Event—Tour

Jason Gladstone, University of Colorado at Boulder

Jason Gladstone, University of Colorado at Boulder

Lines in the Dirt (c. 1969)

This paper concerns a post-1945 conception of technology that has been obscured by the institutionalization of postmodernism. I track the emergence and consolidation of this postwar technics in the works and writings of Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, and Thomas Pynchon. These works bracket the subject-object axis that governs both modernism and postmodernism. Instead, they isolate artifact-environment interactions as junctures not only for rendering the empirical limits of technology but for questioning its conceptual coherence. What emerges is a critique of technology in which both agency and subjectivity are irrelevant to the questions concerning technology in the postwar period.