Friday, 5 February 2010
Permanent Arms Economy Aesthetics
“The advanced technology of the war industry made it easier to design the high-speed railroad Tokaido Shinkansen, as well as high-tech light vehicles such as the Subaru. Many U.S. made tanks used in the Korean war (1950 - 1953) were transported into Japan in 1954, scrapped, and transformed into high-quality steel, which was reappropriated as building material for the Tokyo Tower in 1958. The destruction of war and the construction of the city go hand in hand, establishing an ironic logic of recycling and the perverse aesthetics of bad taste, that is to say, metataste metamorphosing the most junky and the most disgusting into the most kitsch and the most camp. As soon as the existing standard of aesthetics collapses, the hypercapitalist imperative incorporates the weirdest into the most marketable, the most avant-garde, and the most beautiful. This is the radical paradigm shift in accordance with which we should redefine the industrial effects of war industry as the metaesthetic cause of the postwar processing industry, with iron as its very useful currency."
Takayuki Tatsumi, Full Metal Apache: Transactions Between Cyberpunk Japan and Avant-Pop America. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006, p. 156.