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By Yvonne Spielmann

This e-book grew out of Yvonne Spielmann's 2005--2006 and 2009 visits to Japan, the place she explored the technological and aesthetic origins of jap new-media art--which was once identified for pioneering interactive and digital media functions within the Nineties. Spielmann came across a vital hybridity in Japan's media tradition: an inner hybridity, a mix of digital-analog connections including a non-Western improvement of modernity cut loose yet no longer proof against Western media aesthetics; and exterior hybridity, produced by means of the foreign, transcultural go back and forth of aesthetic innovations. Spielmann describes the leading edge expertise context in Japan, within which builders, engineers, and artists collaborate, and lines the japanese fondness for precision and performance to the poetics of unobtrusiveness and element. She examines paintings through artists together with Masaki Fujihata, whose artwork is either officially and thematically hybrid; Seiko Mikami and Sota Ichikawa, who construct distinctive units for a brand new experience of human-machine interplay; Toshio Iwai, who connects conventional media types with computing; and Tatsuo Miyajima, who anchors his LED art in Buddhist philosophy. Spielmann perspectives hybridity as a favorable aesthetic value--perhaps the defining aesthetic of an international tradition. Hybridity deals a conceptual process for contemplating the ambivalent linkages of contradictory parts; its dynamic and fluid features are neither conclusive nor specific yet are supposed to stimulate fusions.

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These shifts on a global scale are conditioned by the globalization of capitalism and the digitalization of media communication. In turn they influence critical perceptions of media realities, making it difficult to recognize and categorize the permanently varying changes entailed in such medial constructions of reality. One difficulty lies in transcending disciplinary boundaries when recognizing technological connotations, another in establishing a transnational horizon for medial and cultural components.

Their being forced like this into an outsider position reflects the basic situation of computer applications, where users, or their representatives/avatars, only figure as one function among many. 32 Part I In Off-Sense, it is possible for computers, or their camera-equipped avatars, to behave in certain automated modes in each case, enabling them to meet and move in cyberspace. However, the latter displays clearly defined boundaries. ” It is only when two avatars meet that a new, private space opens up, which excludes the others as if they were the public at large.

This concerns, for example, the organization of communities, the separation of private and public spheres, but also gender roles, cuisine, religious and everyday rituals, and so on. Where communities live together, such factors come into contact with the forms of dwelling and living in other cultural contexts and are incorporated into them by dint of travel and migration, and mixing will not amount so much to including and adapting of what is strange and other—something that would mean homogenizing the differences.

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