Short Series

What Are Technics?

Episode 1: Who’s in Charge?

What Are Technics? is a short series about culture and technology, and how the two emerge from each other. What sort of culture invents an iPhone, for example, and then how does that technology shape the culture in-turn? And with that cyclical interplay, which outcomes are democratic? Which are authoritarian? What are the implications of that?

This series explores these big ideas by looking through history, and the work of sociologist Lewis Mumford, who published prescient insights on these themes throughout the end of his life during the last century. Each episode in the series speaks with an expert on a specific theme of technology and society, and presents their views on how they see the techno-world today, and what they think of Mumford’s ideas.


Directed by Jordan Brown. Written by Derrick Jensen and Lewis Mumford. Graphics by Ashley Witiw, Jordan Brown, Jonathan Pryke. Music by Chris Clark, Nils Frahm, Jordan Brown, Brady Kendall, Andrew Heath, Richard Lacy, Luke Richards. Additional footage credits to respective creators, some of whom are: Ivey Cone, Enes Valcin, Raymond Delacruz, Florian von Carlovitz, Erika Addis, Andrew Bossom, Kevin Anderson, Helen Barrow, Rocco Fasano, David Hudspeth, Jared Michael, Beau Miles, Lucy Kelsall, Billy Ray Simms, Ron Fricke, Gordon Clarke, Tim Migliore, Michael Toledano, Doke Romeijn, Stefanie de Brouwer, Fanny Noaro, Felix Immler, Yasuyuki Yoshida, Roland Brockmann, Alan Klejeski, Evan Williams, Alex Gerhard, Joel Winter, Collin Leecher, William Poor, Alex Parkin, Cory Zapatka, Mark Molesworth, Simon Fanthorpe, Jackson Wild, Daisy Mai, Sue Kirk, Simon Carooll, Rod Clarke, Alan Hayward, Mike Lemmon, Lance Milbrand, Neil Rettig, Unist’ot’en camp, Global TBVC, CBS News, Bluelight Television, BBC, ABC, France 24, VPRO Backlight, ETV Commission, IBT, National Museum of Australia, American Museum of Natural History, Prelinger Archives, and all further credit where credit is due for unknown or unattributed creators whose work appears.