Welcome. My research focuses on how Japanese media work to create new practices of self-regulation, new forms of atmospheric power, and new venues for social engagement. I am based in Comparative Media Studies/Writing at MIT, where I am associate professor of Media Studies and Japan Studies. My background is in film, literature, sound, and animation studies, which I use to explore theories of environmental affect and how emerging practices of emotion management and mediated perception intersect with broader historical and social transformations in Japanese society.
My current project considers the emotional dynamics running through the emergence of virtual and augmented realities in Japan, focusing on what happens when head-mounted media seek to establish real-time control over a person's sensory horizons. Publications emerging from this project so far include an essay on growing up with AR glasses in the Animation journal, 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.
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 and pdfs 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 work presented here.