The Cyber Sublime And The Virtual Mirror: Information And Media In The Works Of Oshii Mamoru And Kon Satoshi

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2009

Published In

Canadian Journal Of Film Studies


In the world of creative expression, artists, writers and filmmakers have been exploring the impact of information and communication technology in numerous media. Amid this diverse artistic exploration, Japanese animation (anime) has emerged as one of the most prominent sites for exploring the impact of information technology and new media on human life. Gardner explores the representational strategies employed by certain anime with respect to "information." In particular, Gardner examines how director Oshii Mamoru's "Kôkaku kidôtai" ("Ghost in the Shell") (1995) presents a vision of a huge interconnected database transcending the world. Gardner refers to Oshii's vision of a vast "data-realm," which can be indexed through such rhetorical devices as metaphor and synecdoche but is ultimately beyond representation, as Cyber Sublime. Gardner further argues that information, technology and media are figured in a quite different fashion in the works of another anime director, Kon Satoshi. In examining several works by Kon, including the film "Paprika" (2006), Gardner offers the paradigm of the Virtual Mirror to describe Kon's distinctive approach, which runs contrary to many of the prevailing ideas and representational strategies regarding information technology as exemplified by Oshii's work.

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