Machiko Kusahara is a scholar in media art, digital media culture and media history. She is a professor at Waseda University, Tokyo, and holds a Ph. D. in Engineering from University of Tokyo for her theoretical study on interplay between media culture, technology, art and society. She came into the field of digital media in early 1980s as a curator, critic and theorist in computer graphics and digital art. Since then she curated, organized, gave lectures and wrote internationally in media art and digital culture, serving as a jury for SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, ISEA, Japan Media Arts Festival, International Animation Festival Hiroshima, among many others. She was also involved in launching Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and NTT InterCommunication Center in Tokyo.
Currently Prof. Kusahara’s major activities are on two related fields: Device Art and Japanese history of visual entertainment from the 19th century. Device Art is a project that focuses on developing and theorizing a new form of media art that connects art, technology, design and products, with five-year grant from JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency). In the field of media history her research topics include magic lantern (utsushi-e) and panorama among others. The interplay between art, technology, culture and society has been the theme of her research.
Her major publications in English include: “Telerobotics and Art -Presence, Absence, and Knowledge in Telerobotics Art” (The Robot in the Garden, MIT Press 2000), “From Ukiyo-e to Mobile Phone Screens - A Japanese Perspective” (Migrating Images, House of World Cultures, 2004), ” They Are Born to Play: Japanese Visual Entertainment from Nintento to Mobile Phones” (Art Inquiry, 2004), “Panorama Craze in Meiji Japan” (Panorama Phenomenon, Mesdag Panorama, 2006), “Device Art: A New Approach in Understanding Japanese Contemporary Media Art” (MediaArtHistories, MIT Press, 2007), “Device Art: Media Art Meets Mass Production” (Digital by Design, Thames and Hudson, 2008), “A Turning Point in Japanese Avant-garde Art: 1964 – 1970” (Place Studies in Art, Media, Science and Technology, VDG Weimer), ““We Will Open the Panorama-kan”: The Beginning of the ‘Panorama Craze’ in Meiji Japan” (The Panorama in the Old World and the New, International Panorama Council, 2010), “The “Baby Talkie,” Domestic Media, and the Japanese Modern” (Media Archaeology, UC Press, 2011), “Assembling Art, Design, Technology and Media Culture: The Challenge of Japanese Device Art” (Coded Cultures, Springer, 2011).