Newspaper Sketches of Ocean Waves

April 23rd, 2016

A look into the history of the globalization of knowledge.

The Technosphere at the Edge of Globalization

This jointly written paper examines the place of cognition in relation to freedom and the globalization of knowledge. It looks at a specific case evoking Japanese‒English translingual encounters on the Pacific Ocean at the very beginning of globalization, from a Japanese point of view: that is, the end of the Edo period in the 1850s. The specific story recalls the first newspaper publisher in Japan, Joseph Heco, aka Hamada Hikozō, who, having been shipwrecked and rescued by American merchant seamen, misunderstood their English handwritten journal entries as drawings of ocean waves. The artist Toshiaki Hicosaka will discuss his recent artwork based on this anecdote. In response, the curator Eiko Honda will examine questions and possibilities that may unfold from the work in contemporary terms, by contextualizing them within the globalization of knowledge and social systems linked to the emerging notion of the technosphere. Thus, this paper is a result of Hicosaka and Honda’s ongoing dialog in relation to the artist’s latest artwork, created at the NES artist residency in Iceland, as well as Honda’s participation in the Anthropocene Campus 2016: The Technosphere Issue.