Alternative Modernisms: An Interdisciplinary Conference at Cardiff University, 16-18 May 2013
Summary of my paper to be presented in Cardiff, UK
Title: The Japanese were Never Modern
[Metabolist Contamination of Architectural Representations]This research investigates the mix of art, architecture, urbanism, information systems and ecology that emerged with Metabolist thinking and image production during the 1950s and 60s. I will use the Metabolist production to discuss the variable conditions for architectural modernity in Japan. The Metabolists fed upon and absorbed strains of European and American modernism, yet later processed it through an elaborate philosophy that drew upon the life sciences. Unlike OMA’s recent research ‘Project Japan’, which focuses upon the output of individual architects, I will draw upon theories drawn from media studies and critical theory of the image, archive and monument. A selection of Japanese films relating to the urban devastation of the Atom bomb will also be used to consider the alternative modernities developed by Metabolism.