Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Flaten Memorial Lecture: Noritaka Minami @ St. Olaf College Today (7pm)

I am extremely excited that Noritaka Minami will be coming from Chicago to give a talk here at St. Olaf College as part of the Flaten Memorial Lecture Series. I have been following his work since we were in the same critical theory courses in graduate school, and he continues to do amazing things in the field of photography. He uses the medium to explore the various histories and memories of specific sites, such as the Nakagin Capsule Tower in his latest book 1972. As the Nakagin Capsule Tower faces an uncertain fate, Noritaka looks to the actual future of the site while invoking the unrealized hopes for an alternative future embodied by Metabolist architecture. 1972 uses photography to traverse these overlapping temporalities, or as he describes, “a vision of the future from the past.”  My students will be examining his project in both the History of Photography and Arts of Japan this semester, but I am (personally) excited to hear about new directions in his work.


Date: 3/7/2016 (Monday)

Time: 7pm

Place: Dittmann Center 305, St. Olaf College


Noritaka will be talking about his path and process, so if you happen to be in Minneapolis, please join us and the Senior Studies students at St. Olaf College in an exploration of his work and career.

A Prototype of the Future from the Past: Noritaka Minami’s 1972 Kickstarter

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The video above is self-explanatory, but an amazing artist and dear friend of mine, Noritaka Minami,  needs help funding his photobook titled 1972, which explores the Nakagin Capsule Tower (中銀カプセルタワー, Nakagin Kapuseru Tawā) designed by Kurokawa Kisho (1934-2007) located in Chuo-ku, Tokyo. The tower embodied a vision for modern living enabled by Japan’s economic bubble, with 140 removable capsule apartments. Although an exciting exploration of the future in 1972, the tower and its history are now on the verge of disappearance. Nori has used photography to document the tower and the various states of individual capsules between 2010 and 2015 in response to this uncertainty over its preservation. This tower is important to the study of world architecture, in addition to the understanding of the Japanese Metabolist architectural movement. I’m looking forward to chatting with my students about the Nakagin Capsule Tower when I teach the history of world architecture this Fall.

716260c3ec25cece40b9f37eaef3647d_originalNori, who is currently a Teaching Fellow in Photography at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and Visiting Faculty Member at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was an MFA student here at UC Irvine when I first met him in a critical theory seminar. I have always admired the various ways that his work asks us to thoughtfully engage with the past. I wrote a short essay some years ago on one of his previous projects, Past Won’t Pass, and I am greatly anticipating the publication of 1972.

(And as an added bonus, one of the essays featured in 1972 is written by Ken Yoshida, an art historian and alumni of the Visual Studies program here at UCI!)

EDIT: The project has met (and now surpassed) its goal! Looking forward to its publication![/vc_column_text][prkwp_spacer size=”25″][prk_wp_theme_button type=”theme_button large” prk_in=”1972 – Nakagin Capsule Tower Kickstarter” link=”” window=”No”][/vc_column][/vc_row]