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Ecotechne Dystopia and the Otherness of Biopolitics Focusing on Chun Sun-ran’s Moss Forest

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2023, 29(3), pp.39-67
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2023.29.3.002
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : September 20, 2023
  • Accepted : October 20, 2023
  • Published : October 30, 2023

Youn-ho Oh 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper seeks to characterize the underground city created in response to climate catastrophe as an ecotechne city, to examine the biopolitics that governs it, and to find meaning in the technological adaptations and resistances that the city's citizens, especially the youth, exhibit toward the ecotechne city. In the process, I will examine the speculative fiction features of Moss Forest and the conditions and possibilities of an ecotechnological critique of Korean science fiction in the 21st century. "The Moss Forest depicts a climate catastrophe that forces humanity into the underworld, where they build a city and live in it. The surface is nature itself, damaged by the climate catastrophe, and a lost paradise for humanity, and the underground city is humanity's only refuge in the midst of the climate catastrophe. Completely disconnected from life above ground and believing that the memories of the sky and sea may be fake, the citizens of this place wake up in the morning to a perfectly technologically reproduced eco-friendly state and enjoy an 'artificial nature' and 'artificial paradise'. "The underground city recreated in Mossy Forest is a biopolitical space planned and controlled by technological capitalism. In this city, only children selected for birth control are born and raised, and like Soma in The Wonderful New World, they live in the underground city and 'work' to buy VA2X, which makes them not crazy. If you get injured while working, you can replace your body with the body of a pre-made clone, and you can also buy a human voice and make it your avatar's voice. In this environment, the citizens of this underground city go on a labor strike, and the six young people in the story try to adapt to life in the city with their own brand of solidarity and love, but their love is thwarted by the city's ultimate fate. Soma escapes the dystopian underground city with a clone of Yuo and reaches the Moss Forest, where he exposes the violence of the underground city's bio-politics.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.