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Beyond Imperial AestheticsTheories of Art and Politics in East Asia$
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Mayumo Inoue and Steve Choe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455874

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455874.001.0001

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Tange Lab and Biopolitics

Tange Lab and Biopolitics

From the Geopolitics of the Living Sphere to the Nervous System of the Nation

(p.219) 10 Tange Lab and Biopolitics
Beyond Imperial Aesthetics

Yuriko Furuhata

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter theorizes an afterlife of Imperial Japan's biological metaphors of lifeworld and circulation in the work of Japanese architect Tange Kenzō and his associates who came to form the internationally renowned movement of Metabolism in the early 1960s. Transposing these imperial metaphors onto postwar Japan's national body politic, Tange and other Metabolist architects frequently used the biological metaphors of blood circulation and the central nervous system to articulate their vision of urban planning. Focusing on the impact of electronic communication technologies on architecture, this chapter will explore how the modern biopolitical idea of maintaining the organic life of the nation persisted into the postwar period, and how this perspective on biopolitics in turn compels us to rethink certain assumptions we make about electronic media and information technologies.

Keywords:   Imperial Japan, Architecture, Metabolism, Tange Kenzō, Kurokawa Kishō, Michel Foucault, Biopolitics, Cybernetics, Media studies

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