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Imagined Landscapes

Japanese SciFi Magazine Covers
by

Kate Page-Lippsmeyer

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of Imagined Landscapes

LANDSCAPE
HUMANOID BODIES
UNIVERSE
ABSTRACT
1960
1960
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1961
1961
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1963
1959/60
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SEARCHING FOR THE (POST)HUMAN IN JAPANESE SCI FI MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION
1950
1957: UCHUJIN/STARDUST
1960
1970
1980
1954:SEIUN/GALAXY
1979: SF HOUSEKI (SF JEWEL)
1959: SF MAGAZINE
1962
未踏の時代
未踏の時代
epoch of the unexplored/unknown
1979: SF Adventure
1974: KISOUTENGAI (BIZZARE)
1980: UCHUSEN (SPACE SHIP)
1969: NW-SF (New Wave Sci Fi
1964
1965
1962
1962
1962
Manabe Hiroshi & Kandinsky
Kanamori Touru & Tanaka Atsuko
1959/60
1961
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1969
COMPARING F/SF & SF MAGAZINE 1960
POSTWAR JAPAN IS THE LANDSCAPE OF SCIENCE FICTION
BEYOND EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, SF MAGAZINE SUGGESTS SCIENCE FICTION IS INDELIBLY LINKED TO IMAGINING THE UNIVERSE
THE ABSTRACT BECOMES A WAY TO ENVISION FUTURE WORLDS, ALTERNATIVE PROCESSES
It is the form of painting that represents the impact of scientific and technological advancement on human beings.
In all events, this art form itself advances in the sense that it is an ongoing engagement of the scientific and cultural imagination with unfolding possibilities of the century, measuring and remeasuring, over and over, the size, proportion, and position of human figures in relation to other categories of being, both past and future – machines, cities, planets, organisms, mental or "invisible" phenomena, nonorganic "life" forms, and finally the void itself, the darkness of the infinitely large or small. But the purpose of sf art, in stark opposition to the "erasures" of canonical art, is to revision a human face or form in this dark canvas of modern science. …. Just as the act of understanding never reaches rest or finality in such a dynamic, so does the act of repositioning. In the ever shifting compositional play of proportionality that is sf/fantasy art, the human form, or its surrogate or analog, must abide, if only in some radically decentered position or form." (Slusser, 5)
Nakajima Seikan & Jean Carzou
Nakajima Seikan & Picasso
"[I]f one examines paintings from the Gernsback period to today, one is aware of the iconic constancy beneath surface changes." (Slusser, 14)
"Sf/fantasy art is often touted, in contrast, as depicting or presenting new landscapes and "worlds" in and for themselves, things and places never before seen.

In actuality, however, its force comes from its ability to substitute old worlds for new – to reconnect the visually new but devitalized images of modern art the collective myth that unites all ages of human endeavor, to bring forth the basic icons of human visual experience from the formal debris of cubism, surrealism, and other schools of art." (Slusser, 9)
"[S]ymbols for science fiction, like definitions of science fiction, do not emerge spontaneously from the literature they represent; rather, they are created by people with specific opinions about the nature and priorities of that literature." (Westfahl, "Wanted: A Symbol for Science Fiction," 18)
真鍋博
science fiction art defined?
(George Slusser, "Introduction: The Iconology of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art," 5)
conclusion
A Different Set of Codes
Her world exploded.
Visualizing....
For the last hundred years, the interpretative conventions of all the literary reading codes have been organized, tyrannized even, by what, in philosophical jargon, you could call "the priority of the subject." Everything is taken to be about mind, about psychology. And, in literature, the odder or more fantastical or surreal it is, the more it's assumed to be about mind or psychology.

SF, developing in the statistically much wider field of paraliterature…has to some extent been able to escape this tyranny, at least a bit more than the striated stream of literary texts – in SF we used to call it "the mainstream," which is fine as long as you realize that paraliterary texts make an ocean. …

At the level where the distinction between it and paraliterature is meaningful, literature is a representation of, among other things, a complex codic system by which the codic system we call the "subject" (with which, in any given culture, literature must overlap) can be richly criticized. By virtue of the same distinction, SF is a representation of, among other things, a complex codic system by which the codic system we call the "object" (which, in those cultures that have SF, SF must ditto) can be richly criticized – unto its overlap with the subject.
Samuel Delany, Silent Interviews, 31
kate page-lippsmeyer
1964 Olympics Gymnasium
Yoyogi, Tokyo
Kenzo Tange, Architect
Yoshikatsu Tsuboi, Engineer

World's largest suspension roof at that time
Steel cables supported by two column anchorages
Soulages (via Toru Terada)
"Whereas figurative painting introduces relations between particular elements of the real world, nonfigurative painting introduces the relation of totality to totality. Whether for the viewer or for the artist, the world is no longer merely looked at. It is lived… Therefore this kind of painting, which lacks a representational function, is surrounded by the world and relies on the world for its meaning." (31)
Fukushima Masami
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