asiascape vistas

Techno-Culture, New Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia

Asiascape Vistas is a forum for discussion about the many and various dimensions of cyberculture found in or originating from East Asia. Its focus is on the interplay between these media and questions of politics & philosophy. Contributions are from the academic collective responsible for the core project, but other contributions will also be considered by that collective.
If you wish to contribute to Asiacape Vistas, please send an email using the form on the contact page.

New Asiascape Ops - Florian Schneider on 'The Futurities and Utopias of the Shanghai World Exposition'

In Asiascape Ops nr 7, Florian Schneider (Lecturer of Modern China at Leiden University and editor of Politics East Asia) argues that the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition "...was a large-scale attempt at political communication. This paper examines this communication process, which the Chinese government initiated as a core part of its public relations strategy for the 21st century. The paper analyses multi-media data collected at the Expo site in July 2010 to answer the questions: what futurist and utopian visions did the five themed pavilions present to visitors of the Expo, and what relevance might these visions have to our understanding of how media events like world fairs construct political discourse? The paper engages with recent research on the Expo and reviews theoretical concerns about the general power of media events to manipulate audiences. It then provides an analysis that shows how the themed exhibits provide diverse interpretations of modernity and utopian futures. These visions at times collide with the worldview that the Chinese government is trying to foster, and which is communicated throughout much of the event. Yet this is not to say that the institutional constraints and the general set-up of the Expo collapse the entire event into a monolithic discourse that re-enforce the political ideals of the Chinese authorities, or that the participants and visitors of the event are successfully co-opted into an overarching narrative of capitalist modernity. In fact, the Expo offers opportunities of utopian thought that demonstrably escape control"

The full text of the paper is downloadable from's Publication page or can be read online on Issuu.