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Kojin Karatani published numerous short essaies on technology in the first half of the 1980s. In one of these, “Rhythm/Melody/Concept,” he discusses statements made by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono. They are both still members of Yellow Magic Orchestra, an influential technopop group that was then at the peak of its popularity.
New Academism took off shortly after this, becoming the most influential movement in post-war Japanese contemporary thought. While Karatani stood at the center of this intellectual movement, he still continued his unique line of investigation and became fascinated with the internal collapse of formalization (eg. deconstruction), something he called a “Gödelian problem,” eventually leading him to succumb to a certain type of “illness”. Can we understand this as a “technological” breakthrough on Karatani’s part? In reality, though, Karatani would not continue down this technological path. How can we discuss the changes in the relation between technology and thought (criticism) over the past thirty years from this example?