Eotechnic Sensorium Artists’ Statements


An Art Show

Century House Historical Society
Rosendale, New York
June 25- September 16, 2017

In 1934 in his book Technics and Civilization, Lewis Mumford created the term “eotechnic” as a way of thinking about the technological advances that preceded the era of fossil fuel consumption, which, following Geddes, he labeled “paleotechnic” or “the new barbarism.” For
Mumford, the eotechnic was a time of sensory expansion, ushered in by numerous developments such as the clock, optics, the harnessing of wind and water power. Many inventions emerged from the era of glass, wood, paper, wind and water, setting the stage for the environmental upheaval to follow. The remains of industrial activity immanent on the site of the Century House Historical Society in Rosendale, New York, are a testament to this technological transition.

For this year’s art show at the CHHS, artists have been invited to bring their works to engage loosely with the notion of the eotechnic or simply draw inspiration from the locale. The phrase “eotechnic sensorium,” as an actual concept or just an interesting word pair, is intended as a springboard for further investigation and creative engagement with the site.

Many thanks to Gayle Grunwald, the Century House Historical Society and most of all to the artists for their enthusiasm and participation. Also, many thanks to Fred Quivik for introducing me to Mumford.

Jeff Benjamin. Rosendale. June 2017.


Mumford, Lewis. 1963 (1934). Technics and Civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.