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Arts, Volume 7, Issue 3 (September 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In 10th-century Córdoba, mathematics—and geometry in particular—was applied to the design of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle From ‘Scottish’ Play to Japanese Film: Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Shakespeare’s plays have become the subject of filmic remakes, as well as the source for others’ plot lines. This transfer of Shakespeare’s plays to film presents a challenge to filmmakers’ auterial ingenuity: Is a film director more challenged when producing a Shakespearean play
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Shakespeare’s plays have become the subject of filmic remakes, as well as the source for others’ plot lines. This transfer of Shakespeare’s plays to film presents a challenge to filmmakers’ auterial ingenuity: Is a film director more challenged when producing a Shakespearean play than the stage director? Does having auterial ingenuity imply that the film-maker is somehow freer than the director of a play to change a Shakespearean text? Does this allow for the language of the plays to be changed—not just translated from English to Japanese, for example, but to be updated, edited, abridged, ignored for a large part? For some scholars, this last is more expropriation than pure Shakespeare on screen and under this category we might find Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-jō 1957), the subject of this essay. Here, I explore how this difficult tale was translated into a Japanese context, a society mistakenly assumed to be free of Christian notions of guilt, through the transcultural move of referring to Noh theatre, aligning the story with these Buddhist morality plays. In this manner Kurosawa found a point of commonality between Japan and the West when it came to stories of violence, guilt, and the problem of redemption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Japanese Transnational Cinema)
Open AccessArticle Expansion, Excess and the Uncanny: Deadly Premonition and Twin Peaks
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
The influence of the cult television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991) can be detected in a wide range of videogames, from adventure, to roleplaying to survival horror titles. While many games variously draw upon the narrative, setting and imagery of the series for inspiration,
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The influence of the cult television series Twin Peaks (1990–1991) can be detected in a wide range of videogames, from adventure, to roleplaying to survival horror titles. While many games variously draw upon the narrative, setting and imagery of the series for inspiration, certain elements of the distinctive uncanniness of Twin Peaks are difficult to translate into gameplay, particularly its ability consistently disrupt the expectations and emotional responses of its audience. This paper examines the ways in which the 2010 survival horror title Deadly Premonition replicates the uncanniness of Twin Peaks in both its narrative and gameplay, noting how it expands upon conceptualizations of the gamerly uncanny. It contends that Deadly Premonition’s awkward recombination of seemingly inconsistent and excessive gameplay features mirrors the ways in which David Lynch and Mark Frost draw upon and subvert audience expectations for police procedurals and soap operas in the original Twin Peaks in order to generate an uncanny effect. Furthermore, Deadly Premonition uses the theme of possession—a central element of the television series—to offer a diegetic exploration of the uncanny relationship between the player and their onscreen avatar. In these regards, Deadly Premonition provides a rare example of how the subversive uncanniness of Twin Peaks can be addressed through gameplay, rather than solely through the game’s narrative or representational elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Open AccessArticle Field Archaeologists as Eyewitnesses to Site Looting
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 6 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
In a recent worldwide study on the nature, scope, and frequency of archaeological site looting, the vast majority of field archaeologists reported having had multiple encounters with archaeological site looters both on- and off-site. Despite the criminalization of looting in most countries’ domestic
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In a recent worldwide study on the nature, scope, and frequency of archaeological site looting, the vast majority of field archaeologists reported having had multiple encounters with archaeological site looters both on- and off-site. Despite the criminalization of looting in most countries’ domestic statutory schemes, nearly half of surveyed field archaeologists do not report looting activity to external law enforcement or archaeological authorities when they encounter it. The rationales for their actions—or inactions—are examined within a criminological framework, and field archaeologists’ perspectives on looters as “criminals” and “victims” are explored. The paper concludes with a consideration that the criminalization of looting creates an emergent duty to report among archaeologists, and how they choose to address site looting changes their role in and relationship to the trade in illicitly obtained antiquities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Art Crime Research (2018))
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Open AccessArticle Choice Poetics by Example
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract
Choice poetics is a formalist framework that seeks to concretely describe the impacts choices have on player experiences within narrative games. Developed in part to support algorithmic generation of narrative choices, the theory includes a detailed analytical framework for understanding the impressions choice
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Choice poetics is a formalist framework that seeks to concretely describe the impacts choices have on player experiences within narrative games. Developed in part to support algorithmic generation of narrative choices, the theory includes a detailed analytical framework for understanding the impressions choice structures make by analyzing the relationships among options, outcomes, and player goals. The theory also emphasizes the need to account for players’ various modes of engagement, which vary both during play and between players. In this work, we illustrate the non-computational application of choice poetics to the analysis of two different games to further develop the theory and make it more accessible to others. We focus first on using choice poetics to examine the central repeated choice in “Undertale,” and show how it can be used to contrast two different player types that will approach a choice differently. Finally, we give an example of fine-grained analysis using a choice from the game “Papers, Please,” which breaks down options and their outcomes to illustrate exactly how the choice pushes players towards complicity via the introduction of uncertainty. Through all of these examples, we hope to show the usefulness of choice poetics as a framework for understanding narrative choices, and to demonstrate concretely how one could productively apply it to choices “in the wild.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
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Open AccessArticle Gaming the Heart of Darkness
Received: 30 June 2018 / Revised: 26 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract
The history of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has been one of adaptation and change. The enduring story is based upon Conrad’s experiences in the Congo in the 1890s and was published as a novella in 1902. Since then, the story has been
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The history of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness has been one of adaptation and change. The enduring story is based upon Conrad’s experiences in the Congo in the 1890s and was published as a novella in 1902. Since then, the story has been criticised for racism by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe and relocated to Vietnam by Francis Ford Coppola as Apocalypse Now, influencing computer games such as Far Cry 2 and Spec Ops: The Line. In examining the adaptations of Heart of Darkness, we can consider how the story evolves from the passive reading of post-colonial narratives through to the active participation in morally ambiguous decisions and virtual war crimes through digital games: examining Conrad’s story as it has been adapted for other mediums provides a unique lens in which to view storytelling and retelling within the context of how we interpret the world. This paper compares the source material to its adaptations, considering the blending of historical fact and original fiction, the distortion of the original story for the purpose of creating new meaning, and reflects on whether interactivity impacts upon the feeling of immersion and sense of responsibility in audiences of different narratives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Open AccessArticle European Cyberpunk Cinema
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Renaissance (2006) and Metropia (2009) are two illustrative examples of European cyberpunk cinema of the 2000s. This article will consider the films as representative of contemporary trends in European popular filmmaking. As digital animations aimed at adult audiences and co-produced with other European
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Renaissance (2006) and Metropia (2009) are two illustrative examples of European cyberpunk cinema of the 2000s. This article will consider the films as representative of contemporary trends in European popular filmmaking. As digital animations aimed at adult audiences and co-produced with other European countries, they epitomise a type of European film. In addition, they share a number of narrative premises. Set in the near future, Renaissance and Metropia depict a dystopian Europe. Recycling motifs from non-European science fiction classics, they share similar concerns with interconnectivity, surveillance, immigration, class, the representation of women, as well as the obsession with beauty and physical perfection. This article will analyse their themes and aesthetics in order to explore how European popular cinema promotes a certain idea of European cultural identity within the limits of an industry whose products are targeted at a global market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
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Open AccessArticle Approaches to Game Fiction Derived from Musicals and Pornography
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper discusses the construction of consistent fictions in games using relevant theory drawn from discussions of musicals and pornography in opposition to media that are traditionally associated with fiction and used to discuss games (film, theatre, literature etc.). Game developer John Carmack’s
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This paper discusses the construction of consistent fictions in games using relevant theory drawn from discussions of musicals and pornography in opposition to media that are traditionally associated with fiction and used to discuss games (film, theatre, literature etc.). Game developer John Carmack’s famous quip that stories in games are like stories in pornography—optional—is the impetus for a discussion of the role and function of fiction in games. This paper aims to kick-start an informed approach to constructing and understanding consistent fictions in games. Case studies from games, musicals, and pornography are cross-examined to identify what is common to each practice with regards to their fictions (or lack thereof) and how they might inform the analysis of games going forward. To this end the terms ‘integrated’, ‘separated’, and ‘dissolved’ are borrowed from Dyer’s work on musicals, which was later employed by Linda Williams to discusses pornographic fictions. A framework is laid out by which games (and other media) can be understood as a mix of different types of information and how the arrangement of this information in a given work might classify it under Dyer’s terms and help us understand the ways in which a game fiction is considered consistent or not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Open AccessArticle “Game Over, Man. Game Over”: Looking at the Alien in Film and Videogames
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
In this article we discuss videogame adaptations of the Alien series of films, in particular Alien: Colonial Marines (2013) and Alien: Isolation (2014). In comparing critical responses and developer commentary across these texts, we read the very different affective, aesthetic and socio-political readings
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In this article we discuss videogame adaptations of the Alien series of films, in particular Alien: Colonial Marines (2013) and Alien: Isolation (2014). In comparing critical responses and developer commentary across these texts, we read the very different affective, aesthetic and socio-political readings of the titular alien character in each case. The significant differences in what it means to ‘look’ at this figure can be analyzed in terms of wider storytelling techniques that stratify remediation between film and games. Differing accounts of how storytelling techniques create intensely ‘immersive’ experiences such as horror and identification—as well as how these experiences are valued—become legible across this set of critical contexts. The concept of the ‘look’ is developed as a comparative series that enables the analysis of the affective dynamics of film and game texts in terms of gender-normative ‘technicity’, moving from the ‘mother monster’ of the original film to the ‘short controlled burst’ of the colonial marines and finally to the ‘psychopathic serendipity’ of Alien: Isolation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Open AccessArticle The Anime Industry, Networks of Participation, and Environments for the Management of Content in Japan
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Video-sharing sites like YouTube and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, along with unlawful platforms such as Anitube, are environments of consumption enabled by increasing transnational consumption that are pushing for transformations in the Japanese animation industry. Among these platforms, the
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Video-sharing sites like YouTube and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, along with unlawful platforms such as Anitube, are environments of consumption enabled by increasing transnational consumption that are pushing for transformations in the Japanese animation industry. Among these platforms, the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation is known to rely on the integration of consumers’ practices and the needs of the animation industry in a changing and challenging era of transnational content flows. In this paper, I focus on the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation, a major player in the contemporary media mix, and its pushing forward of the creation of an environment that integrates two different stances on cultural content: one which represents the industry’s needs regarding cultural content as intellectual property, and another that represents consumers’ practices and which regards content as a common or free resource for enabling participation in digital networks. I argue that rather than the production of content, it is the production of value through the management of fictional worlds and user’s participation in media platforms that lies at the core of the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation’s self-proclaimed ‘ecosystem’. This case represents the transformations in the Japanese content industry to survive the increasing transnationalisation of consumption and production. Full article
Open AccessArticle Trellis and Vine: Weaving Function and Fiction in Videogame Play
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper reviews and synthesizes ideas in the philosophy of play and relevant psychology research in order to address videogame medium specificity, with particular focus on the notion of videogame play as simultaneously “rule-bound” and “make-believe.” It offers the sustained analogy of “trellis
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This paper reviews and synthesizes ideas in the philosophy of play and relevant psychology research in order to address videogame medium specificity, with particular focus on the notion of videogame play as simultaneously “rule-bound” and “make-believe.” It offers the sustained analogy of “trellis and vine” for provisionally sorting through the tangle (the “mess” or “assemblage”) of function and fiction in games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gaming and the Arts of Storytelling)
Open AccessArticle Metal-Detecting for Cultural Objects until ‘There Is Nothing Left’: The Potential and Limits of Digital Data, Netnographic Data and Market Data for Open-Source Analysis
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
This methodological study assesses the potential for automatically generated data, netnographic data and market data on metal-detecting to advance cultural property criminology. The method comprises the analysis of open sources that have been identified through multilingual searches of Google Scholar, Google Web and
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This methodological study assesses the potential for automatically generated data, netnographic data and market data on metal-detecting to advance cultural property criminology. The method comprises the analysis of open sources that have been identified through multilingual searches of Google Scholar, Google Web and Facebook. Results show significant differences between digital data and market data. These demonstrate the limits of restricted quantitative analysis of online forums and the limits of extrapolation of market data with “culture-bound” measures. Regarding the validity of potential quantitative methods, social networks as well as online forums are used differently in different territories. Restricted quantitative analysis, and its foundational assumption of a constant relationship between the size of the largest online forum and the size of the metal-detecting population, are unsound. It is necessary to conduct extensive quantitative analysis, then to make tentative “least worst” estimates. As demonstrated in the sample territories, extensive analyses may provide empirical data, which revise established estimates. In this sample, they corroborate the detecting community’s own perception that they are ‘beat[ing these sites] to death’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Art Crime Research (2018))
Open AccessArticle Partner Pen Play in Parallel (PPPiP): A New PPPiParadigm for Relationship Improvement
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
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Abstract
Healthy romantic relationships contribute to human physical health and emotional well-being. Technologies that catalyze human sexuality such as silicone sex toys and video-conferencing are increasingly common today, and disruptive sexological artifacts such as sexbots are speculated to eventually compete directly with human-human sexuality.
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Healthy romantic relationships contribute to human physical health and emotional well-being. Technologies that catalyze human sexuality such as silicone sex toys and video-conferencing are increasingly common today, and disruptive sexological artifacts such as sexbots are speculated to eventually compete directly with human-human sexuality. The consequences of these evolutionary transitions in human sociosexual behavior are entirely unknown at the individual or collective scale. Here we introduce Partner Pen Play in Parallel (PPPiP), the act of simultaneous improvisational drawing on paper without clinical supervision. In this prospective article we sketch out what PPPiP is, then provide interdisciplinary evidence from art therapy, sexology, affective neuroscience, and aesthetics to support PPPiP as a useful strategy for relationship development. PPPiP combines the advantages of individuated artistic practice with the established frameworks of improvisation and dyadic relationship interventions. Relative to traditional art therapy practices, PPPiP is less clinically oriented, features fewer external constraints, and directly encourages the dynamic integration of artistic creation with relationship co-creation. PPPiP emphasizes the importance of narrative structure and controlled novelty at multiple scales in intimate partnerships, connecting art therapy practices more directly to recent neuropsychological research. Evidence from brain imaging in improvisational and aesthetic contexts supports a model in which PPPiP synergistically activates motor and cortico-limbic neural circuits associated with skilled emotive-creative processes. PPPiP thus represents a transdisciplinary answer to the question of what will we carry from our sociosexual past towards a healthier textosexual future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Art, Science and Technology of Human Sexuality)
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Open AccessArticle Cyberpunk Redux: Dérives in the Rich Sight of Post-Anthropocentric Visuality
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Our future effects on the earth, in light of the Anthropocene, are all dire expressions of a depleted world left in piles of detritus and toxic ruin—including the diminished human as an assemblage of impoverished existence, yet adumbrating that handicapped existence with an
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Our future effects on the earth, in light of the Anthropocene, are all dire expressions of a depleted world left in piles of detritus and toxic ruin—including the diminished human as an assemblage of impoverished existence, yet adumbrating that handicapped existence with an ersatz advanced technology. In the cyberpunk films, these expressions are primarily visual expressions—whether through written prose thick with densely dark adjectives describing the world of cyberpunk, or more widely known, the comic books and films of cyberpunk, whose representations have become classically understood as SF canon. The new films of the cyberpunk redux however, represent an evolution in cyberpunk visuality. Despite these debatable issues around this term, it will provide this paper with its primary object of visuality, that of the “rich sight”, a further term that arose from the allure created in the late 19th century development of department stores that innovated the display of the goods laid out in a spectacular view, presenting the shopper with a fantasy of wealth and fetishized objects which excited shoppers to purchase, but more paradoxically, creating the desire to see a fantasy that was at the same time also a reality. This particular and enframed view—so deeply embedded and beloved in our commodity-obsessed culture—is what I suggest so profoundly typifies the initial cyberpunk postmodern representation in the Blade Runner films, and its continuing popularity in the early part of the 21st century. Both films are influenced by Ridley Scott’s initial vision of the cinematic cyberpunk universe and organized as sequential narratives. Consequently, they serve as excellent examples of the evolution of this visual spectacular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
Open AccessArticle The Survival of Andalusi Artistic Formulas in the Time of Hernan Ruiz I
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 28 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
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Abstract
In the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, Hernan Ruiz I worked as master builder of the Cathedral of Cordoba. His works exemplify the adoption of an artistic language resulting from the symbiosis of Gothic, Renaissance and Islamic formulas. In
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In the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era, Hernan Ruiz I worked as master builder of the Cathedral of Cordoba. His works exemplify the adoption of an artistic language resulting from the symbiosis of Gothic, Renaissance and Islamic formulas. In this paper, we demonstrate the imprint of the Andalusi aesthetic in this master’s work. Through an analysis of his building works and the evolution of his style, we show that Hernan Ruiz I’s legacy is more important than what historiography has previously suggested, which has only addressed the transition in his architectural style from Gothic to Renaissance and has overlooked the impact of Andalusi formulas in his work. Hernan Ruiz I bore witness to an important change in the mentality and aesthetic tastes of his time, and although his son, Hernan Ruiz II, gained greater recognition for his work, his father was able to adapt a church model imbued with the medieval spirit to the demands of the new patrons, namely the nobility and high clergy. These clients imposed their tastes, which were anchored in the past, but were open to new Renaissance influences due to their humanistic training and, at the same time, attracted by the exoticism and prestige of Andalusi art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle The Visual Construction of the Umayyad Caliphate in Al-Andalus through the Great Mosque of Cordoba
Received: 25 June 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
My first exposure to the epigraphic program of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, published in 2001, came from reading an article on the ideological meaning of the decoration and the Quranic citations inscribed in al-Ḥakam II’s addition to the building. In that article,
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My first exposure to the epigraphic program of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, published in 2001, came from reading an article on the ideological meaning of the decoration and the Quranic citations inscribed in al-Ḥakam II’s addition to the building. In that article, I concluded that the Quranic verses found in the mosque were chosen not only for being a universal proclamation of divine power and praise for the Umayyad dynasty, as proposed by Nuha Khoury in 1996, but also because they clearly fitted in with the particular Andalusi, or rather Cordoban, religious, cultural, and political context in the first half of the 10th century. Most of the inscriptions had been read in the 19th century by Amador de los Ríos, but some of them remained uninterpreted. Given that they were an essential part of the ideological message, it seemed appropriate to revisit the critical reading of the epigraphic program and determine its full meaning. Later, I discussed other architectural aspects of the Great Mosque in which the links to the Andalusi and the eastern Umayyad traditions are a key aspect in understanding why these forms were chosen. Damascus, the eastern Umayyad capital, and to a lesser extent Medina and the Abbasid capitals, became the model for the caliphs of Cordoba. This article proposes to revisit the main architectural and decorative features of the caliphal enlargements of the Great Mosque of Cordoba in order to reflect on the meaning and forms of its epigraphic program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle Mathematics and the Islamic Architecture of Córdoba
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 10 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
In 10th-century Córdoba, mathematics—and particularly geometry—was applied to architectural design in new ways, constituting a “mathematical turn” of Islamic architecture. In the mosque of Córdoba and in the palaces of Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ, geometry was employed in the design of ground plans, elevations, decorative
[...] Read more.
In 10th-century Córdoba, mathematics—and particularly geometry—was applied to architectural design in new ways, constituting a “mathematical turn” of Islamic architecture. In the mosque of Córdoba and in the palaces of Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ, geometry was employed in the design of ground plans, elevations, decorative patterns, and even to measure the human view. While Roman architects like Vitruvius had used mathematics to place each element of a building in its appropriate relation to all other elements of a building, the architects at Córdoba employed geometry to create a spatial web in which all parts are equal to each other and part of a single, unified space. The architects of Córdoba thus pointed the way to new possibilities of designing architecture, possibilities which were to be tested further by architects of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, though to different ends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle The Development of a Digital Management System for Historic Buildings in Taiwan
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
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Because of the numerous types of world heritage that currently exist, UNESCO divides them into four categories: cultural heritage, natural heritage, cultural and heritage dual heritage, and cultural landscape heritage. Taiwan’s Cultural Heritage Preservation Act stipulates that tangible cultural heritage include monuments, historic
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Because of the numerous types of world heritage that currently exist, UNESCO divides them into four categories: cultural heritage, natural heritage, cultural and heritage dual heritage, and cultural landscape heritage. Taiwan’s Cultural Heritage Preservation Act stipulates that tangible cultural heritage include monuments, historic buildings, commemorative buildings, groups of buildings, archaeological sites, historic sites, cultural landscapes, antiquities, and natural landscapes and natural monuments, whereas its intangible cultural heritage include traditional performing arts, traditional craftsmanship, oral traditions and expressions, folklore, and traditional knowledge and practices. Because of continually increasing tasks associated with cultural heritage management, this study adopted research approaches such as compilation of relevant laws and regulations and interviews with managers to identify their needs in managing cultural heritage. This study posited that digital-based information management is highly conductive to managing cultural heritage. Thus, a dynamic cultural heritage management system was developed to help managers perform various heritage preservation and management-related work. The proposed system enables digitalizing related documents to facilitate their preservation, provides diversified functions that allow managers to conduct remote interactive management, and enables establishing various economical monitoring functions. This study used actual cases of cultural heritage preservation and input data collected from various management tasks into the proposed management system. Accordingly, the management functions of the system were verified successfully. The proposed system can help relevant departments manage cultural heritage, diminish the occurrence of problems concerning heritage management, reduce unnecessary waste of resources, and elevate the management quality of monuments and historical buildings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Almohad Caliphate: A Look at Al-Andalus through Arabic Documentation and Their Artistic Manifestations
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
The main objective of this article is to reflect on the importance and influence of the Andalusian cultural legacy during the years of the Almohad dominance in the Islamic West. To do this, I will examine the written Arabic documentation and those material
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The main objective of this article is to reflect on the importance and influence of the Andalusian cultural legacy during the years of the Almohad dominance in the Islamic West. To do this, I will examine the written Arabic documentation and those material testimonies that have reached us, which will allow me to get closer to a greater knowledge of this reformist movement. In this sense, I will analyze the artistic, political and religious landscape, which will lead me to address a reality that becomes the vehicle of legitimation of this new caliphate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle Has Akira Always Been a Cyberpunk Comic?
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 12 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, interest in the cyberpunk genre peaked in the Western world, perhaps most evidently when Terminator 2: Judgment Day became the highest-grossing film of 1991. It has been argued that the translation of Katsuhiro Ōtomo’s manga Akira
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Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, interest in the cyberpunk genre peaked in the Western world, perhaps most evidently when Terminator 2: Judgment Day became the highest-grossing film of 1991. It has been argued that the translation of Katsuhiro Ōtomo’s manga Akira into several European languages at just that time (into English beginning in 1988, into French, Italian, and Spanish beginning in 1990, and into German beginning in 1991) was no coincidence. In hindsight, cyberpunk tropes are easily identified in Akira to the extent that it is nowadays widely regarded as a classic cyberpunk comic. But has this always been the case? When Akira was first published in America and Europe, did readers see it as part of a wave of cyberpunk fiction? Did they draw the connections to previous works of the cyberpunk genre across different media that today seem obvious? In this paper, magazine reviews of Akira in English and German from the time when it first came out in these languages will be analysed in order to gauge the past readers’ genre awareness. The attribution of the cyberpunk label to Akira competed with others such as the post-apocalyptic, or science fiction in general. Alternatively, Akira was sometimes regarded as an exceptional, novel work that transcended genre boundaries. In contrast, reviewers of the Akira anime adaptation, which was released at roughly the same time as the manga in the West (1989 in Germany and the United States), more readily drew comparisons to other cyberpunk films such as Blade Runner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
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Open AccessArticle Recycled Dystopias: Cyberpunk and the End of History
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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While cyberpunk is often described as a dystopian genre, the paper argues that it should be seen rather as a post-utopian one. The crucial difference between the two resides in the nature of the historical imagination reflected in their respective narrative and thematic
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While cyberpunk is often described as a dystopian genre, the paper argues that it should be seen rather as a post-utopian one. The crucial difference between the two resides in the nature of the historical imagination reflected in their respective narrative and thematic conventions. While dystopia and utopia (structurally the same genre) reflect a teleological vision of history, in which the future is radically different from the present, post-utopia corresponds to what many scholars, from Fredric Jameson and Francis Fukuyama to David Bell, have diagnosed as the “end of history” or rather, the end of historical teleology. Post-utopia reflects the vision of the “broad present”, in which the future and the past bleed into, and contaminate, the experience of “now”. From its emergence in the 1980s and until today, cyberpunk has progressively succumbed to the post-utopian sensibility, as its earlier utopian/dystopian potential has been diluted by nostalgia, repetition and recycling. By analyzing the chronotope of cyberpunk, the paper argues that the genre’s articulation of time and space is inflected by the general post-utopian mood of global capitalism. The texts addressed include both novels (William Gibson’s Neuromancer, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Matthew Mather’s Atopia) and movies (Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 and Ex Machina). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyberpunk in a Transnational Context)
Open AccessArticle The Legacy of Al-Andalus in Mexico: Mudejar Architecture
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
This article aims to approach the Mudejar architecture developed in Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries. The subject has been little studied, although both general and specific contributions have been made by the author’s research group. At the methodological level, this study
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This article aims to approach the Mudejar architecture developed in Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries. The subject has been little studied, although both general and specific contributions have been made by the author’s research group. At the methodological level, this study is based on the existing bibliography, as well as archive and field research which allow for an accurate scientific approach and results. The article analyzes the social and productive conditions in Mexico during the Viceregal period, along with the systematization carried by the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, the guild ordinances and the architectural typologies. The perception of territory and the use of constructive models by the Viceregal authorities would justify the use of the Mudejar style as cultural and unity criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Andalusi Architecture: Shapes, Meaning and Influences)
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Open AccessArticle Technological Specificity, Transduction, and Identity in Media Mix
Received: 3 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, I focus on the study of the relationships between technological specificity and media mix, focusing on how anime, as a visual medium, is connected to other media. There are two main aspects to this paper: the study of the complexities
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In this paper, I focus on the study of the relationships between technological specificity and media mix, focusing on how anime, as a visual medium, is connected to other media. There are two main aspects to this paper: the study of the complexities of the visual media milieu in the age of media mix, taking into account the technological materiality of different channels of production and consumption, and the study of the way these complexities must be approached. Taking materiality and information as the key aspects of the way specific objects in media are interconnected, I explore a question that has appeared recently in media studies: what is the right way to approach the relationships between media? Full article
Open AccessEditorial Robot Art: An Interview with Leonel Moura
Received: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
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Abstract
In the wake of his inclusion in the landmark 2018 “Artists and Robots” show at the Grand Palais in Paris, Leonel Moura reflects herein on his own work and its place within the broad spectrum of techno-art; and of particular current interest is
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In the wake of his inclusion in the landmark 2018 “Artists and Robots” show at the Grand Palais in Paris, Leonel Moura reflects herein on his own work and its place within the broad spectrum of techno-art; and of particular current interest is his reliance as an artist on emergent phenomenon—i.e., the ability of relatively simple systems to exhibit relatively complex and unexpected capabilities—which has recently come back into focus with the spectacular ability of the “deep learning” family of computer algorithms to perform pattern recognition tasks unthinkable only a few years ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century))
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Open AccessArticle Consuming Production: Anime’s Layers of Transnationality and Dispersal of Agency as Seen in Shirobako and Sakuga-Fan Practices
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
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Abstract
As an alternative reading of anime’s global consumption, this paper will explore the multiple layers of transnationality in anime: how the dispersal of agency in anime production extends to transnational production, and how these elements of anime’s transnationality are engaged with in the
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As an alternative reading of anime’s global consumption, this paper will explore the multiple layers of transnationality in anime: how the dispersal of agency in anime production extends to transnational production, and how these elements of anime’s transnationality are engaged with in the transnational consumption of anime. This will be done through an analysis of Shirobako (an anime about making anime), revealing how the series depicts anime production as a constant process of negotiation involving a large number of actors, each having tangible effects on the final product: human actors (directors, animators, and production assistants), the media-mix (publishing houses and manga authors), and the anime media-form itself. Anime production thus operates as a network of actors whose agency is dispersed across a chain of hierarchies, and though unacknowledged by Shirobako, often occurs transnationally, making attribution of a single actor as the agent who addresses Japan (or the world) difficult to sustain. Lastly, I will examine how transnational sakuga-fans tend to focus on anime’s media-form as opposed to “Japaneseness”, practicing an alternative type of consumption that engages with a sense of dispersed agency and the labor involved in animation, even examining non-Japanese animators, and thus anime's multilayered transnationality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Re-Examining the “What is Manga” Problematic: The Tension and Interrelationship between the “Style” Versus “Made in Japan” Positions
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
The term manga is used to refer to a range of related and at times exclusive domains according to the position of the speaker. In the present paper, I examine one of the fundamental dichotomies underpinning the arguments in relation to the meaning
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The term manga is used to refer to a range of related and at times exclusive domains according to the position of the speaker. In the present paper, I examine one of the fundamental dichotomies underpinning the arguments in relation to the meaning of manga, the tension and interrelationship between the “style” versus “made in Japan” positions. Building on research on manga, comics, and bande dessinée, I outline a framework that attempts to take stock of the most common features associated with works being considered manga. Highlighting some of the possible connections between visual style and content-specific elements on the one hand, and the Japanese language plus the culture of manga production, dissemination, and consumption in Japan on the other hand, I argue that the manga as style position is not as pure a possibility—transcending all cultural and material situatedness—as it is sometimes held up to be. At the same time, the manga is made in Japan position is not as simplistic as it is commonly thought to be and indeed points to a far deeper and more fundamental interrelationship between manga and Japan—as its real and mythical place of origin—than its proponents might actually articulate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On Hybrid Creativity
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
This article reviews the development of the author’s computational art practice, where the computer is used both as a device that provides the medium for generation of art (‘computer as art’) as well as acting actively as an assistant in the process of
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This article reviews the development of the author’s computational art practice, where the computer is used both as a device that provides the medium for generation of art (‘computer as art’) as well as acting actively as an assistant in the process of creating art (‘computer as artist’s assistant’), helping explore the space of possibilities afforded by generative systems. Drawing analogies with Kasparov’s Advanced Chess and the deliberate development of unstable aircraft using fly-by-wire technology, the article argues for a collaborative relationship with the computer that can free the artist to more fearlessly engage with the challenges of working with emergent systems that exhibit complex unpredictable behavior. The article also describes ‘Species Explorer’, the system the author has created in response to these challenges to assist exploration of the possibilities afforded by parametrically driven generative systems. This system provides a framework to allow the user to use a number of different techniques to explore new parameter combinations, including genetic algorithms, and machine learning methods. As the system learns the artist’s preferences the relationship with the computer can be considered to change from one of assistance to collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Artist (for the 21st Century))
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Open AccessArticle Kawaii Aesthetics from Japan to Europe: Theory of the Japanese “Cute” and Transcultural Adoption of Its Styles in Italian and French Comics Production and Commodified Culture Goods
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Kawaii culture and aesthetics are a peculiarity of contemporary Japan and move across mass media, impulse goods, creative industries, and juvenile tendencies. The concept, graphic styles, and commodities related to a kawaii culture are composite. This article, in its first part, outlines the
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Kawaii culture and aesthetics are a peculiarity of contemporary Japan and move across mass media, impulse goods, creative industries, and juvenile tendencies. The concept, graphic styles, and commodities related to a kawaii culture are composite. This article, in its first part, outlines the theories and general features of this cultural trend in Japan and as it is framed in most western countries. In the second part, it also focuses on whether and how the concept and the related styles and commodities have found a place in Europe, with particular reference to Italy and France. These two countries, in fact, have been since the late 1970s the key markets in the Euro-American region for Japanese contemporary culture for youths, namely Japanese comics (generally called manga) and commercial animation (or anime). Anime and manga are, in effect, an integral part of the theoretical discourse on kawaii in the two markets considered, as it is discussed accordingly in the second part of the article. In its last section, the article addresses the impact of kawaii styles on youth cultures in Europe, which is, although limited, multidimensional: it has involved spontaneous drawings among children, a certain amateur and professional comics production, amateur and commercial animation, toys and a diverse merchandising, street art, and fashion design. Full article
Open AccessArticle Art Vandalism and Guardianship in US Art Institutions
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
Art crime scholars and art world professionals constantly grapple with determining the most effective methods by which to reduce and prevent victimization by art vandals. Despite the numerous accounts of this form of criminality, there is a dearth of empirical studies focused on
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Art crime scholars and art world professionals constantly grapple with determining the most effective methods by which to reduce and prevent victimization by art vandals. Despite the numerous accounts of this form of criminality, there is a dearth of empirical studies focused on the security and care of art collections. Using Routine Activities Theory to guide the research, the present study explores the relationship between social and physical guardianship practices and the prevalence of art vandalism using questionnaire data collected from 111 American art museums and art galleries. The results indicate an overwhelming lack of association between the majority of the guardianship measures and vandalism victimization, a pattern consistent with the possibility that social and physical guardianship practices are not implemented until after an act of vandalism has already occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Art Crime Research (2018))
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