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Iconological Interpretative Research into the Transformation of Mentality in Modern Technological Environments

Project Leader
Tomoki Akimaru

Faculty Staff Responsible for the Project
Toji Kamata, Ph.D., Professor, Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University

Technological advances in recent centuries have transformed human visual perception. Our studies research this transformation of mentality by examining previously disregarded historical materials. Sombart characterized this technology as an "emancipation from the boundaries of nature." We shall delineate the historical evolution from Friedmann's "natural environment" to the technological environment Benjamin calls "the decline of Aura." For example, our themes include transportation, such as "Paul Cezanne and Steam Railways," "Fauvism and Automobiles," "Modern Painting of Airplanes,"; cityscapes, such as "Metropolitan Crowds in Impressionism," "Impressionism and glass architecture," "Cubism and glass architecture,"; and visual technology, such as "modern painting and artificial lighting," "modern painting and photography," "abstract painting and modern technology." We shall also study Cubist reflections of Cassirer's "symbolic forms" using Panofsky's method of "Iconology" in art history.