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Events - 12.06.2022

Technology, Storytelling, History, Proximity | Masaki Fujihata & DJ Spooky in Conversation


12.06.2022 (Tue.)


07:00 PM - 09:00 PM (PST)


JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5



Visionary Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata and composer, multimedia artist and writer DJ Spooky — two of the world's most consistently innovative artist-thinkers — come together to discuss the power of art and of technology as a vehicle for storytelling in a contemporary world beset by history.

This talk will be moderated by Michael Emmerich, director of the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, and the Executive Producer of the exhibition, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration exhibition, created by Masaki Fujihata, currently on view at the Japanese American National Museum.

BeHere / 1942 is one of the most extraordinary and poignant exhibitions presented here in Los Angeles marking the passage of eighty years since the U.S. government's mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The exhibition brings carefully curated photographs from the National Archives and other collections together with video work and two cutting-edge augmented reality installations, one of which is unprecedented in its scale.

This program, presented in conjunction with the exhibition at JANM, is an opportunity for JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles to highlight the rich work of Japanese artist Masaki Fujihata and create a platform for the exchange of ideas surrounding the relationship between art and technology and how this relationship will come to influence the future of storytelling and our engagement with history. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation that takes the exhibition as its point of departure, but certainly doesn't end there.


Masaki Fujihata is a world-renowned Japanese new media artist. Among the first to explore the potential of computers as an artistic medium and a pioneer in “interactive art,” he is the recipient of numerous honors including the Ars Electronica Gol-den NIKA Award in 1996 for Global Interior Project. His career until 2015 is detailed in the Augmented Reality-enhanced book Anarchive 6: Masaki Fujihata.

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In fall 2019 he was chosen as Regents’ Professor at UCLA. While practicing art, Fujihata also spent two decades as a professor at Keio University and helped to establish the Graduate School of Film and New Media at Tokyo University of the Arts.

In his most recent work BeHere / 1942, on view at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in downtown Los Angeles, he invites visitors to experience the photographic archive of the 1942 forced removal of Japanese Americans in new ways. The forced expulsion of Americans of Japanese descent from Los Angeles and other cities was extensively documented by professional photographers; images of families waiting to be taken off to the camps have come to stand as icons of the incarceration. Through careful curation of little-known photographs by Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee, some presented in hyper-enlarged form or reimagined as video, BeHere / 1942 invites visitors to examine these photographs in a way that reveals a new perspective on the situation in which they were taken. Cutting-edge augmented reality (AR) technology takes the discovery a step further, inviting visitors to become photographers themselves, participating in the scene.

Paul D. Miller, a.k.a. DJ Spooky, is a composer, multimedia artist, and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. He is a longtime Japanophile with a history of travel, touring, and engagement in Japan, and has been featured on the NHK program “Direct Talk”. He has collaborated extensively with Japanese musicians and visual artists such as Yoko Ono, Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Krush, and Mariko Mori.

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As DJ Spooky, he has collaborated with an array of recording artists, including Metallica, Chuck D, Steve Reich. His 2018 album, DJ Spooky Presents: Phantom Dancehall, debuted at #3 on Billboard Reggae. His multimedia project Sonic Web premiered at San Francisco’s Internet Archive in 2019. He was the inaugural artist-in-residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Met Reframed, 2012-2013. His artwork has appeared in the Whitney Biennial, The Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Miami/Art Basel fair, and many other museums and galleries.

Miller's books include the award-winning Rhythm Science, published by MIT Press in 2004; Sound Unbound, an anthology about digital music and media, and The Imaginary App, on how apps changed the world. His writing has been published by The Village Voice, The Source, and Artforum, and he was the first founding Executive Editor of Origin Magazine.


Michael Emmerich is Tadashi Yanai Professor of Japanese Literature at UCLA, director of the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, and worked closely with Masaki Fujihata and the Japanese American National Museum as the Executive Producer of the exhibition, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration.

Read more.

He is also author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature and Tentekomai: bungaku wa hi kurete michi tōshi, the editor of Read Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers and New Penguin Parallel Texts: Short Stories in Japanese, and the translator of numerous works of premodern to contemporary Japanese literature by authors ranging from Kawabata Yasunari and Inoue Yasushi to Yoshimoto Banana and Takahashi Gen’ichirō.

Co-hosted by

JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles & The Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities (UCLA) logos

Special Thanks

JANM (Japanese American National Museum) logo
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