formed, while the second is with synthetic worlds, which are simulated communications environments with which people are interacting. The goal of artificial cultures is clear – technologically modified or constructed cultures. One day in the future it may mean totally new, artificially constructed cultures. For now, it means the modification, alteration and adaptation of the existing ones.

Keywords: Culture, Environment, Technology, Artificialisation, Artificial Culture

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 568.317KB).

Dr. Kurmo Konsa

Associated Professor, Chair of Archival Studies, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia

Kurmo Konsa was born on the 31st of the August 1965 at Tartu, Estonia. He is an Associated Professor in Chair of Archival Studies at Tartu University. He has an M.Sc in microbiology from Tartu University, and an M.A. in Book Science from Tallinn University. Kurmo Konsa holds a doctoral degree in Informational Science from Tallinn University. His doctoral work focuses on preservation of written heritage and preservation surveys issues. Formerly he worked at Tartu University Library as paper conservator and at Estonian Postal Museum as conservator and curator of collections. His current research program includes the condition surveys of Estonian written records - construction of theoretical framework within which to develop, test and evaluate a preservation surveys methodology; creating a general methodology that may be adopted for assessing of condition of all paper-based collections and statistical surveys of Estonian written heritage. The most important and extensive conservation project with which Dr. Konsa has been involved was the Project Thule – the State of Cultural Heritage in Major Estonian Libraries. This project was carried out by support of UNESCO in 1998 – 2000. He is the Vice-Chairman of Estonian Preservation Council an umbrella organization of national memory institutions at Estonian Cultural Ministry. Dr Konsa participates in composition of advanced professional training courses at Tartu University and at Estonian Cultural Ministry. Kurmo Konsa has presented the results of his studies at conferences in Estonia and abroad (Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Germany). He published a lot of articles in special publications. His books “Preservation of Archival Materials” and “Preservation Guide for Libraries and Archives” are the only study and reference materials concerning the preservation of written heritage in Estonia.

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