Good Example Of Essay On Technologies Of Romance
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Relationships, Love, Art, Technology, Romance, Emotions, Literature, Romanticism
When people talk about romance, the conversation would often revolve around feelings or emotions about love, passion, our significant other, and our relationships. Furthermore, people would often talk about things and events that symbolise romance such as courtship, dating men or women, weddings, and honeymoons among others. Other thoughts or ideas drift to celebrations of love (e.g. Valentine’s Day) as well as sensitive subjects such as passionate love making.
Romance, however, may be viewed from different lenses and such is the methodology in exploring this theme. The primary objective in conducting research about romance is to view it from a single perspective – the technologies of romance. Hence, the succeeding discussion explores the ways in which technology may be viewed as romantic in ways. The discussion is comprehensive in that it explores technologies of romance in different scopes. Overall, the research discussion determines how technology influences narrative forms on romance in the past and at present time, the way that technologies of romance modifies and improves banal experiences, and the way that these add new dimensions to relationships.
The discussion focuses on two points. First, the discussion will explore the impact or influence of technologies of romance on narrative forms, specifically literature, art, and film. The discussion will initially explore the history of romance’s influence on narrative forms beginning from the period of Romanticism. Several examples of literary and artistic works, as well as films, will be discussed to illustrate the manifestations of technology in themes and subjects pertaining to romance. Throughout the discussion, the examples will also provide evidences of how technology improves banal experiences in the ‘romance department’. Second, the discussion will then shift to the influence and contributions of technology in creating new dimensions for relationships. The second part explores technological innovation and how technologies such as the Internet, social media and modern implements change the dynamic of romance in relationships.
Influences of Technologies of Romance on Narrative Forms: Literature, Art and Film
Technologies of Romance in Literature
As formerly noted, romance manifests in different ways. Romance may essentially be an emotion or feeling but it may also be communicated or interpreted through different mediums. Some artists, for instance, express and interpret romance through art. Artists’ creativity allow them to feel in touch with their feelings or emotions, so much so that expression of romance and passion transformed into an art movement called romanticism. During the period of romanticism, artists insisted on expressing creativity through art. In romanticism, “a new emphasis was placed on the expressive potential of the individual and on the seemingly limitless resources of the creative imagination” (Harrison, Wood, and Gaiger, 895). Since romantic artists sought to elevate art into a medium for self-expression and creative pursuits unlike other art movements that merely focused on form and structure, art grants them the freedom to express feelings or emotions in a way that is unbounded by “rules and conventions” (Harrison, Wood, and Gaiger, 895).
The origins of romanticism may be traced to Germany during the eighteenth century. Friedrich and August Wilhelm Schlegel published the Athenaeum during the late 1700s and 1800s. Athenaeum was a journal publication that sought to encourage artists to pursue creative freedom through open expression. Both authors’ discussions and arguments about art contributed to the definition of art as “the imitation of nature” and the role of the artist in terms of expressing “his or her own moods, feelings and responses” (Harrison, Wood, and Gaiger, 896) through art. Overall, romanticism regarded art as a means of self-expression that is beyond the limit of rules, guidelines, and structure. Romantic art may be structured or unstructured, concrete or abstract, or under any genre because the outcome largely depends on the feelings and emotions of the artist.
The Romantic Movement influenced both art and literature. In literature, authors wrote as their feelings and emotions would dictate and resorted to writing for self-expression. In the same way, authors then refused to follow established writing conventions or structures in favour of free form. The impact or influence of the Romantic Movement, however, was criticized due to unconventional approaches to art and literature. Nevertheless, innovation in visual arts and literature during the romantic period paved the way for new approaches and styles that challenged conventional structures and techniques in creating art and pieces of literature. In hindsight, the shift to Romanticism was deemed a necessary innovation and transformation following the questionable ideals during the previous periods or movements. “Disillusionment with the intellectual and moral ideals of the Enlightenment and the frustration of the political ideas of the French Revolution are often cited as important factors in the genesis of Romanticism” (Harrison, Wood, Gaiger, 898).
In a way, Romanticism is a ‘technological innovation’ because it introduced new approaches, techniques, and styles in art, particularly in creating art and writing literature. Aside from introducing new-fangled approaches and styles in art and literature, Romanticism also brought about opportunities for artists to explore new conventions and creative pursuits at a time when artists felt dissatisfied and apprehensive about prevalent ideas during the period of Enlightenment. While Enlightenment emphasized intellectual pursuits, Romanticism created a way for artists to express their creativity, feelings, and emotions through art and literature. Within this context, ‘technological innovation’ introduced new styles and approaches that addressed problems and issues during the previous period or movement.
Friedrich von Hardenberg, a literary romanticist, argued that writing must be creative and emotional. Art and literature must be the vehicles through which the artist is able to explore and express his or her feelings. In this way, artistic and literary pursuits must be personal as it favours the artist instead of the audience. According to von Hardenberg, “The representation of feeling must be like the representation of nature, independent, complete, and original” (Harrison, Wood & Gaiger, 910). William Wordsworth, also a romanticist, expressed that art and writing may be purposeful but it also has to be a full expression of the artist or the writer’s feelings or emotions. In Wordsworth’s preface to the Lyrical Ballads, the author stated that his purpose in writing poems was “namely to illustrate the manner in which our feelings and ideas are associated in a state of excitement” (Harrison, Wood & Gaiger, 922).
Overall, Romanticism is the ‘technology’ that brought about or introduced a way for artists and authors to incorporate romance in their works. Romanticism may be deemed as a technology because it introduced new ways to approach art and literature and also challenged traditional ways of doing so (i.e. intellectual and moral values during the Enlightenment that influenced art and literary forms and structures. Hence, Romanticism is a technology of romance because it opened up ways for artists and authors to explore their feelings and emotions, as well as to allow creativity and passion to influence their works.
Technologies of Romance in Contemporary Literature
In contemporary literature, technologies of romance are palpable in the novels that use technology as a plot device to establish romance as a story line. Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, for instance, is a science fiction novel that explores the repercussions of cloning. Furthermore, Ishiguro’s novel explores art as a manifestation of human beings’ thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
In the novel, the government has found a way to address health issues through cloning. Through a cloning program, an institution called Hailsham raises clones until they reach adulthood. In their adult years, the clones aim to achieve ‘completion’, which is when they undergo a series of medical procedure through which they are able to donate their organs to human beings who need them. While at Hailsham, the clones’ carers encouraged them to express themselves through art. The ability of clones to create art based on their feelings and emotions became the basis for clones Tommy and Kathy to look for ways to defer their completion. Tommy and Kathy believed that the clones’ ability to create art and express their feelings and emotions through it could be Hailsham’s basis in granting deferment for clones who are truly in love.
Never Let Me Go, therefore, argues that art is the most basic form of self-expression that allows people to illustrate or show their genuine feelings and emotions. Furthermore, the novel also argues that regardless of one’s origin, whether one is a human being or a clone, each one of us share feelings or emotions that we may express through art. The central argument in the novel is that technology does and will not interfere or affect human beings or clones’ feelings of emotions. As long as individuals share brain functions or capacity, whether human beings or clones, they are capable of feeling and one of the ways to show this is through art. Overall, Never Let Me Go is a concrete example or representation of Romanticism and its influence on art and literature. Technology may be used as a plot device to advance narrative, or as a means to prove a point about the nature of romance as a human feeling or emotion.
Technologies of Romance in Visual Arts
Romanticism is not only evident or observable in literature. As formerly noted, Romanticism has also influenced art. In this discussion, we will focus on technologies of romance in visual arts including photography. Buck-Morss (111) explored how new technologies changed the way that we see or view visual art. Buck-Morss argued that, “Nowhere was the restorative impulse more evident than in the forms taken by the new technologies themselves, which imitated precisely the old forms they were destined to overcome” (111). Technologies in visual art, for instance, include the way that artists use photography to either imitate or represent classical art such as paintings and sculptures among others. Furthermore, Buck-Morss recounted how new technologies in various areas represent art in different forms, from the design and structure of the first railroad cars to the shape of light bulbs, and the shape of utensils to other products produced as a result of widespread industrialisation. Observing these aspects of design and structure is highly important because as formerly noted, one of the features of Romanticism is the representation of nature. Hence, based on Buck-Morss’ (111) example, kitchen utensils shaped from flowers, leaves, and animals among others, is a romanticist way of inventing objects because they convey or represent nature.
Buck-Morss (126) also explored technologies of romance by exploring the link or relationship between art and architecture. As formerly noted, romanticism in art refers to self-expression beyond structure and guidelines. In visual arts, particularly in architectural design, Buck-Morss (126) argued that the later may also be an expression of creativity rather than a dependence on structure. Buck-Morss (126) also said that the Paris arcades (See Figure 1) illustrates the combination of art and engineering, and therefore, the fusion of technology and romance.
Figure 1. The Paris Arcades
Technologies of Romance in Film
In film, for instance, undertones of romanticism are palpable in the way that filmmakers put together their work. Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, for instance, is an example of a romanticist film. In the Mood for Love, a film set in Hong Kong, follows the ill-fated relationship of Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung). Mo-wan and Li-zhen live with their respective partners in an apartment. Both share similar experiences as Mo-wan’s wife and Li-zhen’s husband always leave their respective partners for work. Mo-wan and Li-zhen become friends as they encounter each other everyday in the hallway. Eventually, they become lovers.
Innovation in filmmaking pertains to the creation and implementation of technologies to elevate film as a visual art. Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is an example of the fusion between technology in film and art as a means to tackle and express romantic story lines. Kar-wai is known for his unique style in filmmaking. In In the Mood for Love, Kar-wai used contrast to create an atmosphere that depicts romance in the film. The tones and hues shift from red to orange, the former being a known symbol of love and romance (See Figure 2).
Figure 2. In the Mood for Love Screen Capture
Figure 2 above illustrates the film director’s use of technologies in film – contrast, tones and hues, framing, and shadows – to capture the intense feelings and emotions of the characters in the film.
Figure 3. Mr. Turner Screen Capture
Influences of Technologies of Romance in Creating New Dimensions of Relationships
The role of technology in romance is also palpable in modern society. In the foregoing discussion, we went over the influence of romanticism on art, literature, and film. In this part of the discussion, we will shift our focus to the practical application of technology and its influence on romance. We are living in the digital age. Since the invention of the Internet and continued innovation in the technology industry, we have witnessed how it transformed modern culture and the way we communicate with one another. Consequently, technological innovation also influenced our interpersonal relationship with other people. Technology may be deemed romantic because it has added new dimensions to relationships. In the past, people often communicated through letters (i.e. love letters). When the telephone was invented, it introduced another way for people to communicate with one another despite the distance.
In the digital age, technological innovations have significantly improved the way that people communicate. Since communication affects personal relationships, the way that technologies facilitate communication also influence the dynamics of relationship. The way that technologies help people in long distance relationships is testament to the influence of innovation on relationships. Neustaedter and Greenberg (753) explored how video chat as a technology creates intimacy among individuals involved in a long distance relationship. The authors suggested that technologies such as video chat created a sense of intimacy between people in long distance relationships. Consequently, couples are able to keep the romance ‘alive’, so to speak, and sustain their relationship regardless of distance (Neustaedter & Greenberg, 754). Hence, within this context, technology has changed the dimensions of romance in relationships by creating ways for people to express their feelings or emotions for one another and to maintain their relationship even despite various factors that could potentially destroy relationships such as distance.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms. Mod (61) studied social media use, particularly of Facebook, influences romantic relationships. Mod argued that, “By comparing trends inside the rituals of the relationship status, public displays of affection and photographs on Facebook” (61), the author was able to determine how social media influence romantic relations. In the research, Mod (65) conducted eleven semi-structured interviews with 7 women and 4 men. During the interview, Mod (65) sought to explore the interviewees’ personal relationships and how their interaction with their respective partners occur online and offline. Through Facebook, users may upload posts, photos, and videos that illustrate the status of their relationship, and chronicle the progress of said relationship.
Based on the outcomes of research, Mod concluded that “[Facebook] has the potential to provide a new focus and channel for a person to depict where the relationship is going, feeling rules can be attached to certain rituals on the website” (61). Although this outcome seems advantageous to people in relationships, other aspects of social media use such as posting of photographs and friendship with former partners or lovers similarly generated undesirable feelings (e.g. jealousy) that affect the relationship.
Evidences gleaned from existing research prove that technology continues to change the dynamic of relationships. In some relationships, such as long distance interactions, technologies allow people to maintain or sustain romance in their relationships by offering platforms for interaction and expression of feelings and emotions. In this way, technologies not only add new dimensions to banal experiences but also perpetuate romance for human beings regardless of distance and through constant communication and interaction.
The foregoing discussion illustrates various aspects of technology that affect or influence romance. Based on readings and various resources on the matter, technology has influenced romance in many ways and in different fields. Technological innovation in humanities brought about Romanticism, a movement that significantly influence narrative forms such as literature, art and film. Essentially, Romanticism focuses on the expression of creativity and self-expression of feelings and emotions. Based on examples discussed above, Romanticism has influenced artists in different fields, particularly in art (e.g. painting and photography), literature (e.g. classical and contemporary), and filmmaking.
Furthermore, technological innovation has directly changed the dynamic of relationships. Through technologies such as the Internet and social media, for instance, human beings have found a way to express their feelings and emotions toward their significant others and to sustain romance in their relationship regardless of distance from one another. Overall, the foregoing discussion has proven that technologies of romance has influenced narrative forms in the romance genre, changed banal experiences pertaining to romance, and introduced new dimensions to human relationships.
Buck-Morss, Susan. The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1989.
Harrison, Charles, Wood, Paul, and Gaiger, Jason. Art in Theory: 1648-1815: An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2000.
In the Mood for Love. Dir. Kar-wai Wong. Perf. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung. Block 2 Pictures, 2001. Film.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. London, UK: Faber and Faber, 2005.
Neustaedter, Carman & Greenberg, Saul. “Intimacy in long-distance relationships over video chat”. CHI’12 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 753-762.