The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing


Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan.
Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan.

What is technology? 

Currently, for me the term “technology” refers to a system in society. It is too difficult for me to consider technology a simple tool. Technology is just as much the ability to use a tool as it is to be the tool. Technology can function within its own system independently (mechanized production) or it may require other elements to function as a system (a human programs a machine).

I chose the image of Akihabara, the electric city, in Tokyo, Japan to translate visually what the term technology means to me. I lived in Tokyo for 10 years and I often went to “Akiba”. Akihabara functions as the system I’m trying to describe in words. Every aspect of it the city is related to the creation, use, improvement and distribution of electronics. It’s one of the most futuristic places in Tokyo and often made me feel like humans were in service to the machines, but in a positive way. I am not stating that electronic=technology, but I am (hopefully) showing the importance of the system and drawing attention to the way society is shaped by and shapes technologies.

Please watch the tour of Akihabara embedded below if you are interested in walking the streets to get a better idea of how the system I’m describing actually functions.  (Erin Gillespie)

YouTube Preview Image



Jmho. (2007). Akiba denkigai. Wikimedia Commons. Available online 10, September, 2009, from

YouTube. (2009) Akihabara electric city Tokyo. Genki Available online 10, September, 2009 from


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.