Welcome. I am associate professor in media studies and Japan studies in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing section at MIT. My work focuses on the cultural politics of spatial mediation in contemporary Japan. I am interested in how mediated environments transform how people understand and experience emotion, subjectivity, and social life.
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 reflection. 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 personal mood regulation that can soothe social stressors while simultaneously sustaining the illusion of an independent liberal subject. Through formal analyses of ambient aesthetics and their deployment within the lived space of urban Japan, the book examines how ambient media both consolidate and critique contemporary demands for emotional autonomy and individualized self-care.
My current project focuses on Japan's relationship with virtual reality, and how VR stands to reshape the perceptual connection between subject and environment within the context of everyday ambient computing. Writing emerging from this project so far includes an essay and introduction to a VR special issue I co-edited for Visual Culture; an article in Sound Studies on spatial audio; a short piece exploring peripheral vision in VR at Real Life; and an essay on VR telepresence robots and the future of embodied work in LOGIC magazine.
More details and other publications on animation, augmented reality, Japanese literature, etc. can be found in the Writing section, and I've gathered audiovisual materials under Other Media. Thank you for visiting.