Masato Fukushima

Masato Fukushima
The University of Tokyo | Todai · The Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies

Professor of social studies of science and technology
Currently I conduct research and write a book on experimentation through technoscience, society, and contemporary art.

About

37
Publications
3,746
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60
Citations
Introduction
I have been working on the areas where socio-cultural practices meet with advanced science and technology. Recent topics: the ethnographic studies of post-genomics, drug discovery process, and space science; dynamics of infrastructural aesthetics; big data and society; and most recently, comparative studies of experimentality through science, politics and contemporary art(book project) https://ssu-ast.weebly.com/english-main.html

Publications

Publications (37)
Chapter
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This paper analyses the politico-theological dimension of Thai film-director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's recent film, "Cemetery of Splendour" as a fundamental criticism of contemporary Thai polity through deciphering his puzzlingly cryptic expressions deeply rooted in quotidian practices of Thai society. This is published as part of the exhibition...
Article
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This is a tentative translation of my experimental essay with the same title in Japanese, published in the online journal Synodos -https://synodos.jp/society/22693- on the occasion of the publication of our edited book (explained in the text) on how a variety of future discourses such as scientific prediction and various forecasting construct our s...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to analyse the theoretical connotation of the idea of our digital body surviving the death of our natural body, advocated by such evangelists of digital afterlife as Bell and Gemmel. For this purpose, I will explore the seminal notion of ‘two bodies in one’ first analysed by Ernst Kantorowicz in his The King’s Two Bodi...
Article
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This article explores the potential fruitfulness of an encounter between psychoanalysis and science and technology studies (STS) by examining Perry’s (The Human Nature of Science: Researchers at Work in Psychiatry, The Free Press, New York, 1966) book, and its intellectual and socio-cultural background. From his close observation of experimental LS...
Presentation
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This is a translated lecture draft for the exhibition, Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow, The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (13 January, 2020) https://www.mori.art.museum/en/index.html The main focus of the lecture is the issues that I have discussed in my previous papers (i.e., Regimes on newness,...
Article
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This is my translation of the essay in Japanese from the Japanese art journal Eureka, 2022, 3 Special Issue, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. This article discusses the changing tug-of-war between politics and art in Apichatpong's works upto recent film Memoria with the help of Nietzsche's unaccomplished ideal of cultural bi-cameralism.
Data
This is the record of the Q & A part of the conference where I, as a keynote speaker, answered a couple of questions from the audience on the issue of design practices vis-a-vis other kind of activities, such as art and engineering.
Chapter
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This is an experimental essay on one of Japan's leading contemporary artists, Minoru NOMATA, on the occasion of White Cube, a London-based gallery of contemporary art, starting to represent his works. Nomata has been well-known for his paintings of mysterious buildings and environments, and has been highly acclaimed in Japan for decades, while hi...
Chapter
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The following text is the dialog between Masato Fukushima (the University of Tokyo) and Yasuhiro Morinaga(independent sound designer/creator) on the latter's project to be published as LIJIANG WITH/OUT + HOKKAIDO WITH [WE ARE ALL GREAT PARENTS] This is a project for a couple of young composers to make music either through their own fieldwork or th...
Article
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Given humans’ ubiquitous desire to know the future, modeling and simulation have arisen as powerful tools for the job. However, the scientific and political aspects of their outcomes—prediction and forecast—can be the target of harsh criticism and dispute. This essay examines recent controversies in the simulation of both seismology and pandemic ep...
Article
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In recent years, a controversy has arisen in Japan regarding an ongoing landscape policy proposing to eliminate the forest of utility poles and electric wires that covers almost all urban and rural landscapes. The controversy is somewhat peculiar vis-à-vis the existing study of landscape, partly because of the utterly ubiquitous and non-monumental...
Conference Paper
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This keynote speech discusses the potential and the limitation of ongoing diversification and extension of design activities in the face of complex way of handling collaboration with other existing disciplines, with the references to such cases as design in space science, infrastructure building, architecture, community design and design-engineerin...
Chapter
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This is the draft that is now published as part of the official catalog of the experimental installation SYNCHRONICITY by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsuyoshi Hisakado, MAM 025 Project at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. URL:https://www.mori.art.museum/en/news/2020/08/4212/index.html This essay compares four different faces of "specters" in the e...
Preprint
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Developing a new research instrument for scientific discovery requires evidence of its validity amidst the web of existing instruments. This study explores the case of developing atomic force microscopy (AFM) for biological use. Despite the early expectation of a major breakthrough in the life sciences, its development has encountered multiple diff...
Preprint
Full-text available
This is the draft that is now published as part of the official catalog of the experimental installation SYNCHRONICITY by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsuyoshi Hisakado, MAM 025 Project at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. URL for the project; https://www.mori.art.museum/en/exhibitions/mamproject025/index.html, Catalog information; URL:https://www.mo...
Chapter
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Tsuyoshi Hisakado is one of the rising generation of contemporary art in Japan. My text here is part of the official catalog of his solo exhibition at Toyota Municipal Museum of Art that has been newly released. This text argues the meaning of everyday landscape that Hisakado tries to transform, with his diverse aesthetic tricks and devices, into s...
Article
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Interface Critique is a newly launched on-line journal on the topic of "interface" as the main leitmotif for understanding contemporary culture and society at large, and contemporary art in particular. With the close observation of some leading figures of contemporary Japanese artists, such as Shinro Ohtake, this paper discusses the physiognomy (Th...
Article
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Art against Art is a Berlin-based art journal that pursues for post-market art practices and culture. With the reference to a couple of cases of Japanese contemporary art, this essay discusses the recent trend of rapidly diversifying practices of contemporary art, inspired by the concept of philosophical persona by G. Deleuze, with the focus on the...
Chapter
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This is the final draft for chapter 14 of C.Lury et al (eds) Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods( 2018) that deals with the issue of "scale" that matters for such interdisciplinary methods.
Data
This is a power-point presentation of my Cosmos and Taxis paper that traces the changing meaning of "the social" in the design thought and practice of Toyo Ito, one of the internationally known architects in Japan, through the framework of social ordering proposed by Friedrich Hayek.
Conference Paper
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This is a paper presented at the session, The Domains of data science: Science, industry & state, at the 4S meeting, Boston, the US, August 30-September 2, 2017. This paper discusses the socio-technical reasons of seeming reluctance of the Japanese industry and government to participate in the global competition related to big data and data science...
Article
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Arguments in science and technology studies have prompted us to rethink the meaning of experimentation in the wider context of our everyday life, though its dynamics have not been fully analyzed. This article argues that the legacy of the sociocultural approach to learning, with special reference to the Becker-Lave/Wenger dialogue, provides such a...
Article
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This paper analyses the dynamics of assigned values in two cases relating to the knowledge infrastructure of the national programme in Japan that develops drug discovery: in establishing a database of natural product compounds and in constructing a library of virtual compounds. The concepts of value oscillation and of the M-B (Marx-Bowker) index ar...
Article
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This article provides a theoretical basis for reconsidering current discussions on the relation between the body, technology, and enhancement. Using the conceptual distinctions of model 1 (which is based on the notion of the unmediated body and technology) and model 2 (which begins with the techno-body complex) types of understanding of enhancement...
Article
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This study focuses on the 5-year Protein 3000 Project launched in 2002, the largest biological project in Japan. The project aimed to overcome Japan’s alleged failure to contribute fully to the Human Genome Project, by determining 3000 protein structures, 30 percent of the global target. Despite its achievement of this goal, the project was fiercel...
Article
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The recent declining rate in the discovery of new drugs has made natural product (NP) research—the traditional method of using living organisms to acquire drug candidates—regain its importance, despite the fact that it was once regarded as an obsolete method in the face of the exalted expectations about emerging new approaches since the 1990s. The...
Conference Paper
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This is a paper discussing the problem of the way how the practitioners in situ understand and carry out a variety of theoretical frameworks on innovation processーin this case, drug discoveryーfor the discussion of the interrelation between STS and innovation theory. A case taken from a chemical biology lab.
Article
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This article analyzes the emergent new discipline known as chemical biology as part of the rapidly developing postgenomic research agenda. Despite chemical biology’s academic as well as political significance in terms of its expected contribution to drug discovery, the international STS community has failed to pay serious attention to its dynamism...
Presentation
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This is a paper with presentation slides that analyzes how a number of Japanese avant-garde architects understand the meaning of”environment” when they design the buildings. Three models of their conceptual framework, namely, co-construction, fractals and being out there, are proposed.
Presentation
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This is an exploratory paper on the changing meaning of "the social" in the design thought and practice of Toyo Ito, one of the internationally known architects in Japan through the framework of social ordering, cosmos and taxis, proposed by Friedrich Hayek.
Chapter
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This is a brief essay on the possibility of reconsidering the meaning of animism in tandem with the recent move in the social studies of science and technology for reconfigurating the relation between human and non-human that legitimately involves the concept of life itself, where animism can be also the candidate of such reconsideration. This essa...
Article
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This is a detailed ethnographical study on the everyday practice of risk management in psychiatric wards in a small mental hospital at the outskirt of Tokyo, Japan. Attention was given to the improvising process of constructing the situated meanings of risk by the ward staff for various types of occasions where both the staff and the inmates were i...
Chapter
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This is a short essayー related to the exhibition of Making Things Publicー discussing the consequences of the rather neglected aspect of the intra-conceptual heterogeneity within such terms as "representation" or "thing" that are easily lost in the process of inter-cultural translation.
Chapter
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This chapter reflects upon the various aspects of social memory in the context of cultural crises in the preceding chapters through the theoretical examination of the very meaning of "memory" that involves issues related to, say, embodiment, mediation through tools and signs, and memory and affordance perception etc. This chapter is also related to...
Article
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This paper is an ethnographic account of a reformist Buddhist movement, Santi Asoke, on its religious and political claims vis-a-vis the socio-cultural milieu of 1980s Thailand.

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
This project is concerned with how the public perceive or experience existing public infrastructures of various kinds. This project is more oriented to decipher the aesthetic potential of the already-existing infrastructures. which may be expressed in terms of visual arts, than to recent policy move to aesthesize such entities by introducing artists for embellishing them.