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Nature and Technology Essay

Nature and Technology Essay

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Published by: chamberzboi4020 on Nov 19, 2008
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Nature and Technology Originally I spent a lot of time trying to combine Nature and Technology working in harmony, Whether

it be an animal having a day job, or a ladybird with helicopter wings. This appeared to be the most straight forward and obvious way of producing five images based around the brief of Nature and technology. I began work based around the idea of a grizzly bear carrying out everyday jobs, such as a builder, policeman or a doctor for example. However, during my production process of these images I began to worry that the idea had no direct relation to any iconic themes in nature or technology. A grizzly bear is hardly an iconic animal of nature, and doing different jobs is not really an effect of technology nor a technology in itself. This made me begin to think about how technology is directly affecting nature as a whole, straight away Global Warming came to mind. This theme gave me the opportunity to have a direct relation between both nature and technology, as technology is having an affect on nature, as Global Warming is proving. “By 2040 the Arctic may have its first ice free summer“, indicating that animals such as the Polar Bear, Penguins and Seals’ natural habits will be totally wiped out due to the effects of Global Warming. This will have a huge impact on these animals causing them to either adapt to the environment they are left with, or to be totally wiped out. We can predict this as there has already been “a 17 per cent decline in polar bear numbers on the western coast of Hudson Bay in Manitoba province - from 1200 to fewer than 1000 over the past 10 years - due to the effects of global warming.” But what really is Global Warming and why should we care about it? “As human-caused biodiversity loss and climate disruption gain ground, we need to keep our sights clear and understand that the measure of a threat is not a matter of whether it is made on purpose, but of how much loss it may cause. It's an ancient habit to go after those we perceive to be evil because they intended to do harm. It's harder, but more effective, to "go after," meaning to more effectively educate and socialize, those vastly larger numbers of our fellow humans who are not evil, but whose behaviour may in fact be far more destructive in the long run." (Ed Ayres 2001) There is a lot of controversy looming over Global Warming, as to whether or not its really happening. In 1998 20% of people didn't belive in Global Warming and its affects. My attempt to convert this 20% of the poppulation is based on the theory outlined by Abbinnett (2003 p. 74) by Marxism about the development of technology by stating that,“Marxism demands that we attend both to the logic of representation (distortion, false identity) which determines cultural reproduction, and to the development of the technologies through which this reproduction is carried out” Based on this, if I produce images which are photo-realistic, which once wouldn't have been possible without the advances in computers, the audience will believe to an extent what they see initially, until they put some thought into its real deeper meaning, in this case global warming. Carbon Dioxide from Power Plants, Cars, Airplanes, Buildings, and Deforestation are all technologies all used to give humans a more convenient and easy life style, however potentially doing the exact opposite to wildlife that habitat the Arctic. I have therefore produced a series of images and a website to reflect the impact of global warming and represent the dramatic effects it is causing the environment. My aim was to produce five iconic images, which would really make the person viewing the images feel very aware about the real effects of Global Warming, and I felt this could be achieved through a mix of both surrealism and realism. By doing so it is adding a level of Hyper Reality, making it difficult for the audience to distinguish beween what elements of the images are real and which ones are sureal. By adding this level of depth to the image it should encourage the user to think about the underlying meanings of global warming. In all of my images I have taken animals such as polar bears and penguins which are very iconic when talking about global warming, out of their natural habitat in which we associate them, and put them in an environment in which we would not expect to see them. This instantly would make the

audience think why these animals were in that situation, hopefully making them realise that this is how these animals are going to end up if they do not do their bit to minimise Global Warming. My overlaying theme of these animals in these situations is how they have been made homeless due to the effects of technology, which has caused their habits to be destroyed. The scenarios I have put the animals in are typical to the ones of homeless people, giving the images an aspect of realism, however applying this to animals and putting them into the scenario of a homeless person adds elements of surrealism to the mix, as you do not see animals holding signs, which is intended to make the audience think about what is being portrayed.

Image One (above) has been designed to be clear, hard-hitting and slightly mono-chromatic. These dull colours are associated with a cold bleak winters day, which of course is what this animal wants, however his natural habitat has been removed due to the effects of global warming. The seal has a bright street light shining over him, which I feel is very relevant to the image as light pollution is another technological advance which is harming the o-zone, in-return harming these animals. I have placed a newspaper over him as I this ties in well with recycling, something which should happen more often to ensure that this image remains surreal. The image itself with out the “think! Global warming” logo and the tag line “technology won the war, nature gave up on the battle” would have “limits of interpretation” (Umburto 1990) which means people may not instantly be aware the cause of the seal being on the bench, hence the logo and tag line being implemented. I gained inspiration for this image by trawling through homeless people pictures on Google and realised the majority of them were on some sort of park bench. This got me thinking a long the lines of homeless animals, the consequenses and what they may do to help themselves if they were forced into this currently virtual world.

Image two (above) takes another stereotypical view of homeless people and turns it into one

relevant to the polar bears habitat being destroyed. It is implying the lack of care from humans, all three people are walking as far away from the bear as possible, the bowl in which it is asking for money is empty, and the woman at the front appears to be laughing at the sight of the bear being homeless. This is dealing with critical issues of lack of understanding about global warming, and implying humans selfish, materlistic attitude which advances in technology has brought about. I am showing this by having each of the people carrying expensive designer shopping bags which all use natural materials and are produced in factories which are major contributors of carbon dioxide into the o-zone.

I have applied the possible consequences of technology to my first three images, however I wanted the next part of the campaign to focus on making the audience realise how technologys are impacting on the environment. As I mentioned earlier, big contributing factors are cars and factorys, hence the production of images four and five. Both of these images remain with the same logo as on the other images, as if it was released as a real advertising campaign, these would carry on in the series however portraying a similar meaning but focusing on the actul causes of global warming and not the affects as in the other three. I have portrayed my five images as a form of charitable campaign to reduce global warming. The logo of the campaign “think! global warming” is a semiotic, the icey backdrop on the text is intended to make people associate the Arctic with global warming, and the red text is used to indicate hot, as this colour is used in everyday life to represet this such as on bathroom taps for example. The same applies to the blue used in the logo, and the general theme of the website as people associate it with coldness. Both hot and cold are the conflicting factors based around global warming. The typograhy lecture made me think quite deeply in how I should portray the text on the images, and made me realise how important that these considerations are. I wanted the campain to be clear-cut and down to the point, sending a strong message to the audience. I decided to use a sans-serif font as this is what websites based around technology used, also decided to use just small case characters as this allowed the text to look more simplistic and easy to read as the audience doesn't have to deal with grammar. In summary to this project I feel as though my images are well related to the arising themes of global warming, and portray the problems that are being caused by technologys in a bid to try and make the target audience more aware than they already are of what will happen if we dont change our lifestyles to be more considerate.

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