Glimpses of Tokyo at night, kaleidoscopically manipulated and set to an electronic track. Visually very cool.
Looking forward from a point in time: not too long ago, people used to think of that the Japanese had extremely advanced and sophisticated mobile device networks and habits, but not as advanced internet tools e.g. they paid their bills through their keitai and chatted with others using BBSes.
Looking backwards from a point in future: Now that it’s clear that what we previously thought of as “online” and “mobile” worlds are converging however, those looking back at this period in future (researchers, analysts, academics?) might see that the Japanese experience simply evolved differently.
Lisa Katayama sketches in a Wired article:
The Internet didn’t take off in Japan the way it did in the US. It was strictly a place for geeks and otaku until relatively recently. The key reasons were obvious: Most sites were in English, and typing in Japanese on a computer keyboard was arduous and counterintuitive. (Even today, more people in Japan access the Web via their cell phones rather than on their home or work computers.)
Tokyo had its own mini-dotcom movement called Bit Valley in the late ’90s, and a few of those boom-era companies remain today, including popular Web portals like Rakuten and LiveDoor. But there’s a generally accepted sense that the country has lagged behind the West in developing its own innovative companies focused on the Web. Tellingly, some tech companies that vanished entirely from the US when the bubble burst, such as Infoseek, still exist in Japan.
This parallels a bit Chinese writing was first absorbed into Japan, innovated on to suit local conditions — hiragana, katakana — but had certain elements that stagnated, such as kanji writing. Visually, some characters in Japanese are still written in ways that aren’t used any more. Practically, meanings have changed too.
According to the Anime News Network:
Follow Tortov as he journeys through very surreal, magical, picturesque landscapes, meeting interesting characters and circumstances on the way. Accompanied by his long-legged pig friend, Tortov takes us on an on-going adventure of peaceful contemplation.
A bit surreal. The pig-steed that Roddle rides looks like it came from The Temptation of St. Anthony.
Episode 1 is here:
6ixth — Jeff Chouw’s photo exhibition of Opposition MP Chiam See Tong campaigning in 2006 — is now online on Chouw’s site.
An extract from the NYT feature on Yoshiyuki Kohei’s series on park voyeurs (picked up by Boing Boing)
“The predatory, animalistic aspect of the people in Yoshiyuki’s work is particularly striking,” she continued. “The pictures are bizarre and shocking, not only because of the subject itself but also because of the way that they challenge our clichéd view of Japanese society as permeated by authority, propriety and discipline.”
The series reminded me of Imamura Shohei‘s work, verging on documentary. This is the man who once said: “I want to make messy, really human, Japanese, unsettling films.”
And of course he made The Pornographers (1966)
(found via Ectomoplasmosis)
The Japanese Film Festival‘s still on btw. Last day 23 Sept. Most of the Imamura films have been screened, but we haven’t started on Ichikawa Jun’s and Yoshiyuki Kazuko’s yet. In other words, come watch 🙂
Charles Landry speaks to Der Spiegel on redeveloping cities.
What an information policy for the Library of Babel might look like. (Currently reading Borges’ Fictions btw)
Walerian Borowczyk works, apparently from an exhibition at the Annecy Museum.