By Paul Roquet
Ambient Media examines track, video paintings, movie, and literature as instruments of atmospheric layout in modern Japan, and what it skill to exploit media as a source for private temper law. Paul Roquet lines the emergence of ambient kinds from the environmental tune and Erik Satie growth of the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies to the more moderen healing emphasis on therapeutic and relaxation.
Focusing on how an environment works to reshape these residing inside it, Roquet exhibits how ambient aesthetics offers affordances for reflective float, rhythmic attunement, embodied defense, and concrete coexistence. Musicians, video artists, filmmakers, and novelists in Japan have multiplied on Brian Eno’s proposal of the ambient as a mode producing “calm, and an area to think,” exploring what it ability to domesticate an ambivalent tranquility set opposed to the doubtful horizons of an ever-shifting social panorama. delivering a brand new means of realizing the emphasis on “reading the air” in jap tradition, Ambient Media records either the adaptive and the alarming aspects of the expanding deployment of mediated moods.
Arguing opposed to reviews of temper law that see it essentially as a kind of social pacification, Roquet makes a case for realizing ambient media as a neoliberal reaction to older modes of collective attunement—one that allows the oblique shaping of social habit whereas additionally permitting participants to believe like they're those finally in control.
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Extra resources for Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self
Satie’s music didn’t bother with imagery or story, but turned drama into the creation of atmosphere. ”44 A SOUNDTRACK FOR THE PRIVATIZED SELF The Satie boom reveals the increasing priority on comforting mood regulation from the 1970s on, in stark contrast with both BGM and / 44 / BACKGROUND MUSIC OF THE AVANT-GARDE the hard- edged experimentation of the previous decade. But it also maintained ties to the more ambivalent atmospherics rooted in Satie’s original furnishing music. By providing moods simultaneously soft, sad, and healing, Satie’s work sounded an advance echo of not just the ideals of neoliberal autonomy and therapy culture but the isolation and uncertainty of the emerging social situation.
Why is mood music inappropriate here? Because mood music is someone else’s music [tanin no ongaku]. In providing a virtual existence to accompany the astronaut, it at first seems like it might be of use. But in an isolated context like BACKGROUND MUSIC OF THE AVANT-GARDE / 37 / this where connections with other people have been thoroughly severed, mood music cannot provide anything like comfort. For it to be comforting, the astronaut would have to be an extreme optimist, or at least sentimental.
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. His essay is indicative of a more general approach to the new media landscape among the environmental avant-garde, one seeking out emotionally “dry” forms of mediation capable of overcoming the manipulative sentimentality of the commercial mass media. While insightfully diagnosing the incompatibility of BGM sentimentality with the lonely space crusader, Akiyama replaces it with an ambivalent proposal to do away with emotional considerations entirely.