2
Technics, Theatricality, Installation

Gestalt, Gestell, Geschick

AT THE CONCLUSION of his essay questioning— and in quest of—technics, Heidegger suggests that the problems involved point beyond the consecrated disciplinary discourses that have hitherto monopolized the field:

Because the goings-on of technics [das Wesende der Technik] are
not technical, essential meditation upon technics and decisive
confrontation [Auseinandersetzung] can only happen in a realm
that is, on the one hand, related to that essence and on the other
fundamentally different from it.

Such a realm is art. But only when artistic meditation for its
part does not shut itself off from the constellation of truth that
our questioning is after.

In so questioning we bear witness to a state of emergency:
because of technics itself [lauter Technik] we do not yet experi-
ence the goings-on of technics, because of aesthetics itself [lauter
Aesthetik
] we no longer experience the goings-on of art. Yet the
more we question the goings-on of technics, the more enig-
matic become the goings-on of art.1

In this conclusion, which does not merely name an enigma—that of “art”—but is itself enigmatic in its allusiveness, Heidegger asserts that, in order to reach a genuine understanding of what is at stake in modern technology, it is necessary to go beyond the concepts and discourse of “technology itself,” of what he calls, in German, lauter Technik, the din of which tends to drown out rather than reveal what is really going on in and as technics. Just as the over-loud discourse of traditional aesthetics—lauter Aesthetik—obscures through its specious

-54-

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