According to “Culture, Technology and Creativity in the late twentieth century,” by Philip Hayward, the term “technology” is “derived from the Greek technologia in the early Seventeenth Century, a time of political and institutional upheavals and cultural and mechanical innovations,” meaning that a long time ago the word “technology” had connections with culture. Therefore I am writing an essay to find out if new technologies still have an impact on visual culture like it claimed to have back in the Seventeenth Century. I have decided to study between the periods of 1950-1990.
The 1950’s was an extraordinary decade, a decade of fun, excitement and individuality, especially to teenagers. This was the time when rock and roll exploded into the world, and heart throbbing Elvis Presley made teenagers go wild. The music put a mark onto the youth, all wanting to be “different but cool. ” Before the 1950’s the word teenager had never been heard off. However with “a range of influences including film, television, magazines and the rock music scene created a new market grouping called teenagers,” they made themselves known.
The main looks were greasers and preppies. Greasers wearing their leather jackets and tight denim jeans, riding their motorbikes and were seen as outrageous; while the preppies were dressed very neat and tidy with the girls wearing circular or pleaded skirts. Boys wanted to be like Elvis and the girls longed to be like the beautiful Marilyn Monroe. However, this whole rock and roll image was seen as “unhealthy by parents. ” Younger people disagreed as they wanted to look “new, stylish and a great way of being different. ”
Not only was it the music that made this decade a rebellious one to teenagers but also films also influenced it, ” young people wanted new and exciting symbols of rebellion,” and that is what Hollywood did. The 1950’s saw the rise of the anti-hero, with actors like James Dean and Paul Newman and “sexy anti-heroines,” such as Kim Novak and Marilyn Monroe. One of the most successful technologies was introduced in the 1950’s which was the television. Similar to what the radio did in the 1920’s, the television provided people with news and entertainment to amuse themselves with.
It came into the medium in communicating to the society. Television made it possible “to view live events in the living room unlike the radio. ” It first started appearing during the mid 1940’s, by 1949 it had overtaking the radio, in 1952 the “BBC signal could be received by 81% of the population,” and by 1955 it became that popular that there was one in every household. The television was appealing to most of society and it made families bond and become closer; everyone in the living room watching the television and socializing with each other.
If a teenager had a television in the 1950’s, it was a luxury and they were seen as cool because all teens wanted one… popular teenage shows such as “American Bandstand,” and “I love Lucy. ” The television changed people in the 1950’s as it “opened up new avenues,” people began to have their own opinions and thought patterns, which before was seen as abrupt. To them, what was on television was seen as normal but plenty of it wasn’t. “People began to accept what was heard and seen on television because they were eye witnesses of events.
” However this decade had kind people, where everyone had time for each other, neighbourly, had affordable housing and close knitted families living close by. Even though they people were suffering from post-war affluence. Unlike today, the modern society is stressful; people are selfish and unfriendly with little or no manners. The decade that brought flower power, hip and groove has to be the 1960’s. But from the technology point of view it was “… a turbulent era…
Speculations about possible social, political and economic effects of the new electronic and computer technologies. ” It was in the late 1950’s that the computer modem was produced therefore it’s obvious to say computers would have been a major new technology in the sixties. “The production and manipulation of images by computer has a short history. ” Dating back from the 1950’s, imaging was used for military defence systems. As time went on they were used for areas of architecture, production of television titles, advertisements, films and games and video.
Computer imaging occurred at “a moment of history,” politically and culturally, as it was because of The Cold War that there was intense pace and growth on new technological development. “The vast sums of money given over to the military for defence purposes – and later for the space race was (arguably) the most important factor in ensuring rapid developments in technology. ” Technology then realised its “commercial possibilities,” attached to computer imaging. “… by 1963, computer generated line animation films were being produced at Bell Laboratories. And from that video games were produced.
From the book “An Introduction to Cybercultures,” by David Bell, “through game-playing that immersion and interactivity first became foregrounded as part of the experience of the human-computer interface. ” I think this quote is very much true; video game playing was the first time that ordinary people interacted with a computer. They became extremely popular with most walks of life, young children, teenagers and adults. It was a shared past-time, where friends family came together to play video games and socialize just like what the television influenced.
“The mass appeal of games only became more fully realised when they migrated to a new location – the amusement arcade. ” Now games like “space invaders,” and “pacman,” could all be played by coin operated machines, particularly aimed at the young. The main reason for the computer games in amusement arcades was to get the arcades “sleazy” image away and have a new “modern” look about them. This produced youth sociality and family day trips to the amusements instead of being glued to the television screen, therefore forming “video game culture. ”
The next technological aim in the video game world was to move games from the amusement arcade and right to the living room on the television screen. “The splitting of hardware (consoles) and software (games),” also facilitated the rapid growth of the games industry. In 1966, Ralph Baer created a video game called “Chase. ” It was the first game to be played through the television. These console games boomed in the later 1970’s. However a lot of people viewed this “video culture” negatively, mainly mothers who thought it as “promoting lazyness.
” Children who were once amused with playing out on the street and being active, now wanted to stay in the house and play video games. Since the 1970’s, billions of dollars has been given over to perfecting both hardware and software systems which would “deliver computer generated moving images which appear photographically realisitic. ” And this did happen as people could now view television programmes in colour. The coloured screen dramatically changed society, as people viewed colourful “Glam Rock,” music videos, with the main figures being Elton John and Gary Glitter in their platforms, flares and bright hair.
This was the “disco” era, where everyone wore vivid, shiny clothes and stretch halter jumpsuits. Films like “Saturday Night Fever,” emphasised how important it was to release all the tense energy from the working week onto the weekend. During this disco mania period, electronic media and computer technologies were still emerging. People’s lives were changing all the time, as more new technologies were produced the more people interacted with them, such as the video recorder. The eighties were when “pop culture truly defined the era. ” It was all about having fun.
MTV was first broadcasted, which revolutionized fashion, the music industry and how television was watched… hard, heavy music “more to do with machines than talent. ” With the famous influences of Madonna and Michael Jackson, people’s fashions were magnificent with their long wild hair and trying to express their creativity and individuality. Men wearing heavy makeup with long hair while women had short hair wore leggings and layers of clothes. One major transformation was cable television and by 1985, “68% of all American households had cable television.
” The men could watch their sports on “ESPN” while the children were amused with “Nickelodeon. ” Cable ended the era of network television. The video recorder cassette also became popular as it allowed people to record whatever programmes and watch them whenever in the privacy of their own homes. However the greatest change to people’s lives occurred in the 1980’s was the personal computer or also known as PC, introduced my Apple. In 1985 the company Microsoft introduced their “Window,” programme which enabled the management of word processing and desktop publishing from the home.
This became appealing to many costumers, especially businesses, because everything “could be managed from one small machine. ” By 1990 the world wide web or also called the internet was produced. This made a massive impact on society and culture. All people of the world could connect to one another with the click of a button, making our world a “cyberspace” world. Overall, I think there has been a powerful and forceful impact of new technologies on visual culture. As I studied through each decade, the visual culture had slightly changed from the one previous because of the new products invented made an impact on the society.
We live in a “mass cultural sphere,” of televisions, commercials, films, computers, games and these changes every day. Technologies change and that inevitably changes people. “Technology causes social change. ” As I said previously how we live in a “cyberspace world,” full of machines, wires, electricity, programs, screens, connections, communications, emails, websites and chat sites. Everything in this world now always involves electricity. Over the years we have moved from using books to using bytes. New technologies have turned out the way they have because they are “social and cultural as well as technological objects. “