This lecture will feature Eric Cazdyn’s “Blindspot Machine”–a unique film rig that questions what a blindspot is and teaches us about how we look, how we think, how we desire, and how change occurs in the world. In this iteration of his multi-faceted The Blindspot Variations project, Cazdyn brings his “Blindspot Machine” to Japan and shoots at seven different sites: 1) Tezuka Architect’s Fuji Kindergarten (Tokyo); 2) Ito Toyo’s Sendai Mediatheque (Sendai); 3) Ishinomaki Hill (overview site of the 2011 tsunami disaster); 4) Ishinomaki Lowlands (ground-zero of the 2011 tsunami); 5) Tajiro-jima (cat island/terminal island, Tohoku); 6) Isozaki Arata’s Art Mito Tower (Ibaraki); and 7) Kurokawa Kisho’s Nakagin Capsule Tower (Tokyo). This film-lecture connects the problematics of the ground-zero and the blindspot to architecture, political possibilities, life and death, as well as to the Buddhist inspired category of Ma (or negative time-space).
Eric Cazdyn is Distinguished Professor of Aesthetics and Politics at the University of Toronto, where he teaches courses on critical theory, film and video, architecture, and Japan. He has written the following books: Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (U of Chicago Press, 2015), The Already Dead: The New Time of Culture, Politics and Illness (Duke, 2012); After Globalization (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011); and The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan (Duke, 2002); and is the editor of Trespasses: Selected Writings of Masao Miyoshi (Duke, 2010). Cazdyn is also a filmmaker whose most recent work, The Blindspot Variations, has been screened and performed in Japan, the US, Mexico, Canada and throughout Europe. A former Japan Foundation Fellow in 2001 and 2009, the Japan Foundation, Toronto is delighted to welcome him back for this lecture.