What I Learned at the SCMS 2014: Conference Report Part II

This is the second part of my conference report from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) 2014 conference in Seattle. Here are the other panel presentations that I found intriguing!

“Andy Warhol’s Stitches” by Ryan Conrath

Conrath pointed out that Warhol used a sewing machine to stitch together four to eight often identical photographs in Stitched Works and I found that this mechanical, repetitive action and the tactility of stitches were contradictory but could lead us to consider the nature of pop art, consumerism, and postmodernism in society.

During the discussion that took place after his presentation, Conrath pointed out that Warhol told his model not to blink in Screen Tests. I wonder if Warhol’s Screen Tests series had any relevance to tableaux vivants.

“The Memory of Where the Dance Has Been: Quantum Physics, Affective Ecologies, and the Architectural Body in Daniel A. Belton’s Dance Films” by Livia Monnet

Time Dance: An Algebra of Movement (Daniel Alexander Belton, 2012)

If I remember correctly, she did not greatly engage with the necessity of quantum physics, but the use of scientific knowledge or research in humanities (and social science) often becomes troublesome: scholars in humanities and social science tend to use only particular aspects of a specific scientific research that validates their research. Regardless of this, Monnet’s research has the potential for further exploring the nature of affect and screen through dance films or screendance. The moving image that strongly integrates the physical capacity of dancers into itself can trigger viewers’ proprioceptive sensation and will allow us to examine the affective process of experience.

“Refiguring Excorporations: New Ecologies of Screendance” by Alanna Thain

Kiss & Cry (NanoDanses) (Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael)

Thain’s examination can open up an inquiry into an integration of theatrical dance and screen media. During the discussion after her presentation, Thain pointed out that works like Kiss & Cry needs a better term to examine this emerging field of integrated dance and screen media and that “expanded cinema” does not necessarily provide a productive framework because of its genealogy.  Maybe, “intermedia,” which emerged around the same time as expanded cinema, can equally treat all of the elements of dance, theatrical space, and screen.

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Next year’s SCMS conference takes place in Montreal and I am very excited about it!

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What I Learned at the SCMS 2014: Conference Report Part I

This pas week, I attended the Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) 2014 conference in Seattle. Compared to the Film Studies Association of Canada (FSAC) Annual Conference, the SCMS conference is longer and larger: it runs from Wednesday until Sunday and has up to 26 co-current panels. I have no idea how people still have some energy left after all the sessions each day (and to go out for a drink or attend events), but the SCMS conference is a great place to explore expanding fields of cinema and media studies. Here are some panel presentations that I found intriguing.

“Experimental Cinema Enters the Worlds of Gaming: Considering Phil Solomon’s Recent Works” by Hava Aldouby

Still Raining, Still Dreaming (Phil Solomon. 2008)

She underscores Solomon’s phenomenological performance in the process of making his works like Still Raining, Still Dreaming (2008) and Empire (2008-2012). I found these works by Solomon particularly interesting as they can potentially indicate a gap between watching the moving image and playing a game.

“An Architecture of Phantasms: Screen, Space, Play” by Swagato Chakravorty
&
“Space and Spectatorship in Immersive-participatory Cinema” by Ian Robinson

Secret Cinema: Blade Runner (2010)

Charkravorty discussed the embodied experience of phantasmagoria in relation to spatiality and screen while Robinson explored the interactive and participatory experience of Secret Cinema (2007-). While phantasmagoria and Secret Cinema are not exactly the same, they both can encourage us to examine the relationship between the spatiality and the mobility of viewers/participants and the screen. Especially within the domain of cinema and media studies, expanded cinema and intermedia would be useful to consider this thread of inquiry.

“Goodbye Cinema, Hello Moving Images!; or, Is Planet ‘Cinema’ Spinning out of Control?” by Andre Gaudreault

Although I do not agree with his overall discussion, I praise his attempt to re-construct the genealogy of the moving image. He explored the use of the term, the moving image, in French and English, and his translingual approach could potentially disclose the most common factor of the moving image that exists across different cultures. Gaudreault used “Videocinema” as the term for the third birth of film in 1955, but it neglects the institutional development of cinema or video.  Or it is rather heavily laden with the connotations of both video and cinema, and it does not allow us to engage in a full exploration of the complexity or commonality of the moving image.

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To be continued to Part II…

Using Twitter Timelines to See the Trends on Your Research Topics

I don’t know how long Twitter Timelines have been available to regular users, but it is a simple way to see what people are talking about on your research topics. Major news outlets like CBC News, The Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail are using Storify, which is a useful website to create and share your own “stories” through various social media. If you want to develop some kind of narrative, Storify would be a great tool for you; if you just want to see the trends on your research topics, Twitter Timeline may be a better option for you.

Here are two sample Twitter timelines that I made:

Twitter Timeline for the search term “affect theory”

Titter Timeline for the search term “deleuze cinema”

You just need to go to Settings > Widgets (on the side menu) > Create new. If you are an average user, you have four options here: user timeline, favourites, list, and search.

  • The user timeline option allows you to create a timeline based on a username, which could be your own or someone else’s.
  • The favourites option shows the tweets that the username of your choice has marked as favourite.
  • The list option creates a timetable based on your own or subscribed lists.
  • The search option generates a timetable based on your search query.

If you use TweetDeck, you can use the last option: custom timeline.

To find the tweets that include specific keyboards or your research topics, you may want to tweak your search query. Twitter seems to use the same kinds of basic search operators as Google. For example, if you want to find an exact phrase, you search it by adding double quotation marks at the beginning and end of the phrase like “exact phrase.” If you want to exclude tweets with specific words, you just add a minus mark in front of them like “-word 1 -word2 -word3.”

If you are not familiar with these special operators, you can just use Twitter’s Advanced Search. Just fill the search form, hit the search button, and copy the search term that appears right next to “Results for” at the top. For example, if I wanted to find the tweets that include “affect theory” in the exact phrasing but does not contain “emotion,” I would get ““affect theory” -emotion.”

(If you want to know about search operators, you can check this page from Google Help!)

Of course, we can always use more authentic online platforms for academic work, Google Scholar and JSTOR, but following the tweets relevant to your research topics may lead you to recognize a developing trend from there! Since I am interested in the nature of becoming, emergence, and affect through screen media, this may be one way to contemplate my research topic.

Which 2020 Olympic Games Promotional Candidate Video Would Win Your Vote?

I wasn’t really paying attention to the bidding for the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games until the voting date. After finding out that Tokyo was among the shortlisted candidate cities, I started following the voting process on Twitter and other websites and ended up watching the webcast of the second round voting result/the announcement of the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games. That’s when I had a chance to watch the promotional candidate videos, and they caught my attention. Here are three 2020 Olympic Games promotional candidate videos for the shortlisted cities, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid:

Olympic Games Promotional Candidate Video for Istanbul

Olympic Games Promotional Candidate Video for Tokyo

Olympic Games Promotional Candidate Video for Madrid

Istanbul’s video highlights its geographic trait as a port city while mingling the city’s traditional elements and modern essence. As a tourism promotional video, it would likely stimulate viewers’ curiosity about the city, but the video completely failed to make any connection to athleticism and sports. It shows a jogger early in the video and people playing basketball later, but does not effectively involve them in its narrative development. Besides, why did they use Rhianna’s “Diamond” as the background music? It was a little mystery. Instead of promoting the elegant lifestyle possibilities in the port city, Istanbul could, for example, emphasize its geographic location as a bridge between Asia and Europe and an ideal place for uniting all nations through the Olympics.

Compared to Istanbul’s “tourism promotion” style video, Tokyo’s promotional video focuses on the moment of excitement in sports: spectators cheering for athletes, athletes preparing for their matches, at the moment of performing their plays, and winning their games, and kids enjoying sports. The crescendo of its instrumental music toward the middle of the video also simulates such excitement. The video does show some of the tourist spots in Tokyo, but it mainly directs our attention to the players’ and spectators’ excitement built around the Olympic Games. The colourfully animated heart shapes that appear throughout the video not only provide a sense of national unity but also convey a message that Tokyo is the place to unite all nations through the Olympics Games. Showing children playing sports with a catch phrase, “Discover Tomorrow,” ends this video with the hope of bright future that comes through the Olympics in Tokyo. Although I have found the two shots of high school girl standing in the middle of Shibuya‘s scramble crossing a little odd, these two shots may be visually indicating accelerating heartbeats.

High School Girl at Shibuya Scramble Crossing 1 High School Girl at Shibuya Scramble Crossing 2

If Istanbul’s video focuses on tourism and Tokyo’s on athleticism, Madrid’s promotional video goes halfway between them, although it gives much more weight to tourism promotion. Three differently coloured light streams (yellow, pink, and blue) link various spots in the city by travelling through it, and also pass by a woman playing golf, a stadium, skateboarders, recreational cyclists and basketball players. While showing the scenes from San Silvestre Vallecana, a 10 km road race in Madrid, toward the end was effective, why did it not further build up the momentum of excitement coming from sports here? A few scenes of nightlife in Madrid completely flatten the sense of this excitement and closes the video like a tourism promotional video, mirroring that of Istanbul. The three light streams do illuminate various spots in Madrid, but does not clearly “Illuminate the future” as the video’s slogan goes.

San Silvestre Vallecana

Knowing the result of the host city election (and I may have a bias), but the promotional video produced by the Japanese Olympic Committee seems to reflect the spirit of sports and the Olympics most extensively and succeeds in evoking the sense of excitement of having the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

I’m not sure if any of the major Japanese electronics companies, like Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, and Sony, will be able to manufacture the futuristic handheld gadget that appears in the Tokyo’s promotional video, but I hope that we have better technology that allows us to experience the atmosphere of game sites more viscerally and to share our affective reaction to each moment of spectatorship.

Handheld Gadget 1 Handheld Gadget 2

Stylish Academic Writing or Insanely Simple Writing?

I rarely read books directly or indirectly unrelated to my research and studies, period. During the winter break back in December, however, I unusually read two research-unrelated books, Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword, and Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall. Sword is an academic, her book is about academic writing, and her main audience is likely academics; Segall is an advertising creative director, his book is about Apple’s marketing, and his main audience is probably the general public. These two books do not share similar content, but both offer some advice on how to make things better: academic writing and marketing/business.

Stylish Academic Writing

Interestingly, I learnt much more about writing from Segall’s book than Sword’s book. Despite all the pieces of advice that Sword provides, her prose in Stylish Academic Writing was not stylish at all. You can see how she implements what she suggests in the book, but she seems to be struggling to integrate them into a coherent way of writing. Some sentences are even longer than typically long sentences that you would encounter in academic writing; too many parentheses keep cutting off the flow of sentences; the use of data that she collected is sporadic and does not really help strengthen her discussion; and, she does not really exhibit the occasional humour that she claims great academic writers possess. If you bother to read this book for advice, I would rather recommend that you read old-style prescriptive style guides like The Elements of Style, or The Craft of Research. Sadly, Sword’s prose was not engaging enough to be stylish at all.

Insanely Simple by Ken Segall

Unlike Sword’s book, Segall’s Insanely Simple was engaging and full of intriguing anecdotes. Segall writes his understanding (and version) of Steve Jobs’s and Apple’s philosophy based on his own experience as a TBWA\Chiat\Day creative director, and breaks down such philosophy into ten “Think” catchphrases. Not all these Think’s are helpful for stylish academic writing, but some of them are straightforward and, at least for me, useful to improve my writing.

Think Small

Although “Think Small” basically encourages us to work in a small group of smart people, this attitude is applicable to the preparation and the content of writing. At the beginning of brainstorming or writing, I tend to have more topics or ideas that I need to write a specific paper. By narrowing down my scope of topics or ideas, I should be able to engage with ideas or topics more rigorously and productively.

Think Minimal

If “Think Small” is a larger work ethic, “Think Minimal” is a smaller work ethic and it encourages you to focus on one thing at a time or identify the common ground for multiple things. This mentality is directly applicable to academic writing where we need to focus on one workable idea at a time in order to make ourselves fully understood before going to the next idea.

Think Motion

“Think Motion” indicates the necessity to have a clearly defined goal and to work towards it constantly without being distracted by other factors. Setting up a timeline tight enough to achieve this, I should be able to make full use of my time and energy to work productively.

Think Human

This “Think” mentality asks business people to think beyond numbers and to think about their customers, or human beings, first. By foregrounding customer satisfaction, companies can focus more on what they want to deliver. In academic writing, we all need to think about our potential audience, and without a clear idea of what types of people they are, our prose can end up being too vague for them, which also means that the audience does not understand our message.

I may be stretching  Segall’s points a little too much by relating them to academic writing, but his thoughts on how Steve Jobs ran Apple would likely help me refine my writing and achieve more stylish prose than Sword’s book. For now, in order to achieve stylish academic writing, I will aim for insanely simple writing!

Pitch Your Thesis in Three Minutes? Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) and Everyday Applications

I’m not sure if this is a popular competition at my home institution or others, but York University is hosting its Three Minutes Thesis (3MT®) competition in this term. The basic idea is to present your research to the general public in three minutes. It originally started at the University of Queensland in Australia, and here is their brief description of 3MT®:

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland. The exercise develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students’ capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes in a language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience.

And here is their introductory video about this competition:

One interesting criterion of this competition is that it allows you to use only one single, static PowerPoint slide without any other animation, video, or sound. Considering the idea that the presenter will need to condense their research idea into the duration of three minutes, the limitation of one single slide may make sense. Allowing the presenters to use more slides or other media may be a disadvantage to those who are not tech savvy enough to use software other than PowerPoint.

Going through the finalists quickly, I have had the impression that they include more science students, but I may be wrong. Anyway, here are some winners of 3MT® at various universities:

“Nanocantilevers: A New Tool for Medical Diagnostics” by Jennifer Campbell (Engineering Physics) at Queen’s University

“Prostate Cancer – ‘Probing’ for a Solution” by Amanda Pearce at University of Queensland


“Brain Waves That Predict the Future”
by Tim Paris at University of Western Sydney

After watching these videos, I felt that the 3MT® is an academic version of TED Talks: presenters share their ideas to the general public in order to show that their ideas matter. If 3MT® finds a way to work with TED, I think that the participants of the 3MT® will have much larger audiences to share their great research ideas.

– How Can We Apply the 3MT® to Everyday (Academic) Life?

The 3MT® itself is an interesting competition and worth participating and attending, but I thinks that its framework is useful to apply in various aspects of everyday academic life. Here are three aspects to which I think I would apply this 3MT® approach:

1. Grant and Scholarship Proposal Writing
As graduate students, universities expect us to apply for grants and scholarships unless we are already receiving funding beyond the minimum amount of funding from our school. The grants and scholarships with generous financial backing often have committees whose members have diverse backgrounds and do not necessarily share the same research field or interest as you. In this case, the 3MT® mentality to share your research with a general audience will help us break down complicated research ideas into more understandable chunks of information.

Reading out funding proposals will be also useful to identify awkward wording, phrases, and sentence structure. Pretending that you are presenting your proposal at a 3MT® competition, you will develop a presenter mindset for your proposals and should be able to revise them more easily.

2. Daily Planning
Start your morning by taking three minutes to talk to yourself or someone else about what you are planning to achieve in that day. If you already know what you are going to do on that day, three minutes will pass very quickly; if you have a vague idea of your plans, three minutes will feel much longer than they are.

You can also end your day by taking three minutes to go over what you did. Hearing what you did yourself may be awkward at the beginning but will become an efficient way to understand not only the progress that you have made for your various projects but also the condition of your mind as well!

3. Research Idea Brainstorming
If you have a clear vision and idea for your research, telling your classmates and supervisors about it is a piece of cake, and you will not likely have any difficulty in sharing it with your family members and friends as well. If you are not such a lucky person, you may need to identity a main question for your research and refine the framework of such a question until you can share your idea briefly, or in three minutes by adopting the 3MT®.

Find anyone who is willing to share three minutes with you, and talk about your research idea to the person in these three minutes. After you have shared your idea, ask that person if s/he understands the main point or question in your research. If you are not ready for this step, you can instead talk about the scope of your research to yourself in three minutes and ask yourself if it was clear enough to you. If not, it is even more confusing for other people!

Whether you are eventually going to participate in the 3MT®, the mentality of 3MT® will definitely help you work productively and achieve more in your research!

Constructing Our Understanding of Quake: Tsunami Disaster

BBC Sandy: New York devastation mapped Image 3

BBC Sandy: New York devastation mapped Image 2

BBC Sandy: New York devastation mapped Image 1from BBC News

Although people in North America are in holiday season mentality right now, a lot of people must still remember the images of devastation caused by super-storm Sandy. When I read “Sandy: New York devastation mapped” on BBC News, I remembered writing a post for a course blog back in March 2011 after the Tohoku tsunami and earthquake. Google’s recent project “Memories for the Future” is an interesting digital archive project, and I should look into it in response to my below post. Anyway, I thought I should publish the original post here. I deleted some broken links from the original post but otherwise I did not modify it dramatically.

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Originally posted on March 11, 2011

Before I start this entry, I would like to extend my sympathy, concern, and condolences to those who were affected by Friday’s earthquake and tsunami. We can donate to support survivors of this disaster in many ways, but the Red Cross may be one of the best places to donate as the Japanese Red Cross Society and other Red Cross offices are under the worldwide network of the Red Cross. For those who are in Canada, you can donate to support the people who have suffered these catastrophic disasters here.

If you have checked any kind of news websites, you may likely have read, watched, or seen earthquake and tsunami related news, videos, or images. The first clip I saw on The New York Times website was something similar to this. My first reaction after watching the clip sounds imprudent, but I thought it looked like Godzilla’s movie: what’s going on in the clip looked hyperreal, particularly the disasters caused by tsunami. I told this to my roommate who survived the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which killed over 6,000 people, and she agreed with me. After going through so many articles on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, I found this reaction wasn’t unusual.

This is an excerpt from the statement on the Liverpool Football Club website:

Liverpool Football Club is immensely proud to have supporters all over the world and on Friday, the thoughts of everyone at Anfield were with our fans in Japan.

Like everyone else, staff at the Club looked on in disbelief as the news pictures came through on our screens of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

As we watched the waves crush everything before them from the safety of the Club’s offices, it looked like a scene from a disaster movie. For our supporters in Japan, it was a very different experience – as these emails to the Club testify.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s news article characterized the disasters caused by the earthquake and tsunami as the following:

From this side of the world, the pictures of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami looked like something out of a Hollywood disaster movie.

Also, the Telegraph reported the following comment by Kumi Onodera, 34, who must have been in an affected area when the earthquake hit:

[I]t was “like a scene from a disaster movie” adding: “The road was moving up and down like a wave. Things were on fire and it was snowing.”

My description of the clip as Godzilla-like might be a sincere reaction shared by many. Instead of studying for this week, I have kept reading and watching news  in English and in Japanese on the latest situations in thee affected areas. The more I keep reading, the more I have started wondering what would be the most effective and efficient ways to understand the impact of this quake-tsunami disaster on those who have been affected, and where the cinematic plays a role in helping us understand the impact. I am still struggling to grasp the situation fully so I can only provide my observations so far at this moment.

1) Statements by Institutions

As soon as I checked the clip on The New York Times, I left for work. I work on the premises of another university, and my co-worker, who is an international student studying there, told me that she received an e-mail from the university regarding the earthquake and tsunami. As expected, neither my university nor its international student centre e-mailed even its international students about the disasters in Japan. After I came home, I checked several university websites to see if they had posted any statements regarding the earthquake. For example, McGill, Toronto, and UBC issued official statements on the earthquake by Saturday morning.

Before UBC eventually issued a statement by the President, the statement started as followed:

We want to express our sadness and concern for the people affected by the catastrophic earthquake in Japan. Our thoughts are with the people of this region.

Toronto issued a similar one:

The University of Toronto community expresses its sympathies and condolences to families and communities throughout Japan and the Pacific region who have been devastated by this morning’s earthquake and tsunami. The effects of natural disasters like these are felt world-wide as people with family, friends and loved ones in affected regions hear news of the impact of this morning’s events.  The impact has been further magnified as subsequent tsunami warnings and advisories have been issued for countries and regions bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Unlike these two universities, McGill issued a less sympathetic statement:

The extent of devastation and loss of life from the enormous earthquake that struck Japan Friday morning (eastern time) may not be known for a number of days.

Many members of our McGill family may be concerned about loved ones, friends or colleagues who may have been affected by this disaster.

An interesting contrast comes from the statements by several US university websites that I checked. While some of them express their concern, sympathies, and/or condolences to those who are affected by the quake, many of their statements seemed to focus more on providing information about the safety of their students, faculty, and staff in Japan.

How do the statements by educational institutions like universities influence our understanding the Sendai earthquake? As a student, as a staff member, or as a faculty member, how should we respond to such a statement?

When it comes to politics, diplomatic ties to Japan change statement tones. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford issued the following statement:

On behalf of City Council and all Toronto residents, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Japan, especially in the areas devastated by today’s earthquake and tsunami.

I have contacted Mr. Tetsuo Yamashita, Consul General of Japan in Toronto, and have offered my condolences and support during this time.

How about the statement by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson?

On behalf of the City of Vancouver, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Japan at this difficult time as they cope with the devastating effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami.

 

Vancouver has close ties with Japan, and Yokohama has been our sister city for over 45 years. We stand by the Japanese people as they work to overcome this tragedy and our thoughts go out to all who are affected by this natural disaster, especially those who have lost loved ones. And our hearts are with the many Canadian citizens of Japanese heritage who have family ties in Japan.

 

Vancouver’s Urban Search and Rescue Squad, which has been deployed to disaster areas in the past, is prepared to assist in any way necessary if called upon by the Government of Canada.

Interestingly, Toronto has Sagamihara, a city just northwest of Yokohama, as its friendship city, but Rob Ford didn’t mention the city at all. Since many Japanese immigrants used to live in B.C., it may make sense that Robertson’s statement sounds more compassionate.

As Robertson states, the Government of Canada is the governmental unit that will decide how Canada can help Japan. The difference between Ford’s and Robertson’s statements also stem from their diplomatic relationships with Japan, and you can see a similar difference between the statement by Prime Minster Stephen Harper and that by President Barack Obama as well.

Have institutions to which you belong made any statements regarding the Sendai earthquake yet? If so, has it reflected or influenced your understanding of the disaster?

2) Geographic and Indexical Images

In order to understand the extensive impact of the earthquake and tsunami, seeing geographic and indexical images, or simply some kinds of maps, helps us easily see the impact. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Center for Tsunami Research calculated the maximum tsunami amplitude plot using The MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunami) model. The following is the image:

And, you can see how the tsunami caused by the Sendai earthquake propagated through the ocean in the video by the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research:

These images are representative of the numerical data calculated by the model. With the merely numeral information, we may not be able to grasp the propagation of the tsunami fully, but representative images on geographical maps instantaneously make us (re-)realize the effect of tsunami caused by the earthquake.

The New York Times has some interactive images and representative maps: How Shifting Plates Caused the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. And its interactive map and photographs of locations for the damage cased by the earthquake is very interesting: Map of the Damage From the Japanese Earthquake. This page allows us to see satellite images taken before and after the disaster: Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami. With these images, it is easy for us to imagine not only the extent of the earthquake and tsunami but also the critical condition of the disaster.

3) Video Clips and Images of the Disaster

Many video clips vividly depict the disastrous conditions of streets, houses, towns, and cities, and shows us the people suffering and experiencing such conditions at the present.

jp-japan-2-popupfrom The New York Times

590465-japan-earthquakefrom News.com.au

article-1365546-0D94AB66000005DC-284_968x645from the Daily Mail

The images I’ve seen so far make me realize how catastrophic the disastrous condition caused by the Sendai earthquake is. Although I could keep describing what I see in these images, the situation depicted in each image is beyond expression.

Compared to photographic images, maps, and other representative images, video clips contain sound, and the combination of visual and auditory elements likely makes the viewers believe that the Sendai earthquake was an actual event and that the disaster shown in the clips did happen and its aftermaths are still there.

4) Remarks

What we have read, watched, or seen in these categories have provided us with what the Sendai earthquake and tsunami have caused so far, but the aftermath of this disaster is beyond imagination. From Monday, Tokyo Electric Power is conducting rationing of power in the Greater Tokyo Area (GTA) due to the power shortage. Many subway and train lines are reducing their services or closing some or entire sections of the line. Furthermore, many schools in the GTA have canceled classes because of the power shortage.

Soon news media will find more “interesting” topics to cover, and most people who don’t have any connection or other relationship to Japan will forget this disaster just as we have started to forget the Christchurch earthquake. Maybe, we don’t need to remember exactly what kind of disaster the Sendai or Christchurch earthquakes caused, but should instead learn and remember how catastrophic a natural disaster can be. In order to do so, we need a very effective and efficient way to make us understand the whole image of this kind of disaster, including what happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Maybe, the cinematic in the domain of “new” media can help us achieve it.

Don't give up, Japan. Don't give up, TohokuFrom “Don’t give up, Japan. Don’t give up, Tohoku.” on The Independent