By Paul Roquet
Ambient Media examines track, video paintings, movie, and literature as instruments of atmospheric layout in modern Japan, and what it potential to exploit media as a source for private temper law. Paul Roquet strains the emergence of ambient types from the environmental song and Erik Satie increase of the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies to the more moderen healing emphasis on therapeutic and relaxation.
Focusing on how an environment works to reshape these living inside it, Roquet indicates how ambient aesthetics promises affordances for reflective glide, rhythmic attunement, embodied defense, and concrete coexistence. Musicians, video artists, filmmakers, and novelists in Japan have increased on Brian Eno’s concept of the ambient as a method producing “calm, and an area to think,” exploring what it skill to domesticate an ambivalent tranquility set opposed to the doubtful horizons of an ever-shifting social panorama. providing a brand new manner of knowing the emphasis on “reading the air” in eastern tradition, Ambient Media records either the adaptive and the alarming facets of the expanding deployment of mediated moods.
Arguing opposed to opinions of temper legislation that see it essentially as a kind of social pacification, Roquet makes a case for knowing ambient media as a neoliberal reaction to older modes of collective attunement—one that permits the oblique shaping of social habit whereas additionally permitting contributors to think like they're those finally in control.
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Extra info for Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self
As an alternative to this “irresponsible” music of the sentimental crowd, Akiyama proposes a space shuttle music directly seeking to counter the isolation and atomization of the astronaut. This demands / 38 / BACKGROUND MUSIC OF THE AVANT-GARDE a more unemotional, scientific approach, with frequencies tuned to the specific physical and mental needs of the astronaut. ”29 Akiyama’s discomfort with emotion regulation emerges from within his semifacetious argument for a hyperrational space music. By proclaiming the need for an even more rationalist BGM completely devoid of sentimentality, Akiyama seeks, in part, to reassert a clear distinction between music for listening and music for design.
BACKGROUND MUSIC OF THE AVANT-GARDE / 35 / The work was installed in the “Future” section inside the upper part of Okamoto Tarō’s massive Tower of the Sun sculpture, the seventymeter-tall visual centerpiece of the Expo ’70 grounds. 23 AGAINST DESIGNER MUSIC A key figure in curating the expo’s environmental music, Akiyama Kuniharu (1929–96), was also the central critic of Japanese avant-garde music during this period. He was one of the founding members of the influential Jikken Kōbō (Experimental Workshop) in 1951 and in the early sixties participated in the Fluxus movement in New York before returning to Tokyo middecade to help start the Environment Society.
This resistance to emotional control was an attitude common to avant-garde expression in postwar Japan, based on a view of emotion as an irrational force easily susceptible to ideological manipulation. We might suppose the recent experience of highly emotional propaganda during the Pacific War made this danger a salient one for Japanese artists in the 1960s, and this shaped the environmental artists’ attitudes to background music and other forms of environmental design. But this resistance to feeling would soon be eclipsed in the following decade.