FINANCE
Tetsuo and Marinetti- Akira as a cyberpunk critique of futurist modernity_Zach Gottesman

Tetsuo and Marinetti- Akira as a cyberpunk critique of futurist modernity_Zach Gottesman

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misgenating each other. Japanese cyberpunk critiques futurism, critiques itself, and recodes our understanding of both through this encounter. At the same time, futurism too becomes in dialogue with itself, as its complex relationship to fascism, contradictory attitudes towards capitalism and gender, and prognostic image marketing are re-inscribed through an encounter with Japanese cyberpunk. Through an aesthetic comparison between these two movements, we shall find a synchronic relation on the terrain of post- modernism. Concretely, through an analysis of the similarities and differences between specific pieces of futurist art and moments of Akira the movie and an interrogation of their meaning within the cultural logic of their respective modes of production, we will develop a fundamental relation between them that not only avoids causality but situates them both in the present. Futurism and Japanese cyberpunk Nicholls calls futurism the first definitively modernist movement ( 2008 , 75). Not only do futurist aesthetics and philosophy reflect the values of modernism, the movement itself was the first modern art form. Futurism was the first artistic movement to respond aggres- sively to mass culture (Adamson 1997 , 92), aggressively marketed by its founder F.T. Mar- inetti. By encompassing art, philosophy, theatre, sculpture, literature, poetry, and other bourgeois art forms, futurism sold itself as high art. At the same time, in its mass populist appeal, it sought to destroy high art by encompassing advertising, fashion, politics, and commercial success over professional criticism. As Adamson says, futurism wanted it both ways (95). This contradiction is essential to modernism, which coexists with the nature of the premodern and through its scientific domination promised freedom from scarcity, want, and the arbitrariness of natural calamity (Harvey 1989 , 12). Modernism gains its utopian character through this promise, and futurism was perhaps the most utopian and celebratory of all the modern art forms. If modernism is the promised triumph of man and rationality over nature, then postmo- dernism is what you have when the modernization process is complete and nature is gone for good (Jameson 1991 , ix). Cyberpunk is the culmination of this movement aesthetically, in which not only is nature replaced by technology but human beings as well in which organs are replaced by artificial devices in a post-human phase of capitalism (Perniola 2004 , xi). In general, two historical experiences lead to the pessimism of cyberpunk and postmodern culture towards: the promise of rationality and post-scarcity leading to fascism and the holocaust and the promise of science dominating nature leading to the atomic bomb and the cold war. Japan experienced this history through the rise and fall of Japanese fascism and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Thus, Japan became one of the first sites of postmodernism pessimism and representative of cyber- punk. William Gibson, the
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  • Fall '11
  • Nixon
  • Finance, Futurism, Akira, Korean Cinema, Z. GOTTESMAN, machine body

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