Thursday, July 31, 2008
One of the challenges of road work, or book tour gigs, or just speaking gigs generated by a specific book, is confronting wildly divergent audiences and attempting to reach them for forty minutes or so--in the absence of a drum kit, a loud guitar and a dazzling vocalist (i.e., a band).
(Yes, that's a piano behind me. But no one played it--even after I begged.)
Last night I gave a presentation to a bi-cultural, partially bilingual group of American and Japanese high schoolers at Keio Academy's spacious campus just north of the city.
I've now spoken at anime conventions, business federations, government agencies, embassies, museums, galleries, universities, radio and TV studios and, of course, bookstores. But an auditorium filled with teens who happened to spend a steamy afternoon beforehand at a 5-hour baseball game at Yankee stadium ... well, this was a first.
Me vs. Matsui = Nolo contendere.
As you might imagine, conventional spiels don't suffice. (Telling moment: one American boy suddenly peered up at me with arched brows while I was mid-blather and asked: "What does otaku mean?")
You're forced to start from scratch, as they say, to revise assumptions and clarify not only to your youthful, more inquisitive, less cliche-seasoned crowd what it is you're actually talking about, but to yourself as well.
I keep thinking of the late Yeats writing about "the smiling public man" the students see when he visits a classroom--or "the tattered coat upon a stick."
Last night they saw both, most likely.
But I also think of Rilke: "Always be a beginner."
(Vast thanks to Miyoshi-san for the photographs.)
Tomorrow: Portland and Seattle.
One of Japan's biggest, oldest and most prominent book and magazine distributors filed for bankruptcy in Japan on Thursday.
When I was in the Bay Area last year, hopeful talk of Yohan's life-saving investments in Cody's Books and Stone Bridge Press prevailed.
Bankruptcy filings are far rarer in Nippon than elsewhere--especially the US.
Long hot summer. Indeed.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
On Friday I fly to Portland to appear at the SubVersion Anime Festival, then head to Seattle for meetings and friends.
Lots of activity on new and ongoing projects, including Anime Masters & Masterpieces and some just cinched West Coast bookings. More on that later.
NY radio just declared: "Tomorrow will be hazy, hot and humid," but when it comes to all three, Tokyo trumps NYC on any given summer's day. And muttering atsui ("it's hot") under one's breath eighty times an hour, as Tokyoites do, doesn't help a whit.
Finally realized that trekking between Tokyo and New York is not exactly a recipe for rest. But as Milton writes in Comus: 'what hath night to do with sleep?'
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Mario graciously invited me to join him, a fellow Tokyo artist and a gallery owner/art researcher on a panel discussing 'Artists and Self-Management' tomorrow night (Friday, July 18) at the void+ gallery in the Minami-Aoyama/Omotesando area. Starts 7 p.m.
If you're in this town, enduring its torturous temperatures and keen on airing out, please join us. (*note: the dominant language will be Japanese.)
Mario Tauchi-PSYCHE-GA-DELIC 2008
void+ is showcasing Mario Tauchi's PSYCHE-GA-DELIC 2008 from July 18th to July 31st. Mr. Tauchi has been expressing himself by creating Mandala paintings in various media and also collaborating with musicians, visual artist and other specialists, improvising Mandala paintings live. at void+alternative, he will be collaborating with a guitarist, cloudchair (aka Jake/Masatomo Kawase), and a chef specializing in spice, det2, to create a unique Mandala, while exploring the transformation that happens when his inner self meets the outer entity, at the void+ gallery, also showcasing his new works.
July 18th - July 31st
Gallery Hour: 14:00-19:00 (sat:12:00-) Closed on :Mon, Sun and Holiday
July 18th (fri)
Panel Discussion "Artists and Self management"
-Roland Kelts（Author of Japanamerica、Lecturer at Tokyo University）
-Haruka Ito（Research associate at Kyoto University of Art and Design: research center for editorial studies, magical, Gallery manager of magical, ARTROOM）
19:00- Charge: 500yen
void+では、7 月 18 日 ( 金 ) ～ 31 日 ( 木 ) まで、田内万里夫の" PSYCHE-GA-DELIC 2008" を開催致します。田内はこれまで、
Gallery Hour: 14:00～19:00 (土：12:00～) Closed:月、日、祝日
＜ 18 日（金）＞
・伊藤悠（京都造形芸術大学芸術編集研究センター研究員、 magical, ARTROOM ギャラリーマネージャー）
時間： 19:00 ～ 料金： ￥ 500
Friday, July 11, 2008
The appeal of anime is very specific: It's cool because it's messy. ... duh. Punk, Hip-Hop, novels anyone?