Maggie Bonner stands at attention behind the high-definition JVC video camera in the Amphitheater, framing a shot of the podium. Backstage, Jake Walsh tweaks the volume settings on his soundboard as the voice of the morning’s speaker, Cynthia J. Truelove, booms from the speakers above his head. In the muted control room in the basement of the library, Matt Wilson and Steve Rudman finish up the edits on the DVD they’ve made of Patrick Griffin’s lecture from the day before.
Throughout the 2013 Season, select speakers at Chautauqua Institution — specifically chaplains in residence — have cast technological innovation in a pessimistic light. But it is not the criticism of smartphones and video games that is problematic. Rather, it is the sheer lack of a response to this criticism which serves as a reminder: The Institution has historically offered very little programming on technology and culture.