tech = art

Our word ’technology’ comes from the ancient Greek word τέχνη (techni). It meant ‘craft’, ‘skill’ or ‘art’.

τέχνη still is the word for art in modern Greek. ‘Visual arts’ in Greek is εικαστικές τέχνες, or eikastikés téchnes. Technology is τεχνολογία (tekhnologíā).

I find it interesting that technology and art are the same thing (at least etymologically). Even though we surround ourselves with technology, a lot of people think that tech can not really be art. It has happened a couple of times that people who teach at an art academy have walked into my electronics workshop, looked around at all the cool things and then said in a bored voice ‘yeah, this is all just gadgets’.

That is silly. There are so many examples of fantastic artworks with motors, sound, video, programming. It’s absolutely fine if people are only into oil paintings or statues. Those classic forms of art are great and by no means obsolete, but dismissing different mediums because they are not paint or stone is nonsensical. Dismissing all the awesome works that have been made by soldering and programming is just weird.

Also, if Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were alive today, they would definitely be into computers and electronics. They would want to see what the possibilities are and what great things they could do with all the new technology. That’s what is so awesome about our time: there are a million new toys and we get to play with them. We get to figure out how to make great art with any medium we like.