Thursday, March 09, 2006

Donald Richie's Lateral View

I think this is a very interesting point that Donald Richie is try to make. It does seem that in Japanese culture when experiencing areas of nature, that there is a lot of preparation that is involved in making this experience. So if you want to see nature here you go to a garden, but along with many other things a garden is an art form that goes beyond just planting a few trees and a rose bush. There are hundreds of years of history that makes their gardens what they are. A sharp contradiction to this way, is in America, where if we want to see nature we go to a national park, and go for a hike, where the only preporation is a trail and the experience is based on an ethic of low impact camping. So, in a way, since many of these natural areas exist in Japanese cities, they are premeditated and therefore considered an art, and it reflects there culture and way of life. Where in America we for the most part in our cities live independent of our sense of nature.

Post Cards by Rappaport

I thought this was an interesting video, yet there were many things that i didn't really like about it, such as his style of narrative and the way his themes were visually represented. Though he had fine themes dealing with communication, it just seems he was relying too much on cliche to make his point, and even the theme is kinda of a cliche which i feel is always kind of a mistake that is often made. But another thing is that i don't feel any of this, the theme or the style is unique to Rappaporrt, and that is what bothers me about this video i guess. But i was happy to watch it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Project #1

Orders of visual and acoustic space, based on interchangeable units of being within those spaces. Dealing with language and the way these structures contain whoever may be in these spaces. Leaders and followers. Analyzing how these units contain human action. Things like voice, touch, and time-based movements.

Roppongi hills
Writing and observation:
Watching what people do in these large corporate plazas. There are many areas that compose these structures, and they are all in some way connected. People can shop, eat, work, and live all within this one structure. It is a container for convenient living, yet also based on systems of power, that place more emphasis on production, and the ability to be a part of this machine, than living independently of it. Yet also in may ways it resembles structures in I guess more natural environments, though I am not saying these things are not natural, but I mean things like ant hills or bee hives. This is a quote that I got from the book Straw Dogs by John Gray. It deals with this sort of thing and is a big part I guess on what my project is about.

"Cities are no more artificial than the hives of bees; the Internet is as artificial as a spider’s web. The Human race was invented by ancient bacteria as means of genetic survival. If solipsism is the belief that only I exist, idealism is the belief that only humans exist. We have no more reason than other animals to believe that the sun will rise again tomorrow. Media is artificial memory. The calls of birds and the traces left by wolves to mark their territories are no less forms of language than the songs of humans. " John Gray

I am also thinking about the ways in which we experience these spaces and what they are a product of, or where they have developed from. How we regard things like community and communication, in the development of these corporate plazas? I feel like these structures are very reminicsent of how kind of ancient cities are represented in various movies. I know this may be a kind of awkward statement, but there are many shops and things that surround very large towers. That was just one of my initial observations, considering i am trying to relate all of this to the tower of babel and the powers of a unified language in building these empires. I am going to start doing more research on ancient Babylon, about ideas on the bicameral mind, and how this relates to the structure of current day Tokyo.

Day3 Video (Pics from Video)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


So far I am dealing with the ideas of a unified tongue and its relationship to the cultural and physical landscape of Tokyo. What I mean by this is analyzing the role of a native language and the appropriation of foreign languages in becoming a world power, and how this is represented through buildings and devices used to travel through these buildings, such as escalators. These devices I feel especially correspond to these systems of power and linguistic appropriation, not only due to the space that they require to function, but also the velocity of passengers in which it carries. This gives these objects their reason for existing in the spaces that they inhibit.

I feel that an obvious reference would be the story of the tower of Babel, which has a lot to do with unified language and corresponding systems of power. I have some raw material at the moment that I have been collecting, mostly video, so I might just take still images from these clips and post as soon as they are imported.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Babel yikes!