Description of the book Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan by Harootunian, H.D., published by Princeton University Press
Lisa Hosokawa's insight:
"Modernism was the historical watermark of uneven development, its signature, even though it sought to efface and repress this historical condition of production. I have already suggested that capitalism has no really normal, balanced state, even though it claims one in an indeterminate future."
We're in a different historical moment now, but "unevenness" is still relevant. "Gaps" experienced because of unevenness are stimulating. They can also be disturbing and uncomfortable. Worth thinking about how my interest in gaps such as those between words and pictures might be related to everyday experiences of gaps in capitalist Japan.
"One of the oldest findings in SMS [sensorimotor synchronization] research is that ddring tapping in synchrony with an auditory metronome the taps tend to precede the tones by a few tens of milliseconds. This is called the anticipation tendency or mean negative synchrony (MNA). . . . Many studies have been concerned specifically with the MNA because it seems to tell us something important about how perception and action are coordinated in time."
"The relationship between words and pictures which occurs in picture books and also in film - how both can work together giving different parts of the narrative, or against each other as different points of view of the narrative - is particularly intriguing to me."
"It was painters rather than scientists who first worked out the rules of visual perspective and occlusion, in order to make pigments on a flat canvas seem like a beautiful landscape rich in depth. We realized now that magicians were just a different kind of artist: instead of form and color, they manipulated attention and cognition."
"Roger Copeland argues that the independence of music and dance in Cunningham’s work contributes to a championing of “perceptual freedom”, where multimodal incongruence helps disable our tendency to fuse simultaneous events and helps make us aware of the individual characteristics of sounds and movements, spurring us to attempt to follow them with selective or divided attention so far as we are able. The sort of skills this requires are cultivated for example by listening to polyphonic music, for which the ability to hear multiple lines of music simultaneously pays dividends. . . .
It is not clear how easily humans may follow independent musical and dancing objects simultaneously, but certainly a byproduct of the attempt to see the parts instead of the whole is to notice details—of individual dancers, of their group dynamics, and of their relationship to the music—without them joining into a unitary experience. . . . When the relationships between modalities become indirect and complex, the dance will seem most familiar to an audience entrained by the multiplicities of our urban, global, networked, multi-tasking world."
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