Welcome. The research collected here focuses on how practices of ambient mediation work with the edges of perception and attention to create new modes of self-regulation, new forms of atmospheric power, and new textures for interpersonal life. I am based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I am associate professor of Media Studies and Japan Studies.
My current project theorizes the cultural politics of ambient mediation in virtual reality and augmented reality, focusing on what happens when head-mounted media aim to establish real-time control over a person's entire sensory environment. Publications emerging from this project so far include an essay on growing up with augmented reality glasses in the Animation journal, a short piece exploring peripheral vision in the VR head-mounted display at Real Life, and an essay on telepresence robots and the future of embodied labor in LOGIC magazine.
My first book, Ambient Media: Japanese Atmospheres of Self (Minnesota, 2016) explored the use of ambient music, video art, cinema, and literature to generate "healing" atmospheres for relaxation and self-care. The book establishes a critical framework for understanding the development of what I call ambient subjectivation, or the use of atmospheric media as indirect forms of mood regulation and affective control. Through close formal analyses of a range of ambient media and their deployment within the lived space of urban Japan, I explore how practices of ambient subjectivation intersect with an emerging neoliberal insistence on individual autonomy.
More details on these and other projects can be found in the Writing section, and I've gathered audiovisual materials under Other Media. Thank you for visiting, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts on the ideas presented here.