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The Life of Particles is the second part of a visual research project by Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato about the French psychotherapist, political activist, and philosopher Félix Guattari and his interest in Japan. 
The Life of Particles enters into a dialogue with contemporary Japan and the relationship between subjectivity, animist spirituality, and modern technology in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Fukushima compels Japan to look back on its history that melds animist traditions with hyper-modernity. 
The Life of Particles is a journey that begins in Okinawa with the actual form of colonization through the massive presence of the US military since WWII. The travelogue re-itinerates the “Atoms for Peace” campaign in Hiroshima and the reconstruction of Japan as a country built on science within the ideology of the so-called “energy millennarianism” as a nuclear dream project during the Cold War. The research ends in Tokyo and Kyoto with insights by the photographer and anthropologist Chihiro Minato and the Bhutto dancer Min Tanaka into the history of technology in Japan and the animist traditions that are central to the development of Japanese craft and the resulting relationship between nature and culture. 
“We cannot resolve the problem of radioactivity with this relationship between nature and culture. In Japan after Fukushima, geography is psychology. The atmosphere does not move geometrically. We adapt not only to our environment but also to our psychosis.” 

Angela Melitopoulos, born 1961 in Munich, lives and works in Berlin. She studied fine arts at the Art Academy Düsseldorf with Nam June Paik, is collaborating in political networks in Paris, Italy, Turkey, and Germany, and teaches in several international academic institutions. From 1985 her work has been shown in international video and film festivals and in exhibitions and museums (Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Whitney Museum NY). At Forum Expanded, she has recently shown the performance Möglichkeitsraum IV – Access: Diamond, Enter, Fin... (2012, with Constanze Ruhm) and the installation Assemblages (2010, with Maurizio Lazzarato).
Maurizio Lazzarato, born in Italy, lives and works in Paris. He is an independent sociologist and philosopher specializing in studies of the relationships between work, economy, and society. Laz­zarato teaches at the University of Paris I. He is co-founder of the magazine multitudes, where he is now on the editorial board.

3-channel video installation, 82 min

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur