“Popular culture & modern artistic culture” 6/6 (Yoshioka)
In this lecture, we will attempt an objective explanation of how we should perceive “popular culture”, what caused it to be distinguished from other types of culture, and what makes culture “popular”. When doing so, even if we don’t become critically aware of the root structure of modernistic, artistic views that we are currently unconsciously internalizing, speak about it, and are aware of it every day, the questions of “What is artistic culture? What is ‘high culture’? And what are they supported by?” will surface. In this course, we will discuss the framework for the concept of this “culture” – which came into existence in the civil society of modern Western Europe and was introduced to Japan after the Meiji era – on the basis of a history of thought genealogy. We will especially think about the functions that Hegel and Marx, as well as Hegelianism and Marxism accomplished (and is still accomplishing) both explicitly and unconsciously. The above content will be split into two lectures.
“Popular culture & media technology” 6/21, 7/12 (Muroi)
Currently, that which is called “popular culture” is decisively different from the popular culture in the pre-modern age, and cannot be thought about without taking into account the progress of media and technology. In “popular culture”, technology will not be foregrounded in one area and be made aware of in another area. However, going beyond those superficial phenomena, no one can deny that technology is one of popular culture’s “requirements for possible existence”. In that context, asking about popular culture, asking about technology, and is none other than asking about the media technology after the popularization of computers.
Now, has media technology after the computer brought about something new to our world-views or bodies? While looking back at the various arguments regarding technology after the photograph, we will think about this using our own specific experiences of being exposed to new media. Rather than as an opposition or a coexistence, we will re-perceive the problems of technology and science as something that started from the same activity, and will think about the possibility of a new “practical art” that is not a media art as a genre that has been integrated into the global market or economic activities while having discussions. After going through those discussions, we will return to the question of how we should perceive “popular culture”.
The above content will be split into 3 lectures.
“Are the aesthetics of popular culture possible?” 6/14, 6/28 (Akiba)
Aesthetics are originally part of modern learning, and has developed as a role of “art” post civil society as well as something inseparable from that system. In other words, after it began existing, aesthetics was a “modern” concept. In that case, in a postmodern, or a post-postmodern situation, what role can aesthetics carry out? Above all, when faced with “popular culture” where that range of access and social functions are largely different, what kinds of challenges are imposed on aesthetics? In order to think about and analyze “popular culture”, in what way is it necessary for aesthetics to change itself? And is aesthetics even necessary for popular culture? In order to think about those fundamental questions, we will re-examine the Critique of Judgment, written by Kant, the forefather of modern aesthetics, as well as its historic reception. That is because Kant’s ideology, while being the beginning of the modern age, is also the limit of metaphysics in old Europe and, in that context, is exceedingly important when questioning the possibility of aesthetics in relation to “popular culture”.
“What is popular culture?” 7/21 (Akiba, Muroi, Yoshioka)
During the last class, the 3 instructors plan to gather together and have a thorough discussion with the students on the topics that were covered in the course until that point.