The world was on the cusp of a new era. More profound than a stylistic change, this would transform the very paradigm through which the world was understood; agrarian Europe was being overtaken by an industrial Europe. That change was in the air was palpable, but as in so many grand events being aware of the phenomenon at the time doesn't make understanding it any easier. As the old and new struggle to coexist there is a constant undercurrent of turbulence in everything from politics to economics. Was there a place for the new in a world ruled by tradition?

 

What emerges is an era of magnificent excess. Aristocratic palaces flaunt prestige and power with an ostentatious pomp becoming ever more grotesque in magnitude. Bourgeois Capitalists - still in their infancy - were generating unfathomable wealth creating a challenge to the Aristocratic world-view still based on an antiquated system long past its prime. Religious strife combined with an entrepreneurial spirit fed into the colonial experiment yet again complicating the new landscape of old and new. Everywhere seeds had been planted, and the time had come to harvest the revolutions.

 

A new world was created by the revolutions. One based less on tradition and more on reason, natural law, and individual freedom. Though hope did not always meet reality - time and again conflict spawned tragic events not least of which were wars and industrial displacement. But even the worse conflicts could not undermine the human capacity for discovery and advancement. Eventually even the greatest industrial achievements begin to be eclipsed by a new digital technology infinite in possibilities. Like the industrial technologies in their early years, this new digital in its infancy presents a dichotomy of hopes and fears. Unforeseen implications abound as artificial intelligence may present humanity with its own obsolesce.

 


Lecture Images


An easy to use list of all images used in the lecture