Get Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self PDF

By Paul Roquet

ISBN-10: 0816692440

ISBN-13: 9780816692446

Ambient Media examines track, video artwork, movie, and literature as instruments of atmospheric layout in modern Japan, and what it capacity to exploit media as a source for private temper legislation. Paul Roquet lines the emergence of ambient types from the environmental tune and Erik Satie growth of the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen 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 supplies affordances for reflective glide, rhythmic attunement, embodied safety, and concrete coexistence. Musicians, video artists, filmmakers, and novelists in Japan have extended on Brian Eno’s proposal of the ambient as a mode producing “calm, and an area to think,” exploring what it capacity to domesticate an ambivalent tranquility set opposed to the doubtful horizons of an ever-shifting social panorama. supplying a brand new method of realizing the emphasis on “reading the air” in jap tradition, Ambient Media files either the adaptive and the alarming aspects of the expanding deployment of mediated moods.

Arguing opposed to opinions of temper legislation that see it basically as a sort of social pacification, Roquet makes a case for realizing ambient media as a neoliberal reaction to older modes of collective attunement—one that permits the oblique shaping of social habit whereas additionally permitting participants to suppose like they're those eventually in control.


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The tone of the music was sentimental without ever building to any kind of catharsis, pleasant without allowing for any shade of ambiguity or emotional complexity. Harmonically, the piano never strayed far from / 23 / / 24 / BACKGROUND MUSIC OF THE AVANT-GARDE consonance, moving through a series of mostly major chords in continuously resolving progressions. Occasionally, the melodic line hinted at something more expressive: a jazz improvisation, a distantly familiar tune, a slight deviation from the steady midrange pulse.

A small knob next to the light switch near the door controlled the volume: from low to very low to inaudible. The music continued automatically until nine in the evening, at which point the piano would fade into silence for the night, only to start back up the following morning. I left the music playing during my stay, curious if I could experience the sort of productivity enhancement and stress relief touted by so much of the background music promotional literature. The tone of the music was sentimental without ever building to any kind of catharsis, pleasant without allowing for any shade of ambiguity or emotional complexity.

The wartime government outlawed music not oriented toward the national cause, and skeptics insisted much of the acceptably patriotic Japanese song repertoire was too languid to contribute much toward increased productivity anyhow. This was in stark contrast with the enthusiastic embrace of workplace music for wartime manufacturing in the United States, where it played to workers at thousands of factories and weapons manufacturers. Meanwhile, outside the context of workplace productivity, radio stations across Japan were commanded by the government to play patriotic music at set hours of the day.

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Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self by Paul Roquet


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