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Japanese Manga, Cultural Exchange, and Intersecting Art/Physics

Event Type
ICASU, Loomis 230
Apr 23, 2024   12:00 - 1:00 pm  
Kofi Bazzell-Smith
Jessica Raley
Originating Calendar
ICASU Event Calendar

In this presentation, Kofi Bazzell-Smith shares his personal journey as a practitioner who has delved into the intricacies of Japanese language and culture, discussing how this has influenced his creative process and led to a deeper understanding and application of manga's aesthetic and structural idiosyncrasies. By contextualizing manga's historical development from its origins in the 12th century to its contemporary manifestations, he not only emphasizes the inseparable relationship between manga and its cultural and linguistic context, but also highlights the form's nature as an inherently transcultural manifestation, forged through an Interplay with foreign influences.

In Bazzell-Smith's current project "Radius," a technologically advanced humanity has become reliant on robots for labor and entertainment. At the heart of this narrative is Samir, a boy robot endowed with the rare ability to dream. Set against the backdrop of a society fueled by the discovery of antimatter resources and a revolutionary process of energy production through particle annihilation, the story explores the consequences of progress and delves into the intricate relationship between humans and machines.

Czech playwright Karel Čapek’s 1920 play Rossum’s Universal Robots introduced “robot” into the English language, first coming from the Czech word “Robota” meaning forced work or slavery.

Drawing inspiration from the artist's experiences as a professional boxer, "Radius" underscores the commodification and exploitation of the body within the realms of capitalist sports and media, using humans and machines as metaphors for race and class.

link for robots only