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Arts, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The paper presents a personal narrative about my exploration of algorithmic art machines. I jointly [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle “Disarmed”: Disability, Trauma, and Emasculation in Contemporary Japanese Cinema
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
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Abstract
Disability, especially when war-related, is dangerous ground for entertainment films. Depictions of battle-scarred living bodies are necessarily political, since they cannot avoid commenting on the conflict of which they are a stark visual reminder. Yet depictions are politically multivalent: seeing the disabled has
[...] Read more.
Disability, especially when war-related, is dangerous ground for entertainment films. Depictions of battle-scarred living bodies are necessarily political, since they cannot avoid commenting on the conflict of which they are a stark visual reminder. Yet depictions are politically multivalent: seeing the disabled has a wide range of effects on audiences. Unsurprisingly, then, disabled survivors of the war have rarely appeared on postwar screens. But the trend of avoiding the messy reality of war-related disability, and disabled bodies more generally, has ended, as the emphatic success of period drama Love and Honor (2006) can attest. In the new century, many films have tackled this once-taboo topic, winning success at the box office or, like Caterpillar (2010), at film festivals. In this article, I analyze depictions of disabled war survivors and other disabled bodies in recent Japanese films, drawing a contrast between Love and Honor and the aforementioned Caterpillar; I explore what motivated this more visceral retelling of both war trauma and general disability, and why each succeeded either commercially or critically. The trend towards depicting disability coincides perfectly with Japanese cinema’s resurgent success against Hollywood. Visceral depictions of traumatized bodies that are symbolically—or literally—disarmed have resonated with domestic audiences, perhaps because disability not only emasculates, it can also empower: the disabled, many believe, can speak with greater authority on the war or the human condition than anyone else. But what will they (be made to) say? Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Popular Arts)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Transpacific Cyberpunk: Transgeneric Interactions between Prose, Cinema, and Manga
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 2 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper attempts to meditate upon the transpacific imagination of cyberpunk by reconstructing its literary and cultural heritage. Since the publication of William Gibson’s multiple award winning first novel, Neuromancer (1984), the concept of cyberpunk has been globally popularized and disseminated not only
[...] Read more.
This paper attempts to meditate upon the transpacific imagination of cyberpunk by reconstructing its literary and cultural heritage. Since the publication of William Gibson’s multiple award winning first novel, Neuromancer (1984), the concept of cyberpunk has been globally popularized and disseminated not only in the field of literature but also in culture. However, we should not forget that cyberpunk is derived not only from the cutting edge of technology but also from “Lo Tek” sensibility cultivated in the Gibsonian picturesque ruins or dark cities such as a major extraterritorial zone in Hong Kong “Kowloon Walled City” nicknamed as “a den of iniquity”, “The Casba of the East”, and “a hotbed of crime”, which was destroyed in 1993, but whose images captured by Ryuji Miyamoto inspired Gibson to come up with the spectacle of the destroyed San Francisco Bay Bridge to be stormed by ex-hippies and former homeless. From this perspective, this chapter focuses on the works ranging from Katsuhiro Otomo’s directed anime Akira (1988), Gibson’s Bridge Trilogy (Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), and All Tomorrow’s Parties (1998)) in the 1990s through Project Itoh’s post-cyberpunk masterpiece Genocidal Organ (2007). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
Open AccessArticle Architectural Trends and Structural Design in the Middle of the Twentieth Century: Two Examples in Portugal
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
In the context of a reductive generalisation, it can be affirmed that the supporting structure had a different role in most buildings in the two halves of the previous century. This statement has as reference the examples of the International Style in the
[...] Read more.
In the context of a reductive generalisation, it can be affirmed that the supporting structure had a different role in most buildings in the two halves of the previous century. This statement has as reference the examples of the International Style in the first half of the twentieth century and early Postmodernism in the second half. Reinforcing this division, the structure was assigned a representative role in the first part that faded in the second. Based on the abovementioned statement, this work seeks to question the relationship between the design of architecture and structure: How did architectural trends change the drawing of structure in the past? The study is developed through a comparison of two buildings representing opposite positions concerning the structure’s role. The buildings are located in the transition of the two halves of the 20th century, and clearly demonstrate the initial statements. The difference in the position of the structural design in these two projects is revealed in the drawings of slabs, beams and pillars, showing the trends in each. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Architecture from the 20th Century to the Present)
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Open AccessArticle “Indirect” and “In-Between” of Open Database Art
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
In the digital age, many artists use digital information mixed in various ways to create works of art. The subject of this paper’s discussion, i.e., open database art (ODA), is one such example. This form of art uses database techniques to retrieve and
[...] Read more.
In the digital age, many artists use digital information mixed in various ways to create works of art. The subject of this paper’s discussion, i.e., open database art (ODA), is one such example. This form of art uses database techniques to retrieve and accumulate vast amounts of readily available and participant-contributed data from the internet, for the purpose of using the contents of the artwork. In other words, the work itself has no preset content, and all of the content relies on the import of external data. This paper seeks to hypothetically discuss the movement of data during its entry and the departure from an artwork, to provide a context and perspective for understanding ODA works. This paper also seeks to analyze ODAs through the conceptual notion of the “between”, to systematize and eke out the various directions that an ODA work may take, for the reference of future related studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Arts and Technology)
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Open AccessEditorial Art, Science, and Technology of Human Sexuality
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
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Abstract
In Spring 2017, Abyss Creations, a 20-year old manufacturer of hyper-realistic sex dolls (trade-named “RealDoll”) with a loyal customer base, launched an artificial intelligence app (named “Harmony”) to augment the dolls’ already life-like bodies, giving them customizable personalities and allowing them to flirt
[...] Read more.
In Spring 2017, Abyss Creations, a 20-year old manufacturer of hyper-realistic sex dolls (trade-named “RealDoll”) with a loyal customer base, launched an artificial intelligence app (named “Harmony”) to augment the dolls’ already life-like bodies, giving them customizable personalities and allowing them to flirt and converse with their owners[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art, Science and Technology of Human Sexuality)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Arts in 2017
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Arts maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessEssay The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century): An Introduction
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The machine, over the course of the 20th century, progressively integrated itself into all fields of human activity, including artistic creation; and indeed, with the first decades of that century having established a surprisingly vital and wide-ranging series of perspectives on the relationship
[...] Read more.
The machine, over the course of the 20th century, progressively integrated itself into all fields of human activity, including artistic creation; and indeed, with the first decades of that century having established a surprisingly vital and wide-ranging series of perspectives on the relationship between art and the machine, certain artists in the wake of the Second World War no longer felt compelled to treat the machine as a mere theme or source of inspiration: the machine itself becomes art—unless it is art which seeks to become mechanical? The artist mutates into “artist-engineer”; and this transition, resonating within a specific historical context, leads not only to a questioning of the nature of the work itself, but also to a broader questioning which places us within the realm of anthropology: what is this art telling us about the actual conditions of contemporary human society, and what is it telling us about the future to which we aspire? It is the goal of this special issue of Arts to stimulate an historically conscious, protean, and global (re)thinking of the cultural relationship between man and machine; and to this end, we welcome contributions falling anywhere within the nearly infinite spectrum represented by the prismatic period during the middle of the last century in which the machine became a legitimate artistic medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century))
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Algorithmic Art Machines
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
The article reviews the author’s personal development in relation to art made by algorithmic machines and discusses both the nature of such systems and the future implications for art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century))
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Open AccessArticle “Festive Customs” and “Everyday Beauty”. The Agenda and Self-Conception of the Nordic Life Reform Movement
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 29 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 5 January 2018
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Abstract
In the second half of the 19th century, a wave of modernization, industrialization and urbanization swept the Nordic countries, catapulting what had until then been lagging and primarily rural countries into modernity. These major upheavals, however, also plunged the Nordic countries into a
[...] Read more.
In the second half of the 19th century, a wave of modernization, industrialization and urbanization swept the Nordic countries, catapulting what had until then been lagging and primarily rural countries into modernity. These major upheavals, however, also plunged the Nordic countries into a profound social and cultural crisis resulting from their consciousness of their own backwardness vis-a-vis the countries on the European continent, as well as the recognition that a nostalgic nationalism recalling a mythical past had become obsolete in the industrial age. In response to this crisis, a life reform movement emerged that was based on Arts and Crafts movements as well as various artistic and literary reform movements and—equally absorbing rural traditions and progressive social ideas—tried to establish a new national everyday culture. In this article, the two key terms coined by Ellen Key, “Festive Customs” (“festvanor”) and “Everyday Beauty” (“vardagsskönhet”)—the programmatic core of the Nordic life reform movement—are analysed and illustrated in various typical manifestations. It also examines to what extent the Nordic life reform movement with these two key concepts as its core agenda found expression in arts and crafts, in painting as well as in the architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and contributed to the progress of social and cultural renewal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Visual Arts)
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Open AccessArticle Ornament in Contemporary Iranian Architecture (Case Study: Prominent Buildings in Tehran after the Islamic Revolution)
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
This paper addresses the status of ornamental practices in contemporary Iranian architecture, specifically after the Islamic revolution, using a descriptive–analytical method. In this regard, the external appearances of 92 prominent buildings constructed in Tehran between 1979–2013, were examined, and their means of visual
[...] Read more.
This paper addresses the status of ornamental practices in contemporary Iranian architecture, specifically after the Islamic revolution, using a descriptive–analytical method. In this regard, the external appearances of 92 prominent buildings constructed in Tehran between 1979–2013, were examined, and their means of visual expression were analyzed. The results indicate that half of the samples lack ornament; in the others, a noticeable increase in the ornamental element size and visual complexity, as well as a significant decrease in their semantic contents (as compared with traditional ornament) were observed. These are changes that mostly resulted from modernization and subsequent processes such as industrialization and rationalization, as well as the long-lasting influence of modernists’ arguments against such practices. The presence of ornament in architecture, however, is necessary due to its crucial role in increasing the visual coherence of the environment and fulfilling the human desire for order and beauty. Therefore, this paper suggests the replacement of the current dualistic model of thought, which is dominant in the profession and schools of architecture in Iran, with one that provides an opportunity for the coexistence of concepts such as ornament and structure, form and function, and the sensuous and the rational, hence providing a revitalization of ornament in contemporary architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Arts)
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