The Culture & Technology Podcast

The Culture & Technology Podcast

The Relationship Between Culture and Technology

What feelings does technology evoke? Thanks to pop culture, Hollywood, and the media, technological narratives tend to swing between the utopic or dystopic – the glorious or the terrifying.

For Episode 1 of The Culture and Technology Podcast, we invite Professor of Anthropology Shannon Mattern and media theorist and curator Paul Feigelfeld to deconstruct the concept and explore its intersections with culture.


Shannon Mattern is Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research in New York City. She teaches and writes about the infrastructure, spaces and architecture of media, and examines the changing role of essential cultural tools and technologies such as libraries, maps and cities.

Paul Feigelfeld is a media theorist, curator and cultural scientist who researches how media and technology change the way we think and work and produce art.


Severin Matusek is a writer, producer and editor who has spent the last decade researching how technology transforms culture, communities and society.


Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase describing a plot device in Greek and Roman tragedy. Its meaning carries through to contemporary theatre, where it refers to a thing or person that is unexpectedly introduced into a situation and devises an artificial solution.

The Singularity is a hypothetical future moment at which artificial intelligence will surpass that of humans. Popularised by futurist Ray Kurzweil in his book 2005 The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, the concept is generally regarded within the computer science community as strictly in the realm of fiction.

Slime mold describes unrelated organisms that live independently as singular cells but can come together to create a multicellular amoebic form.

Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980) was a Canadian philosopher and media theorist best known for coining the expression, “The medium is the message”.

Langdon Winner is a political theorist, and educator who has written extensively on science, technology, and society. Speculative design, also known as critical design or design fiction is an approach to problem-solving and idea creation established by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby in their book Speculative Everything.

Tristan Harris is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur and former Google Design Ethicist who co-founded the Center for Humane Technology, which works towards catalyzing technology towards the common good.


Click here to download the full transcript of the conversation as PDF


The Vienna Business Agency supports businesses, the economy and the city in developing the Austrian capital’s creative industries and shaping its future trajectory.

Editorial Team: Paul Feigelfeld, Anna Dorothea Ker, Severin Matusek, Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör, Elisa Stockinger, Heinz Wolf.

Theme Music by Zanshin.

The topics of the Culture & Technology Podcast will be further discussed at the Creative Days Vienna 2021 - part of Vienna UP'21

About this podcast

How is technology changing culture? From exhibition design to the performing arts, we invite leading curators, researchers, artists and cultural experts to explore how technology is shaping the future of cultural experiences and sparking new opportunities in the process.

The Culture & Technology Podcast is a virtual salon — hosted by the Vienna Business Agency together with Severin Matusek. Each conversation pairs Viennese creatives with an international expert to discuss a topic, entertain a thought and share their knowledge through conversation. 

The future of cultural experiences is up to us to create. We hope you’ll join us by subscribing to The Culture and Technology Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

by Vienna Business Agency