Yuiko_Amano_Overflow_A game_for_observing my_breath Vol.1

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Title: Overflow_A game for observing my: breath Name: Yuiko Amano Student number: 243096 Programme: MA Sculpture Year: 2020 Tutor: Jonathan Miles (9446 Words)




game for

observing my: breath


Text: An archetype of sculpture with research and analysis


Acknowledgements I would like to thank the second reader of this thesis, Mr. Jonathan Miles of the School of Arts and Humanities at Royal College of Art. I am indebted to him for his extremely valuable comments on this dissertation. Also, I must express my very profound gratitude to my parents, who provided me with their unwavering support and constant encouragement throughout my years of study and through the process of my research and my art practice. This accomplishment would not have been possible without them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Contents | | Introduction | | Confession | 9-11 | | Methodology | | Declaration before this game | 14 | | Chapter 1 | | Illness and "brief" for humanity | | | 1.1 Definition of "Quality of life" | 18 | 1.2 Interdisciplinary practice in medical humanities | 19-20 | 1.3 Obsession and Racialization in social health | 21-22 | 1.4 Neuroscience in political world | 23-24 | 1.5 Foundation for fantasy of science | 25-26 | 1.6 Story for patient | 27-28 | 1.7 Who gets to be called doctor? | 29 | 1.8 Whole brain death | 30 | 5

| Chapter 2 | | Death and “strategy” for fear | | | 2.1 Aging and Loneliness | 35 | 2.2 The shape of cemeteries | 36-37 | 2.3 Religion and psychology | 38 | 2.4 Death and madness | 39-40 | 2.5 Technology and enlightenment | 41-42 | 2.6 Agamben’s machine | 43 | 2.7 Foucault and Agamben | 44-45 | 2.8 Agamben, Canguilhem and Goldstein | 46 | | Chapter 3 | | Post-humanism and “design” for a machine | | | Francis Fukuyama’s claim | 50-51 | Donna Haraway’s manifesto | 52 | Katherine Hayles’ Machine | 53 | Trans-humanism | 54 | Post-humanist Technologies | 56-57 | Philosophical Cyborgism | 58-60 6

| | Chapter 4 | | Simulation and “Reflection” for Overflow | | | Drawing Method | 65-66 | Result and Drawings | 67-68 | Consideration of Pieces | 69 | | Conclusion | | Is the game over? | 71 | | Bibliography | 74-78 | | List of Illustrations | 79-80 | | List of Footnotes | 81-85


Text: Confession


Introduction: Confession When I think back, the first time I knew “death” was when I began to become aware of the “world” that surrounds me (that is, when I was around a couple of years old). Mysteriously, I already knew that I had been “dead” at that time, and I wondered about my existence and why I was still living in this world. Therefore, I was constantly thinking about who I was. However, those thoughts gradually disappeared after I was around four years old. I suppose that this phenomenon resembled “Metempsychosis” or “Saṃsāra” in Indian philosophy. However, I do not really know this to be true. When I was five years old, a critical event left an indelible mark on my life. The area I resided in with my parents suffered severe damage due to a huge earthquake (Fig. 1 The Great Hanshin Earthquake: 1995). My experience of this event had a tremendous impact on my life later. In fact, I majored in civil engineering at university, because I was obsessed with the notion of constructing a structure that would not crumble during a disaster and was impressed by a bridge that did not collapse despite being near the epicentre of the earthquake in 1995.


Fig.1 The city of Kobe, where a lot of fires occurred due to the Great Hanshin Earthquake, 1995


There has been another mysterious occurrence, predictably arose due to psychological stress, since I was a child. It could be considered a “visualisation” of my fear. Specifically, when I am emotionally unstable, I can see a glass of water (in my mind). The glass is filled with water that is about to overflow, and it is going to collapse. I am afraid that the glass will collapse, but I cannot help but wait. The collapse is always eerily “quiet”, but I have never witnessed the collapse. This fear of “overflow” has slightly decreased since my teens (in fact, I now think it is easier for me if it collapses), but the image still suddenly appears to me from time to time. (I do not know if this is related, but after majoring in civil engineering, I conducted research on river-floods and debris flows during my post-graduate study.1 The fear always arose just before the collapse, so there may have been relief after the overflow.) To make the approach to “death” and “fear” more “interesting” (this may be my defence mechanism in a sense), I decided to begin a “game” in my text. That is, while gathering results and knowledge regarding current research that is related to death, I would observe (sighting) what I saw and would try to analyse it. (I would like to call it a “game” rather than an “experiment” in order to avoid my fear). Good luck to myself and readers of this text.

Amano, Y. et al. ‘Sensitivity and dents of hydrophone pipes with different thickness,’ Journal of the Japan Society of Erosion Control Engineering, Volume 68, Issue 5, (2015).: pp 43-49 1


Fig.2 Olafur Eliasson, Riverbed, 2014


Declaration before this game


Methodology: Declaration before this game

As this text is thematically related to “death”, three subjects––“Critical medical humanities”, “Connection with death”, and “post-humanism” are its main research subjects. The respective fragments are briefly described in chapters one through three, and I will investigate the materials that are suitable for it. In addition, hinting to the experimental art creations described in the final chapter, suitable art pieces will be presented as references. The final chapter (chapter four) discusses the creation of art drawings by simulating “overflow” by a pseudo-method, using values derived from actual hydraulic theorems. Finally, it is considered whether the critical and scientific approach interferes with psychological “death” and “overflow.”


Chapter 1 Illness and “brief” for humanity


Fig.3 Damien Hirst, Bodies, 1989.


“Critical Medical Humanities” is nowadays considered to be an option that needs to be investigated in medical humanities field, particularly if we want to assess the potential of new disciplines at the intersection of medicine and humanities at the same time. In this chapter, I will examine it as Quality of life, Medical humanities, Philosophy, Biotechnology, and relationship between doctor and patient.


1.1 Definition of “Quality of life” With respect to our health, one’s life condition can be considered to be an influential factor. According to the research conducted by Thomas, et al.2, many researchers seem to be replacing “quality of life” with other terms that tend to describe a patient’s health, such as “health status” or “ functional status”. To confirm this possibility, a pilot study formally surveyed 50 randomly selected samples from the 579 referenced in recent “quality of life” references.3 The 23rd reference says, “Which Quality-of-life instrument is being described and/or deployed?” Surprisingly, that more than half of the reports cited in the references did not mention “quality of life”. Quality of life is reflective of the patient’s awareness of and reaction to their health, and not merely an explanation of the patient’s health and other non-medical aspects. These perceptions and responses are best judged when the patient is asked to directly assess both the “overall” quality of life and the importance of individual items that affect it. The “overall quality of life” includes not only health-related factors such as physical, functional, emotional and mental health, but also non-health-related factors such as work, family, friends, and other living conditions. There was no expert agreement or guideline for face validity in the measurement of quality of life. Thus, voluntary criteria had to be developed. These are intended to reflect how many patients and clinicians can be considered “sensible” when measuring quality of life. During their research, they did not investigate observer variability when using the criteria, as they wanted to get a general idea of what is happening rather than quantifying the prevalence specifically. However, to ensure a conservative estimate, the criteria were generously applied and given “credit” wherever possible.


Gill, T. M. ‘A Critical Appraisal of the Quality of Quality-of-Life Measurements’. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 272(8), (1994).: 619 2

Spilker, B., Molinek, F. R. Jr, Johnson, K. A. Simpson, R. L. Jr, Tilson, H. H., ‘Quality of life bibliography and indexes’. Med care, (1990): 28-12 3

1.2 Interdisciplinary practice in medical humanities

William Viney, Felicity Callard. ‘Critical medical humanities: embracing entanglement, taking risks Angela Woods’, Medical humanities, (2015). 4

In Williams’ research4, he does not attempt to define the terms medical and humanities, but rather to determine the exact academic or interdisciplinary knowledge that should be provided. He explored the many values of the word “critical” and discussed critical medical humanities by putting forth the following characteristics. First, expanding the “medical” site and scale beyond the main scenes of clinical encounters. Second, pay more attention not only to the context and experience of people’s health and illness, but also to their constitution at multiple levels. Third, close relations with critical theory, queer and disability research, activist politics, and other related disciplines. Lastly, the arts, humanities, and social sciences should best be viewed as productively entangled in a “biomedical culture”, rather than being opposed or in service to clinical or life sciences. As sociology, geography, law, public health, and literary research are all in a “critical turn”, the various expressions of political commitment are commonly involved and their underlying basis is the knowledge that they generate. Additionally, it is characterised by a clear attempt to reflect the underlying assumptions. Generally, people recognise the need to reflect the established norms, procedures, and values of the medical and humanities research community. These include race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, disability (and madness), technology and media, economics, and social and environmental inequalities in the production of medical knowledge and the experience of health and illness. Their defence of a recursive and critical stance does not serve a particular political agenda or epidemiological priority. 19

Researchers call on the humanities of medicine to strengthen its critical engagement with the standards and routines that have been given the “role” of medicine in the past and that have subsequently defined its area of activity.5 They seek to eliminate two general narratives of purpose that are associated with the humanities of medicine and challenge the units of identity and community which they tend to mobilise. First, there is the service or utilitarian model, which responds to existing power structures and the epistemological division of labour within biomedicine but does not actively challenge them. The expert and patient become biomedical benefits6 or supportive friends7. It is believed that the medical humanities that humanises the objectivity of biomedicine is “called upon to play a role in education and practice ”.8 The idea of the medical humanities, which has a “role” to play in the wider research ecology, presupposes the academic hygiene sector, as opposed to the tedious and mixed hybrid, collaboration, and dilution that underpin much of its work. Being an interdisciplinary set of practices—clinical, therapeutic, artistic, academic, activist, educational—medical arts and humanities has the nuance of flexibility and inclusion that comes from not having the trajectories that are specifically required or predetermined. When fostering innovative research agendas, it would be prepared to review their norms and operating procedures and serve as a counterweight to general legitimacy.



William, op. cit.

6 Chiapperino L, Boniolo G. ‘Rethinking

medical humanities’. J Med Humanit (2014);35:377–87. Brody H. ‘Defining the medical humanities: three conceptions and three narratives’. J Med Humanit (2011);32:1– 7. 7

8 Crawford P, Brown B, Tischler V, et al.

‘Health humanities: the future of medical humanities?’ Ment Health Rev J (2010);15:4–10.

1.3 Obsession and Racialisation in social health In a philosophical context, Bruno Latour identified that neuroscience and critical medical humanities harnesses his immersion in an interdisciplinary space9. He has worked with life and social scientists for many years in this field of research.10

Latour B. ‘Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern’. Crit Inq (2004);30:225–48. 9

William Viney, Felicity Callard. ‘Critical medical humanities: embracing entanglement, taking risks Angela Woods’, Medical humanities, (2015). 10

In “Unpacking intoxication, racialising disability”, Mel Y. Chen demonstrated that concepts such as “toxicity” and “intoxication” are scientifically far from neutral.11 Her development of a critical medical humanities approach to addiction exemplifies the complex transparency of medicalised languages that find refinement through discourses of economics, anthropology, human rights and colonial governance. Chen highlighted the scattered nature and history of “medical”, which ranges from the temporary economic crisis in North America to the opium trade and colonial politics of China in the 19th century. In her case studies, 21st century economics is saturated with the words of unhealthy or polluted organisations.

Chen, M. Y. Words. Animacies, (2012). 21-22. doi:10.1215/9780822395447-002 11


The humanities of medicine have extensively intervened in the areas of mental health, care, and diagnosis, particularly with respect to the patient experience. Lynne Friedli and Robert Stearn’s research conceptually and empirically drew from the sources of their activity and illustrated how psychologists are mobilised to become political agents under the cover of occupational neutrality.12 The recruitment of psychologists and the consequent privatisation of public and economic policies is a dreary process for the emotional life of disadvantaged parts of society. Not only are medical humanities capable of reporting on political practices are hidden from public visibility, but they have also embarked on a new form of governance wherein charitable therapy is mainstream. It shows how it is used to justify the notion that it is intended to act at the level of beliefs, emotions, and feelings.

Friedli, L., & Stearn, R. ‘Positive affect as coercive strategy: Conditionality, activation and the role of psychology in UK government workfare programmes’. Medical Humanities, 41(1), (2015).:40-47. 12


1.4 Neuroscience in political world In terms of Neuroscience, the typical terrain of evaluation was created by the success of neuroscience over the last 25 years, which can be particularly credited to its decentralised, practical, and technical environment13. The core elements of the important framework were drawn from the perspective developed by anthropologist Kaushik Sunder Rajan, which was initially directed towards the field of genomics and biotechnological development.14 “Neuro” is concerned with the brain with respect to scientific and medical practice, technology, media expression, and increasingly coordinated with policy. “Neuro” honours a wide range of fields of knowledge and practice and aims for a ground-breaking narrative position in the Foucauldian sense.15 The successful functioning of the “Neuro” signifier as an advertising label further underscores a central aspect of the modern situation. The implementation of capitalist valuation has rendered the science of the 21st century to be fully commercialised and increasingly complex. In short, public relations, consumer practices, and the aspect of “cultural industry” are added to the practice of research and constitute a “venture science”.16 Cognitive, affective, and social neuroscience are excellent in this area.

Jan Slaby. ‘Critical neuroscience meets medical humanities’, Free University Berlin, Institute of Philosophy, Habelschwerdter Allee 30, Berlin (2015).: D-14195 13

14 Sunder Rajan K. ‘Biocapital:

The constitution of postgenomic life. Durham’, N.C: Duke University Press, (2006).



Slaby, op. cit.


Sunder Rajan, op. cit.

There is no old and new dialectic of change and stability in the realm of life. In the present period, life has become increasingly acclimatised to technological manipulation. Additionally, it is newly informatised and is also formatted as a result of its new accessibility, manipulability, and decomposability. It is increasingly commercialised and mobilised as a resource and as a “currency” in the global circulation (e.g., blood, stem cells, various tissues, therapeutic molecules).17 Critical processes are re-conceptualised on multiple scales. On the one hand, information units (genome) and component processes can be freely decomposed and recombined. For instance, in 2018, the “He Jiankui affair” became a controversial topic in scientific and bioethical discussions because he used gene-editing in human cases and was the first to create genome-edited human babies. (Fig.4)


Slaby, op. cit.

Fig. 4 He Jiankui, About Lulu and Nana: Twin Girls Born Healthy After Gene Surgery As Single-Cell Embryos, 2018.


1.5 Foundation for fantasy of science Technoscience is centred around science as a force that builds the world. Since it understands technology, as being enabled and constitutively formed, the procedure and operation of science involves the use of devices such as particle accelerators, brain scanners, or recombinant DNA technology. Those constructive technologies are not limited to the field of scientific research, but reach out to build reality itself. With respect to scientific world disclosure, today’ signature technology enables a more efficient and operational natural diversion. For example, it enables the fundamental transformation or reproduction of nature, such as through the generation of various “technofacts”.18 At the same time, science and technology are in the age of “Big science”.19 That is, science is structurally dependent on a large, centralised arrangement of funds and organisations, in terms of large units, at least, in global network structures. This implies that today’s science inevitably takes the form of “venture science”. Therefore, science is funded not only by the public sector, but also by private investors, capitalists, and large industrial consortia. This significantly changes the organisational structure of science, the role and self-perception of individual scientists––particularly the way in which the future of science is oriented––and the internal logic of progress.20 The constitution of postgenomic life revolves around the concept of two focal points, which are fundamental drivers of the development of science and society, both of which apply equally to genomics and neuroscience.21

Weber J. ‘Umkämpfte Bedeutungen. Naturkonzepte im Zeitalter der Technoscience’. Frankfurt/M: Campus, (2003). 18


Mirowski P. ‘Science-mart: privatizing American science. Cambridge’, MA: Harvard University Press, (2011). 20



Slaby, op. cit.

Sunder Rajan, op. cit.

The mythical self-style of modern science and its futuristic promises and visions (including apocalyptic ones that are often depicted in dystopic literature and film productions) is a cultural “techno imaginary”.22 It breaks the boundary between science and fiction, and suggests an illusion. The unlimited welfare and the omnipotence of technology (“singularity”, artificial life) contribute to the creation of the hype essential to venture science.23 Therefore, even its so-called “cultural other”(such as artist) plays a functional role in the emergence of technoscience as a ground-breaking formation.24


Slaby, op. cit.


Kurzweil R. ‘The singularity is near: when humans transcend biology’. London: Viking, (2005).


Slaby, op. cit.


1.6 Story for patient The change in the doctor-patient relationship did not happen overnight.25 Modern American medical education, which is responsible for preparing future doctors, was permanently transformed by the 1910 Flexner report26. He was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to head a committee that evaluates medical education in the United States.27 In accordance with the view that the goal of medicine is to “attempt to fight the battle against disease”, Flexner argued that the future of pathology, cures, and medicine relies on those trained in natural science methods.28 Clinicians must support biology and natural sciences, ignore the human side of the disease, and “impregnated with the fundamental truths of biology”. The care provided to a particular patient not only helps them understand their distress but also helps them understand their life with the sick.

Johna, S. ‘Humanity before Science: Narrative Medicine, Clinical Practice, and Medical Education’. The Permanente Journal, 15(4), (2013).: 15-4. doi:10.7812/tpp/11-111 25

Flexner A. ‘Medical Education in the United States and Canada. A report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Science’. New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; (1910). p 23. 26


Starr P. ‘The social transformation of American medicine’. New York: Basic Books; (1982). p 118-21.


Flexner, op. cit.


In an effort to help doctors understand what they experience in the presence of illness, medical educators have set up the skillset that is required to be aware of, absorb, interpret, and impress stories, and increasing attention is paid to narrative ability.29 However, unfortunately, early in medical training, students learn that patients are defined primarily by their body, while doctors are defined by scientists. In addition, learning of attitudes such as withdrawal of experts is a process of training. Although the field of medicine specialises in physical examination, diagnosis, and treatment, the relationship between a doctor and the body is insufficiently understood (if not intentionally ignored) by it.30 However, in Pearson’s research, which tested the value of narrative writing during surgical residency, it was found that a narrative-based approach in resident surgical education was useful.31 The caption and measurements are the general ability of system-based practice, practice-based learning, communication skills, and professionalism.


Johna, op. cit.

DasGupta S, ‘Charon R. Personal illness narratives: using reactive writing to teach empathy’. Acad Med 79(4), (2004):351-6. 30

Pearson AS, McTigue AP, Tarpley JL. ‘Narrative medicine in surgical education’. J Surg Educ, 65(2) (2008):99-100. 31


1.7 Who gets to be called doctor? Pankaj Gupta mentioned in his research that Hippocrates said that “Medicine is an art”32. However, the examiner who sets up the medical entrance exam form certainly does not think so, because rather than useless exercises to quantify their ability to understand vague theory, aspiring physicians should be evaluated for emotional intelligence and sensitivity. In this context, pre-medical exams do not develop scientific logic and skills. They only encourage and identify competent memorisers. Not only is the science-only policy restrictive, it also selects a large number of candidates who possess a limited medical aptitude. Increasing the patient’s knowledge of the disease is important for the connection between the doctor and patient. If such relationship is inadequate, the doctor’s ability to make a full assessment is compromised, the patients are more likely to distrust the diagnosis and the proposed treatment, and they consequently poorly comply with the doctor’s instructions. In such situations, and also when there is a real difference in medical opinion, a second opinion from another doctor may be required or the patient may choose to go to another doctor.33 Working in medicine often exposes one to the darker aspects of human existence and almost every shift presents a display of how bad life can potentially get. Homelessness, drug addiction, abuse, neglect, trauma, and other such things are absorbed by our spirits. It goes without saying that this also happens in the case of strokes, pneumonia, heart attacks, fractures, miscarriages, and the other more common daily suffering that afflicts people. Maintaining a humanitarian perspective in all of this is certainly a difficult task. However, humanism in medicine is therefore needed more than ever.34


Pankaj G. ‘Humanity in Medicine’, Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, (2011).


Pankaj, op. cit.


Pankaj, op. cit.


1.8 Whole brain death Pallis et al. stated, “it has not been characteristic for advocates (of a whole-brain concept of death) to acknowledge, let alone defend.”35 In the context of brain death, there is a requirement of “moral argument”, and “death-behaviour” such as collecting organs can be justified. If doctors are convinced that the death of the brain is the same as death, then what is considered to be acceptable simply flows without confusion. In addition, with proper respect for relative susceptibility and aspiration, all classical corpse-related behaviours are accepted (dissection, organ removal, anatomy education, etc.). In many countries, brain death has a legal status and is synonymous with death. For instance, Poland and Sweden permit amputation from the ventilator, but the surgeon can wait 20 minutes before the heart stops and the organ is removed.36 Doctors cannot expect this conceptually befuddling condition to persist. Those who think there is a need for “weighty moral arguments” appear to suspect that individuals who maintain whole brain death on ventilators are “really dead”. The use of terms such as “maintaining life-support systems” and “the administration of health care" is an example of a clever trick for this. More offensive than those who want to redefine death is the motivation to justify their practices, and the proposal calls for the “death justification.” Doctors imply that they are trying to change the definition of death so that they can continue doing what they want to without being accused of euthanasia. Moreover, even if better ways to treat end-stage renal disease are discovered, a well-implemented intensive care unit will result in an increase in the number of brain-dead patients worldwide. Modern technology has created what is known as brain death in a hopeless attempt to save lives. Just because doctors choose to ignore them, the conceptual problems that it poses do not disappear. Therefore, the redefinition of death has become one of the major challenges for modern medicine.37

Pallis, C. ‘Whole-brain death reconsidered--physiological facts and philosophy’. Journal of Medical Ethics, 9(1), (1983).:32–37. doi: 10.1136/jme.9.1.32 35


Pankaj, op. cit.


Pankaj, op. cit.


Fig.5 John A Douglas, Circles of Fire, 2019.


Chapter 2 Death and “strategy” for fear


Fig.6 Antony Gormley, Near death experience, 2012.


In this chapter, I will conduct multifaceted research on “death” itself. Specifically, I will evaluate the definition of biological death, the form of a cemetery, the philosophical definition of death, and so on. Additionally, this chapter will introduce and investigate a discussion of the implications of madness, technology, enlightenment, and death. This involves an examination of the arguments made by Foucault, Agamben, Canguilhem, and Goldstein.


2.1 Aging and Loneliness In recent years, the birth rate has declined the population has aged significantly in some regions of Europe, North America, and East Asia. Therefore, much attention is paid to the issues related to individualism of elderly people in particular. In Sweden, where the population continues to age, the influences and results of the national individualism are actively discussed. A documentary film titled “The Swedish Theory of Love” by Erik Gandini38 was released in 2015 and attracted public attention. On the other hand, in Japan, a lot of communal housing complexes were built during the period of high economic growth in the 1960s. In that period, parenting care and care for the elderly were carried out in rich residential communities. However, half a century since then, that system is mostly collapsed due to the plummeting birth rate. Over the past few years, the word “Kodokushi” (“lonely death”) has become common.39 Lonely death is a painful phenomenon wherein elderly people die alone and remain undiscovered for a long period of time a few years. Often, they are discovered much later by neighbouring residents or the police. This phenomenon is so prevalent that a clean-up industry has burgeoned to meet the growing need for cleansing of the surroundings in which these decomposing bodies are discovered. According to Jacqueline’s 2017 investigation into the Japan’s aging society, elderly people account for more than a quarter of the total population of the nation40. Additionally, approximately 30,000 people annually were reported to have solitary deaths. One of the major differences between Sweden and Japan in terms of aging society with social problems such as loneliness death, is the value given to people. In Sweden, social individualism is the extremely influential. However, in Japan, people are more adherent to traditional house system. Generally, elderly people can hardly accept being taken care of by non-immediate family. In addition, Sweden’s immigration policy is more lenient that Japan’s. 38

The Swedish Theory of Love, dir: Erik Gandini (2015), Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfyKYeaZcIM

Kato, T. A., Shinfuku, N., Sartorius, N., & Kanba, S. ‘Loneliness and Single-Person Households: Issues of Kodokushi and Hikikomori in Japan’. Mental Health and Illness in the City Mental Health and Illness Worldwide, (2017).: 205-219. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-2327-9_9 39

J Banas. ‘The Socio-Cultural Implications of the Aging Population in Japan’. California State University, Monterey Bay, Source: Statistics Bureau. (2017). Statistical Handbook of Japan 2017 (pp. 1-213) (Japan, Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications). Shinjuku, Japan (2018).: Statistics Bureau. 40


2.2 The shape of cemeteries In the Western world, tombstones are placed in graveyards. These tombstones generally convey certain characteristics of the buried individual and their birth and death dates. Therefore, this place intends to confirm the identity of the deceased as an individual. Cemeteries also have certain some unique characteristics41. Cemeteries are usually near a village, but not necessarily within it. When the cemetery was first introduced somewhere between the late 18th and 19th centuries, most of them were placed at least 0.5 miles away from the centre of a populated site. This trend reflected a conscious attempt to relocate corpses, which by the 18th century were considered dangerous to public health. This place also meant that the cemetery was much larger than the overcrowded churches. Many graveyards were greater than 10–15 acres in size and could be expanded as needed. Over 50 acres of cemetery grounds are common in both the United States and Australia. In London, many old ruins are now overtaken by the expanse of the city. The purpose of the graveyard may extend beyond the need for a communal space. The reasons associated with the establishment of a cemetery changed over time and included public health concerns and a desire to provide protection and privacy to both the body and the bereaved. More cemeteries are also a way to show the pride of citizens. In mainland Europe, interest in burial reform began to grow during the 18th century. This growth in interested was echoed in the United Kingdom in the 19th and 20th centuries, and in the United States and Australia during the 20th century.42,43 The general establishment of a cemetery is a feature that originated the 19th century. Private companies are the main institutions that establish graveyards. Companies vary in size, but ownership may be exercised by multi-million dollar business concerns or by the city council that run the site. Moreover, ownership is basically long-term. Besides certain exceptions, religious involvement is not highly prevalent. However, in Denmark and Sweden, for example, the church authorities have some control over the expansion of burial facilities.44,45 Rugg, J. ‘Defining the place of burial: What makes a cemetery a cemetery?’ Mortality, 5(3), (2000). 259–275. doi: 10.1080/713686011 41

NICHOL, R. At the end of the road: government, society and the disposal of human remains in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. St Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin. (1994). 42

SLOANE, D. C. The last great necessity: cemeteries in American history. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. (1995). 43


NIELSEN, E. ‘The Danish churchyard’. Landscape Design, 184, (1989). 33± 36.


REIMERS, E. ‘Death and identity: graves and funerals as cultural communication’. Mortality, 4, (1999). 147± 166.


Particularly violent attacks of diseases such as cholera and smallpox necessitated the establishment of mass burial grounds to isolate corpses that were considered to be particularly dangerous to public health. For example, in 1793, yellow fever resulted in the deaths of more than a tenth of Philadelphia’s population, and mass burial ground was established in the uninhabited area of the town.46 Natural disasters, such as the 1999 Turkish earthquake, can also result in the need for mass burials.47 War atrocities are often followed by undifferentiated mass burials. For instance, hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims were dumped in mass graves that were near concentration camps.48 Even in 2020, an improvised burial ground had to be established in New York to bury the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Fig. 7)

Fig.7 BBC NEWS, Coronavirus: New York ramps up mass burials amid outbreak, 2020.

FOSTER, K., JENKINS, M. F. & TOOGOOD, A. C. Bring out your dead: the great plague of yellow fever in Philadelphia in 1793, Philadelpia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. (1993). 46


BOWCOTT, O. ‘Alive 1⁄4 after five days of darkness’. The Guardian, (23 August 1999).


GILBERT, M. ‘The Holocaust: a Jewish tragedy’. Glasgow: Collins. (1986).


2.3 Religion and psychology

Schrag traced the history of the notion of status from the earliest days of philosophical modernism to the present.49 On the one hand, he acknowledged that the notion of self exists as a unified self-identical. However, there are so-called “postmodern counteractants”. Schrag gave some “correctives” to the position propounded by both Cartesian thinking and present-day postmodern stock, such as Foucault and Lyotard. Zuckert claims that Strauss highlighted a fundamental division and tension in ancient times based on Western tradition.50 Through recitations by teachers of the Middle Ages, Strauss argued that there is a reason and revelation for the fundamental disagreement, as opposed to the dominant Christian tradition, and the reason reveals that the truth cannot be proven or disproved. The two are neither complementary nor completely opposite. Both reason and revelation exist and distinguish philosophical, ethical, and political disciplines. Therefore, Western traditions consist of a series of dichotomies (poem/philosophy, ancient/modern, practice/theory, etc.) that divide human knowledge into irreducible divisions. In Homeric ethics, the way a man died was considered a decisive sign of his character.51 It was considered better to die bravely in battle, than to die of the flu or pneumonia. On the other hand, the death of women, who experienced much of the same history, were thought to be simpler, preferably quieter, frustrated, or tragic. Women were denied their rights in death just as their rights were denied throughout their lives. The death of a woman was not always considered an exceptional honour, heroic, or patriotic.


CALVIN O. SCHRAG. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, (1997). 155p.


CATHERINE H. ZUCKERT. Chicago: University o f Chicago Press, (1996). 351 p.

Malpas, J., & Solomon, R. C. ‘Death And Philosophy’. Death And Philosophy, (n.d.). 1-4. doi:10.4324/9780203195154_chapter_1 51


2.4 Death and madness Philosophically, madness was both accepted and blamed by Plato.52 Hegel distinguished madness as a relationship between the soul from other types of self-relationship and itself. He called his first relationship a relationship of madness. It is rational to split as the subject of thought and return from the place of perversion as the other. Nevertheless, Hegel argues that one cannot contain the madness by defining it as something else in terms of its relationship with itself. It is “by definition” madness that exceeds the limits of reason, and these limits must be exceeded in order to isolate what is “within” these limits. Therefore, in Hegel’s philosophy, the issue of madness should not be seen as a peculiar relationship between the soul and itself. For Hegel, madness is all about the soul. He limited madness to this particular relationship because he believed that it confirms its power by overcoming the potential of madness. As Nietzsche observed, philosophy becomes a degeneration of thought. However, this degeneration cannot be overcome by reversing the hierarchy between the world of existence and the world of existence. If the solution was such a reversal, madness or death would have been considered a privilege, as it was primarily associated with the physical world. Philosophical concepts cannot be abandoned, preserved, condemned, or released. Additionally, people cannot agree or disagree with madness or death. Similarly, philosophical rationality cannot simply be blamed or adopted.


Güven, F. Madness and death in philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press. (2005).


Philosophers often talk about madness without clarifying its relationship to psychosis. From a medical point of view, this may be explained by saying that philosophers are not fully aware of the medical “facts” about mental illness. What they call “madness” is a type of mental illness. First of all, some philosophers are familiar with the physical and psychological aspects of mental illness and madness. Second, there is no unified notion of what madness really is, both in past and present medical traditions. Therefore, it is misleading to separate the various interpretations of madness and designate them as a scientific “reality”. Third, and perhaps most importantly, every concept of madness has some understanding of what it means to know and what it means to be rational, either intentionally or unconsciously. It is based on assumptions or underlying philosophical decisions. Derrida’s claim represents something that could be figuratively described as a “ghost” by Heidegger (Of Spirit) and Foucault (“Cogito and the History of Madness”).53 Nevertheless, Derrida’s demolition seems to have attributed some set of “rules” of honesty and formation to questionable philosophical discourse. Historically, the question of what philosophy is has not always been definitively raised, but all philosophical questions conclude an implicit understanding of what philosophy is. According to Heidegger, philosophy is a matter of fundamental compassion that “concerns us, touches us in our very nature.” Heidegger expressed the same conviction about metaphysical questions. All the questions can only be asked in the way that the questioner himself understands. Plato shared the belief that philosophy is a matter of involvement. At the fade, this engagement is characterised by death. Socrates declared that Evenus, who is indistinguishable from a philosopher, should chase him if he is a true philosopher. Still, the suspicion of Evenus “surprises” Socrates and makes him


Derrida, J. Writing and difference. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (2017).


2.5 Technology and enlightenment In his project, Bernard Stiegler appreciated Agamben for his attempts to think through technology, but that does not mean that he followed Agamben54. It revealed that technics is being suppressed again. It is the beginning of all politics and is simultaneously the vanishing point. Agamben’s essay ends with “ungovernable”, but there is no further explanation for this. Foucault’s essay “What is Enlightenment?” is best known for its many associations with Kant’s text, but Sylvère Lotringer recently collected another article in a volume titled “The Politics of Truth”. Since then, Foucault’s 1983 lectures on Kant’s textbook have been published in both French and English. These various publications reveal that Foucault seems to have been unable to settle the Enlightenment problem, as the answer does not come through in his lecture and his writing. Instead, it is deferred permanently, and is reactivated with each addition. It is not difficult to understand this feature of Foucault’s involvement with enlightenment, particularly the tension between the facts that characterise it and the possibility that it is a central element of his answer to the enlightenment question.

Boever, A. D. ‘The Allegory of the Cage: Foucault, Agamben, and the Enlightenment’. Foucault Studies, (10), (2010). 7. doi:10.22439/fs.v0i10.3124 54


Enlightenment is, for Foucault, a consideration of the disconnection from reality. It no longer exists, the possibility to do it, or what we think. Therefore, enlightened freedom occurs as a kind of process, not as a state that is achieved all at once. Therefore, it is an enlightened move that at the end of Foucault’s essay on the aesthetic and ethical practices of self-development, he analyses at this point in his career in sexuality studies. It is theorised within the text as the “art of living”. This was part of the practice of “cura sui”, a central concern of classical philosophy. In the enlightenment essay, “labour” implied by “care of the self” is directed to “undefined work of freedom.” Enlightenment is a social practice that involves oneself and ultimately.


2.6 Agamben’s machine According to Hyppolite, “destiny” and “positivity” are two important concepts in Hegel’s thinking55. In particular, the term “positivity” finds in Hegel a suitable place of opposition between “natural religion” and “positive religion”. Natural religion involves immediate and general human relationships. However, in certain societies and at certain historical moments, positive or historical religion extended to external individuals and sacred reasons through a set of beliefs, rules, and rituals that were imposed. Hegel wrote in a passage quoted by Hyppolite as “Positive Religion”, which represents emotions that are more or less impressed by constraints on the soul, which are behaviours that are affected. Foucault refused to address common categories and mental structures that he termed “the universals” such as state, sovereignty, law, and power. However, this is a concept that has a general feature in his idea. In fact, this device replaces the universal Foucauldian strategy. This has not been measured at all, not even its generality from the abstraction. Instead, as he argued in an interview in 1977, Apparatus was said to be “the network that can be established between these elements”.

Agamben, G. What is an apparatus?: And other essays. Santa Cruz, CA: Friendship as a Form of Life. (2010). 55

The device is primarily a machine that produces subjectivity and is also a government machine. The confession example may shed light on the problem at hand. The formation of Western subjectivity is nevertheless divided and mastered, and is inseparable from the centuries-old activity of the penance device. Thus, subject segmentation performed by the device of distress has resulted in the generation of new subjects. Similar considerations apply to prison equipment. It is a device that produces more or less unexpected results in subject composition and delinquent environment composition. Then, this time it is subject to a completely calculated governance approach. The moment of decentralisation is certainly implicit in the whole process of decentralisation.


2.7 Foucault and Agamben Like Agamben’s previous work, producing a form of death can be thought of as opening a “zone of indistinction”, an “ambiguous zone”, or an “a zone of indifference”.56 With the “technological apparatus”, Agamben suggested that “media apparatus” bring about the same death by turning language into bodyless speech, pure vision, and propaganda. These are the gears and mechanisms of biopolitical power, and Foucault understands “biopolitics” differently to Agamben’s conceptualisation of it. Agamben’s notion of biopolitical power utilised Schmitt, which understood it to be negative.57 In other words, it is the decisive power of sovereignty that is believed to continue from ancient times until the present day. However, Foucault believed that modernity changes when modern biopolitics becomes productive or possible. As Rey Chow argued,58 Foucault’s biopolitics relied on the high-tech identification and registration that was referenced by Agamben, including biometric data obtained from technologies such as retinal scans and the digitisation and storage of human fingerprints. In fact, Agamben highlighted the productivity of biopolitical media through indirect and productive manipulation of language, public speech, and other general communication and cultural practices.

Murray, S. J. ‘Thanatopolitics: Reading in Agamben a Rejoinder to Biopolitical Life. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 5(2), (2008).; 203-207. doi:10.1080/14791420802024350 56


Schmitt, C. ‘Political Theology, trans. George Schwab’, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 10. (1985)


Chow, R. ‘‘Sacrifice, Mimesis, and the Theorizing of Victimhood,’’ Representations 94. (2006) 133.


Foucault illustrated a significant shift from classic biopower to modern biopolitics. While classical biopower is summarised as a sovereign decision to “take life or let live” modern biopolitics is considered to be the “the power to ‘make’ live and ‘let’ die”. Living is twice replaced by the productive biopolitics of “make live” and “let die”.59 Such deaths are easily removed and rejected. At least directly, no one has been killed or visible to our eyes. Crime is commissioned to a prison colony and “extraordinary rendition” become routine––obfuscated by state bureaucracy and featured in mass media spectacles. These are just “allowed” passive events, which are collateral damage but are required by biopolitical logic.

Foucault, M. ‘‘Society Must Be Defended’’: Lectures at the Colle`ge de France, 1975 1976, trans. David Macey, (2003). 241. 59


2.8 Agamben, Canguilhem, and Goldstein Foucault’s idea of biopolitical disposition found its first historical inspiration in Canguilhem’s account of the normative forces of the French bourgeoisie during the Napoleonic era. However, in normality and pathology, despite all references to the history of French medicine, the genealogy of the concept of norms were mainly inspired by Jewish German neurologist Kurt Goldstein.60 According to Goldstein, normative power is above all an attribute of life, not necessarily the ability of institutional devices such as scientific knowledge or medicine.61 Goldstein constantly reconstructed the definition of pathology from the patient’s perspective. The normative forces generally apply to each organism by inventing, altering, and destroying the organism’s own norms, internal and external habits, rules, and behaviours, particularly the human brain. This is especially demonstrable in the event of illness or traumatic events and in situations wherein the survival and unity of living beings are challenged. Goldstein’s ingenuity was not the lone recognition of this antagonism, but to consider the disease that was normally considered to be a socio-pathological and social disorder.

60 What an Apparatus is Not: On the Archeology of the Norm in ... (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://thesis.wtf/content/2-blog/1-pasquinelli-normal-and-p/what_an_apparatus_is_not_on_the_archeolo.pdf 61 Goldstein, K. The organism. New York: Zone. (2000).


Fig.8 Anselm Kiefer, Velimir Chlebnikov, 2004.


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