Infrastructure, Potentiality, and the Afterlife of Art in Japan

Miryam Sas
Comparative Literature and Film and Media
UC Berkeley

Infrastructure, Potentiality, and the Afterlife of Art in Japan is a manuscript on Japanese intermedia art to be constructed in three sections. The first section traces the history of concepts of intermedia (from the 50s) and then analyzes the burgeoning of “intermedia art” in the 1960s, a key moment of environmental and technological transformation in Japan. The next section analyzes the promises of the shifting structures of media and concomitant structures of feeling as theorized by New Left artists and activists in 1970s Japan. The last section of the book extends the inquiry about infrastructure, intermedia art and culture industries into its legacy in contemporary art, and in particular into the responses to disaster—the 3-11 Fukushima-Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown, and the ways those historical events reactivate and shift frameworks for imaging disaster from the 1923 Tokyo earthquake and World War II. The book is a sustained contribution to an emergent scholarly movement that aims to make heard the radical theoretical framings of problems of film, art, and media coming from Japanese critics and artists, and to articulate their transcultural relevance for the broader fields of film and media studies.