Masayoshi Someya, "A Long Way to Reversible Destiny: Some Suggestions from the Ecological Perspective"
Let us take it seriously, to reverse our human destiny! Arakawa＋Gins' project is, as it were, a big ecological experiment because it attempts to fundamentally transform human life by tactically setting the environment. So what is needed to proceed further with this experiment? In this presentation, I consider this problem from an ecological point of view and try to support the principle of reversible destiny, i.e., an attempt for life transformation by changing the surroundings. My presentation uses two ecological thoughts (two ecologists) for the considerations above. One is the ecological psychology founded by James J. Gibson, and the other is Gregory Bateson's ecology of mind. Gibson and Bateson insisted that life activity (in Gibson, perception-action of an individual organism; in Bateson, the behavior of an individual, community, and the nation) connects with its surroundings, and such connection is essential for life activity. I believe that their findings support the principle of Arakawa＋Gins' reversible destiny project. However, Gibson and Bateson do not seem to have had a very clear understanding of the surroundings' power to transform our life and the possibility of bodily transformation. Therefore, the limits of thought and imagination in advancing Arakawa＋Gins' reversible destiny project also challenge an ecological perspective. It must be said that the way to go to reversible destiny is still long.
Masayoshi Someya is a professor in the Faculty of Human Sciences, Takachiho University. He is also a commissioned researcher studying the Architectural Body in Kansai University's Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies research group. His major research interests are in philosophical implications of an ecological approach to perception and action, philosophical theories of the body, phenomenological study of psychological phenomena and the philosophy of mind, life, and organisms. He has published articles and books of philosophical inquiry into perceptual experience from an ecological point of view. The representative work is Steps to an Ecology of Perceptual Experience (Keiso Shobo, 2017).
Satoshi Inagaki, "Against the Fear of Death: Arakawa's Quest for Immortality and Benatar's Anti-Natalism"
Arakawa's (and Gins') fight against death means to resist the given and existing humanity and to reset / re-set up all the thoughts, philosophies, arts and architectures by which our social systems are supported. To achieve this, A+G emphasized, an "architecture against death" was necessary. Behind his (or their) "Against-ness" lies the event of the disappearance or extinction of the existing human being, which Arakawa's fear of death had accelerated. My presentation will discuss possibilities of death that Arakawa feared, or an architecture, not against death, but rather toward enriched death. To this end I will make recourse to David Benatar's anti-natalism.
Satoshi Inagaki is Professor of Philosophy at Toyo University in Japan. His field of specialization is Husserl's phenomenology. His work focuses currently on phenomenological development of body theory in relation to clinical rehabilitation or environmental design. He translated A+G's work, Making Dying Illegal, into Japanese. His newest paper about A+G's project is "A Critical View of Society and Technology from / toward Arakawa/Gins", ARAKAWA + Madeline Gins in the 22nd Century: The Body and the Experience in the Reversible Destiny Mode, Naohiko Mimura and Takeshi Kadobayashi, eds., Film Art Inc., 2019.
Hiroki Komuro, " ‘New Sensory Gravity' and the Mechanism of Losing Balance"
Arakawa + Gins created architectural works in order to realize the idea of "reversible destiny." Arakawa stated in a dialogue that he would like to advocate "new sensory gravity." In this presentation, we think that the mechanism of losing balance in reversible destiny architectures involves realizing this "new sensory gravity." Arakawa + Gins tried to change our sense of gravity by putting our bodies off-balance through their architectures. Arakawa said that the mechanism of losing balance creates an environment as a phenomenon that is neither a place nor an act of the body. Arakawa + Gins' architectural works have evolved from extraordinary theme parks to everyday homes. By incorporating the mechanism of losing balance into our daily lives, the mechanism is internalized in our bodies as a ‘new sensory gravity." As a result, our bodies move with new possibilities and we are one step closer to a reversible destiny.
Hiroki Komuro is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Health and Well-being at Kansai University and a researcher in the Study Group of the Architectural Body at the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, Kansai University. He is a researcher in Holistic education and Somatic education. In recent years, he has been studying meditation while doing practical activities such as teaching and facilitating workshops of yoga and mindfulness. He also approaches A+G from both practical and research perspectives.