ICA 2019 Belgrade, miki okubo, « Virtual Idol » and « dietary philosophy »

I participated in the ICA2019 (International congress of aesthetic studies) in Belgrade 21-26 July 2019. Here are my abstracts of presentations.

The virtual idol is getting more and more present and popular not only in geek cultures or subcultures, but also in a global music market. The virtual idol is generally a character based on its vocaloid voice completed with graphic image, detailled information on profil, amateurs’ participation in developping its universe and active consumers of its musical productions. We know as a pioneer example Miku Hatsune. A girl at the age of 17 in costume inspired by school uniform whose totem is Welsh onion, Miku Hatsune is a character based on Vocaroid commercialized by Crypton Future Media in 2004, through technological improvements, having become a real popular idol in Japan and lots of countries in the 2010s. In Paris, where Japanese pop-culture such as Manga, Animé or Cosplay fascinates many young peoples, her concerts archived such a high level success. On the stage, Miku Hatsune visualized by holographic projectors, singing, dansing and talking to her fans, mesmerized completely the spectators.

The first point I will develop is the aesthetic challenges of this new creature – virtual idol – for encouraging amateur creations as well as impacting on the contemporary artworld. The most important contribution of the virtual idol’s eminent advent to visual arts is the expansion of creative spheres as well as their restructure. The development of virtual idols world is fed by amateurs participations, who are often fans, consumers and creators. It welcomes also deviative creations associated with differnets genres such as video games, mangas, animations, films, fanzines, secondary creations or commercialization of character’s goods.

The second point concerns a new body consciousness brought to the importance by virtual idol culture, and more globaly by digital cutlres. Their particular corporal modality is due to the ontological ambiguity among human, artifact, robot, imaginary creature or set of digital information. Their immaterial corporality brings us to transform ourselves in a sort of hybrid existence in regard with movements, gestures, self-consiousness.

Through analysis of the corporal modality and phenomenological significations of virtual idol, I will consider its impact on visual arts as well as new aesthetics of body consiousness appearing in our society of information.

Index terms | body consicousness; character; corporality; digital culture; Japanese pop culture; virtual idol; vocaloid


Abstract |
We are living in a particular era with regard to the notion of health and the way of feeding ourselves. Today, our dietary situation is in a dilemma; we are surrounded by various information about foods for well-being and good health, as well as advices for a diet or different calorie controls. When we watch TV programs, take a look at publicity in magazines, newspapers or on the Internet, it is obvious that excessive information on these topics are circulated around our everyday life, which brings us naturally to be conscious of what we eat and how to control our appetite to the obsessive extent. Moreover, we take sometimes medicaments or supplements for weight loss as compensation for the appetite satisfaction, gourmet and fine food loves.

The information about hygiene and security of food that we should rely on is also questioning. Certain organic foods succeeded commercially due to their “clean” (non-contaminated, secure and good for health) image. At the same times, these foods are so expensive that only wealthy people can afford to purchase. Thinking too much about food security can cause to increase food waste, especially food loss.

New attitudes against this food loss and challenges for overcoming information saturated society about eating and dieting are getting more and more visible. Food sharing, recycling, donating or other possible solutions are getting developed. This presentation aims at better understanding the veritable situation in the contemporary relation between our body and environment in order to seek the more appropriate dietary philosophy which is compatible with contemporary humanity thinking.

Index terms | body consciousness; diet; dietary philosophy; food loss, gourmet; hygiene of food; notion of health; security of foods



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Download program here!
publica18 program

I am very happy to announce my participation in PUBLICA 18, taking place in Madrid on 25th January 2018. I will argue the utility of medical and ecological approach for arts awareness; possibility of artistic activities for social/cultural/scientific applications. I will introduce my recent experimental practice – exhibition « Pharmakon » I organized in Kyoto and Osaka in December 2017 (official website of exhibition « Pharmakon »)as well as other realizations around this subject. Here my brief presentation of speech.

you can take a look any information on : http://www.fundacioncontemporanea.com/publica18/

Arts awareness:

Practice of medical and ecological approaches for well being or happiness

Miki Okubo

The lecture will focus on significations and utilities of artistic approaches for bien-être (living better) in today’s society where our consciousness of medical issues/hygienic/healthy life is highly controlled by markets or other factors issued from economic system. I attempt to dig deeply possible practices and realizations of arts contextualized in medical and ecology. How artistic practice such as exhibitions and manifestations, can contribute to public sensibilisation in particularly specialized fields, such as advanced technics and new methods in medicine, where theirs specialized information is hardly accessible for ordinary people? What is the actual situation around medical art or therapeutic art in French and Japanese society?
Introducing my recent project – exhibition « Pharmakon » taking place in Kyoto and Osaka in December 2017, I will consider social role of art as « poison-remedy » ambivalence.


The modality of contemporary narratives in the digital era

I share another presentation I did in the 20th International Congress of Aesthetics, Seoul National University, on 27th july 2016.
This study concern the act of writing via digital devices such as smartphone or social networking platform such as blogs. I focus on its objectives and utilities or positive impacts on the contemporary society.

If you are interested in the topic and in discussing further more, please contact me (garcone_mk atmark yahoo.co.jp). I will be happy to make collaborative projects or possible experimental works.

The modality of contemporary narratives in the digital era

Narratives written not only by artists but also by amateurs have never been so easy to carry out, exhibit and share. Individual engagement in writing personal narratives has become a mundane, commonplace undertaking. We have a vast array of means available to realize our intimate storytelling, including traditional and modern medias and advanced technologies: keeping a diary or a blog, writing a novel (either traditionally or for Twitter or Smartphones), making notes on Facebook then sharing them with “friends”, “tweeting” frequently via Twitter, creating a visual novel, and so on.

Despite this ease of access to platforms and the disposition of media, authors have no chance of becoming a celebrated author. In our highly information-oriented society, it is extremely difficult for individuals to manage to have their writing read by numerous readers. That is why today ordinary people engage in excessively intimate writing (about family situations, love, illness or mental affliction, etc.) without causing a scandal, making a strong impact nor even embarrassing others. Determined confessions are viewed with indifference by others. All that these ordinary “authors” can expect to gain through their personal, self-centered writings is a kind of auto-therapy or satisfaction for their human narcissistic desire.

In this study, we also observe an important current trend in narrative structure. As Hiroki Azuma mentioned in his book, The birth of realism like games (2007), contemporary literature has been gravely influenced by video games or online games and shares several characteristics: emphasizing characters’ presence, recycling repeatedly stereotypical scenarios, combining fragmented scenes. The novels have been written similarly to games, adopting their dramaturgy and staging. In other words, the changes undergoing modern writing concern not only ordinary, individual people but also the literature domain. The influences are complementary to each other; literary works and digital writing.

Through my presentation, I will construct a new aesthetic theory of contemporary narratives in the digital era, referring to what we observe on the Internet through different realizations via new media in order to understand the utility and the signification of the act of writing.

Keywords: digital, writing, blogs, social media, character, twitter novel, keitai culture, narrative.

sms image


Aesthetics of “robotized body” in the representation of Aidoru’s (popular singers’) costumes

Here I share the abstract of my presentation I did in the 20th ICA july 2016 about the robotized costume regarding of the recent trend of body consciousness. If you are interested in the topic, you are very welcome to contact me for further discussion! (to garcone_mk atmark yahoo.co.jp)

The 20th International Congress of Aesthetics, July 24-29 2016, Seoul National University
Intervention by Miki OKUBO, 26 july 2016


Aesthetics of “robotized body” in the representation of Aidoru’s (popular singers’) costumes

In the new media environment developed over these past few decades, our body consciousness, from ontological, aesthetic and sociological points of view, has been radically modified. Throughout diverse experiments (virtual reality, augmented reality, video games, simulation, avatars, etc.), our body image today differs vastly from that of previous eras. Cyborgs, humanoids and humanlike-robots that were classic imaginations of SF films have become real thanks to advanced technologies.

In my presentation, I would like to investigate one emerging “ideal body” trend in our mass cultural environment. The observation of costumes of popular singers called “Aidoru” will allow us to understand what human beings consider “an ideal” body shape.

“Aidoru” is a Japanese word meaning “young star singer(s).” These performers, strategically staged commercially since the 1970s, are characterized by their particular style of dance, music and costume. One pioneer example of Aidoru wearing a robot-like costume is the female duo, Pink Lady, popular in the second half of 1970s. The metallic colored costume for one of their hits, UFO, featured mechanized body traits reminiscent of a spacesuit. We can also think of cone-shaped bra designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier for Madonna in the 1990s, which brings to mind a strange humanlike robot. As for a more recent example, the dance style of trio Pahyumu (Perfume, is characterized by unique, inhuman, and unnatural mannequin-like movements. Their costume also resembles spacesuits and their music is electro. There is no need to look for particular singers specifically oriented to the robotic style, this costume trend is shared by a large number of Aidoru.

This trend of aspiring towards a robotic-like body is worrisome. It doesn’t just signify an appreciation for simple physical imitation of cyborgs through costume games, but ontological pursuits of self-image. Analyzing these costumes will help us understand the signification of human body representation from aesthetic and anthropological points of view. Throughout my presentation, I will construct a theory of body consciousness and its representation to reveal the strangeness of idealized body image.

Keywords: robotized body, idol, aidoru, cyborg, humanoid, android, Pink Lady, Lady Gaga, costume, cosplay, character, body image, body consciousness.

LadyGaGa-Metropolis Perfume 4 TR-5


少女文字の研究! @日本記号学会 「美少女の記号論」

日本記号学会 第35回大会「美少女の記号論」





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日本記号学会 第35回大会「美少女の記号論」

日本記号学会 第35回大会「美少女の記号論」
実施日時:2015年5月17日(日)13:30-15:30 ※当日9:40-10:00の受付が必要
会場:秋田公立美術大学 大講義室
 2014年から2015年にかけて開催された展覧会『美少女の美術史』は、すでに江戸時代の「美人画」に見られる伝統的「美少女」像から、現代アートやマンガやアニメなどポップ・カルチャーに欠かせないモチーフとしての少女にいたるまで、日本社会において「少女」がどのように描かれ、演出され、鑑賞され、消費されてきたのか、その系譜を明らかにした興味深い試みであった。美術において少女は繰り返し隠れた焦点になっていたのである。それでは現在、彼女たちはどこに向かっているのだろうか? あるいは逆に、「美術」は「少女」を媒介にしてどこへ向かいつつあるのだろうか? これが第一の問いになる。


シンポジウム! 美少女表象のこれからのために喋ります!




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着ること/脱ぐことの記号論 / Sémiotics de s’habiller et se déshabiller






それから、会長の吉岡さんのテクストも冒頭掲載します。会長吉岡さんの落書きされて嬉しそうな写真なども、新聞女論の中でご覧ください!また、目次も以下に添付させていただきます。また、昨年逝去された山口昌男先生の追悼特集では、吉岡 洋さん、室井 尚さん、立花義遼さん、岡本慶一さんが珠玉のエピソードを寄せておられます。

新曜社 web page

着ること/脱ぐことの記号論 刊行によせて

日本記号学会会長 吉岡 洋

服を着るのは必要なことだろうか? そんなの当たり前じゃないかと、ほとんどの人は答えるだろう。もしも服を着ないで外を歩いたら、たちまち好奇の眼にさらされ、たぶん警察を呼ばれるだろうし、悪くするとテレビや新聞で晒しものになる。だいいち、寒くて風邪をひくではないか。服は必要にきまっている。


(… つづきは新曜社HPでどうぞ!)


着ること/脱ぐことの記号論 目次

刊行によせて 吉岡 洋

第一部 着ることを脱ぎ捨てること
〈脱ぐこと〉の哲学と美学 鷲田清一 vs 吉岡 洋

新聞女―アートは精神の解放 大久保美紀

第二部 「憧れ」を纏うこと
「なぜ外国のファッションに「憧れ」るのか」を問うということ 高馬京子

表象としての外国のファッション―エキゾチシズムをめぐって 高馬京子

日本映画に見る「モガ」の表象―洋装とアイデンティティ 池田淑子

キャラ的身体のためのファッション 大久保美紀

―ゴスロリ・ファッションをめぐって 杉本バウエンス・ジェシカ
「憧れ」とともに生きる―シンポジウムを終えて 大久保美紀

第三部 (人を)着る(という)こと
袈裟とファッション 小野原教子
音を着る―フルクサスの場合 塩見允枝子
―映画『サドのための叫び』における「芸術の乗り越え」と「状況の構築」 木下 誠
(人を)着る(という)こと 小野原教子

第四部 日本記号学会と山口昌男

山口昌男先生を偲んで 吉岡 洋・室井 尚・立花義遼・岡本慶一

第五部 記号論の諸相
究極的な論理的解釈項としての「習慣」とパースにおける「共感」 佐古仁志
家族関係修復のセミオシス─発達記号論ケース・スタディ 外山知徳
ペルシャの青─ホイチン(回青)の壺に現われた形而上の諸々 木戸敏郎


「未熟性」のジャパン・ポップ : 海外における受容について / Development of Japanese-pop infantilism abroad – Observation of contemporary fashion and specialized makeup


9月17日に、ブルガリアの国際記号学会で、室井尚さんがチェアをするこちらのラウンドテーブル »SEMIOTICS OF POP-CULTURE Focusing on the analysis and effects of the JAPAN POP« で、参加されるみなさんといっしょに発表します。わくわく。

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Development of Japanese-pop infantilism abroad – Observation of contemporary fashion and specialized makeup

I will analyze Japanese contemporary fashion and makeup observed among today’s youth, especially on girls. Japanese-pop fashion characterized as « Kawaii » (“very cute” in Japanese) embraces an infantilism, or babyishness. Its influence has taken a profound hold in some European countries. I will present a theory of universal characteristics in Japanese contemporary fashion.

I am especially interested in the remarkable crossing over of bizarre Japanese pop culture into western populations who don’t share any cultural background. Foreigners who take special interest in this original culture have brought attention to it in their own countries, where it takes hold progressively and develops in different manners in different places. European countries have a completely different geological context in comparison to Japan. Japan is an isolated island while European countries are loosely connected to one other. This geological difference affects cultural issues. The surpassing of cultural frontiers and international acceptance of the specialized universe of Japanese pop means the potential to become something universal and ubiquitous.

Several years ago, in my class of Univesrity Paris 8 (France), I introduced emoticons (Kaomoji, in Japanese, ex.o(^-^)o ) along with a sociological analysis of the effect of frequent emoticon usage. I suggested that these typographic representations of human facial expressions meant to imitate real human expression and portray emotion could, in turn, affect human gesture and behaviour. To my surprise, at that time, European people found my suggestion ridiculous, declaring these effects relevant only to Japanese people, not to Westerners. However, today, I can point out clear influences from Japanese animations and mangas on various behaviours including gesture, facial expression and onomatopoeia. Emoticons have become very familiar and young people are influenced by their appearance throughout their activities on social medias.

In general, socio-cultural studies focusing on Kawaii culture and the infantility of Japanese contemporary fashion deal with extreme style such as Lolita or Gothique Lolita. Then there are studies of radical or eccentric cultures such as Cosplay. In my opinion, Japanese pop culture is something like “air” surrounding us daily and its penetration into foreign cultures is absolutely significant. In my report, I attempt to theorize a study of traversing cultural borders, focusing not only on extreme style but also a fashion loosely accepted and appreciated by ordinary people.


ジャン=ポール・ゴルチエのファッション / Aesthetic consideration of virtuality and physicality of human body With reference to the fashion designs of Jean-Paul Gaultier

 ジャン=ポール・ゴルチエ(Jean-Paul Gaultier, 1952-)のファションについて、とりわけ身体表象におけるヴァーチャル性とフィジカル性について発表します。9月19日のお昼の発表です!ぜひ聞きに来てください!マドンナ(Madonna)も身につけた歴史的なコーンブラ(Cone Bra)や裸に裸を纏うドレスについて考察します。 

スクリーンショット 2014-09-13 15.59.14


Aesthetic consideration of virtuality and physicality of human body
With reference to the fashion designs of Jean-Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul Gaultier, born in 1952, French Haute Couture and Pret-a-Porter couturier, never received formal training for his profession. His diverse, innovative, provoking fashion, radically explores critical issues like sexuality when putting up against conventional Haut Couture. Unfortunately his works have not been correctly evaluated partly because of an excessively provocative slogan. People lose sight of the most interesting aspects of Gaultier’s expression. What I attempt to revaluate is his designs concerns his manner of representing the human body as a way to radically influence our body consciousness.

In his work, the human body is often both abstracted and concretized. These strong, opposite expressions are present simultaneously. “Abstraction” means human body represented as numerical/digital information while “concretization” means vivid existence in a real, physical sense. Today, the human body seems to be becoming an increasingly informational object. People have very detailed numerical knowledge about the body. In addition, technological developments allow us to construct our body image in a way similar to androids or robots.Virtual images settle progressively in our mind. “Skin Series”, where Gaultier used three identical models, illustrate clearly this observation. Each piece represents muscle, blood vessels and bones. His illustration shows a kind of simplification to figure these organs and everyone will understand what he represents. However, in spite of their closeness, these organs will never be visually familiar to us. Our awareness is drawn to them only during specific occasions like an accident or an injury. Advanced medical knowledge and detailed anatomical knowledge have given us a typical human body image. In short, a reconstructed body through new technologies is very different from a real body, accompanied with smell, perspiration and weight.

Furthermore, Gaultier is one of the first couturier to appoint atypical/untraditional fashion models. Today, the an unusual body seen on the catwalk no longer causes sensation because we have become accustomed to this kind of surprise, seeing various models, large, small and different. However, at the time Gaultier first introduced this idea, it caused a scandal amongst the conservative realm of Haut Couture.

What I attempt to theorize in my presentation is the modern relationship between virtual image and the true, physical human body in order to understand the reality of contemporary fashion concerning body consciousness and physical perception.


エルヴェ・ギベールの文学創作について / Autofiction ou parler du « moi » : enjeux esthétiques pour la nouvelle création littéraire – les recherches à travers l’analyse des ouvres d’Hervé Guibert

フランス人のジャーナリスト/写真家/日記作家/小説家であるエルヴェ・ギベール(Hervé Guibert, 1955-1991)の文学について、現代の電子テキストによる私たちの書く行為を視野に入れて、日記を基軸にして私小説を書くという彼の文学創作の方法について、その着想や意味を考察します。9月18日に発表します!ぜひ聞きにきてください〜。


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Autofiction ou parler du « moi » : enjeux esthétiques pour la nouvelle création littéraire – les recherches à travers l’analyse des ouvres d’Hervé Guibert

Quant à l’écriture contemporaine, nous sommes fréquemment témoins d’une attitude audacieuse de ceux qui écrivent, même plutôt exhibitionniste pour dévoiler leur vie personnelle, la confidentialité et l’intimité. Non seulement dans le domaine de la littérature mais aussi dans les activités des amateurs, cette tendance est très présente. Ce constat serait issu de la nouvelle situation environnementale dans notre société de l’information. Concrètement dit, nous avons souvent des moyens pour publier un texte sur un espace virtuel tels le blog et les réseaux sociaux, grâce à l’accès internet. Cette possibilité d’exposition de soi nous encourage de nous engager passionnément dans une activité à la fois ludique à la fois sérieuse : écrire sur le moi, ma vie et mon histoire intime.
Comme genres littéraires, le terme d’« autofiction » n’existait pas avant les années 1970. Ce fut Serge Doubrovsky, écrivain français, qui inventa ce nouveau genre littéraire pour définir sa propre œuvre, intitulée Fils (1977) dans laquelle l’auteur désira distinguer la fiction autobiographique d’avec l’autobiographie. Sa définition simple est celle-ci : l’auteur est aussi le narrateur et le personne principale. L’appellation du protagoniste peut être variée comme « je », « il » ou « elle ». Il y a toujours une complexité pour la déterminer puisque quand le récit basé profondément sur une vie réelle de quelqu’un, il est difficile de justifier si c’est une fiction ou une vérité, il n’est même pas important ni intéressant de le vérifier pour sa qualité littéraire. Dans tous les cas, la nature « autofictionelle » est toujours présente dans les expressions littéraires.
En France, Philippe Lejeune, théoricien de la littérature, notamment spécialiste de l’autobiographie, a réalisé ses recherches riches sur l’activité historiquement répandue en Europe, « tenir un journal intime » dans Le pacte autobiographique (1971). Il est évident que le journal intime n’est pas toujours un recueil des histoires vraies, comme démontra Sophie Calle, artiste française, à travers son ouvrage intitulée Des histoires vraies (2002). En jetant un regard sur les lieux de création littéraire, la relation entre l’écriture sur soi comme le journal intime et la littérature contemporaine est interactive et dynamique. À mon avis, il est temps de considérer une problématique : enjeux esthétiques de l’autofiction afin d’interpréter une dernière tendance puissante dans la littérature.
Dans cette communication, j’analyserai certaines œuvres autobiographiques d’Hervé Guibert son écriture expérimental de l’autofiction afin de réfléchir à la signification de la valeur esthétique de l’écriture de soi.