As environmental and media ecologies changed drastically in 1960s urban Japan, how did artists respond to rapid growth and prosperity, and to their byproducts and side effects? In her C-MAP presentation, Miryam Sas revisits the “environments” and “apparatus” that were key to what, in the 1960s, came to be known as intermedia art, practiced by artists such as Matsumoto Toshio, Yuasa Joji, and Akiyama Kuniharu. Sas argues that these artists not only attempted to reflect the structures of mass media in the age of information, but also invented new forms and notions of media that directly engaged the sensibilities that spawned ever-taller buildings, deeper and more expansive underground passageways, and totalizing structures of high-growth capitalism. Recent disasters in Fukushima remind us once again of the fragility of the apparatuses and infrastructures of daily life that the intermedia artists grappled with.
Although postwar Japanese avant-garde art is considered to have ended in the year 1970, Julian Ross contends that projection installations in the 1970s took on many of its characteristics, namely, an engagement with the concepts of “environment,” “intermedia,” and “display.”
A talk and performance by Shiomi presented in conjunction with the exhibition MOT Collection Chronicle 1964–: Off Museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, on April 29, 2012.
Ethnomusicologist David Novak brings you to the noisy scenes of Japan’s 2012 antinuclear protest movement in Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukushima, mixing commentary with field recordings, musical examples, and interviews about the role of arts and culture in the ongoing political crisis.