First of all, I want to make sure that this work is a fiction from my experience,
reality and imagination. Ryu-suke lived in New York for a long time. So,
there are many similarities between myself and Ryu-suke. But, at this time,
he is a character in this story, whom was created with some exaggerations,
cuts and imaginations. And also, there are no female like Tomomi and Yuriko
around me right now. Females who might live in Tokyo, females reflected
some parts of myself or ideal or characters born from necessity of story.
Anyway, they are characters in this story.
Basically, this work is a long novel. But, I thought that each chapter could
be read as a short novel. So, I decided to show them like this form. Each
chapter has each plateau and we can read them out of sequence a little bit.
If I write like this, it is like Deleuze=Guattari," Mille Plateaux
" So, if I use other words, this work's structure could be compared
to a music album's.
Anyway, this is a personal web site. So, I want to keep going not so formally.
And, book is different media from web site.
As literature is completed by each reader's imagination, I do not care how
you read this story and I hope, you read this freely. But, at this time,
I want to write what I thought while and after writing a little.
It is because, first of all, a joint part between a chapter, JR Center Line
and a chapter, Discussion 1, we can read it as a model or continuous images
which go beyond modern to postmodern in not only art but also social philosophy.
After Tomomi Nakahara passed a Kichijoji station, she found that she could
look train windows on both sides at the same time. After that, she also
found silver metalic frames continuing on both sides. If a person who know
modern arts after abstract expression could notice that silver metalic frames
is Donald Judd. Moden art started around Monet and impressionism. Judd is
the final point of its reduction process. We also can read this story like
a contemporary art by words.
Art for art's sake. Many people said that Judd's works ignored viewers.
According to his work, untitled box works in 60's and 70's are famous. But,
he also created many silver metalic frames. And, those works express nothing
except that only frames of paintig were left as the result of getting close
flatness and seeking objective beauty. In the sense, we can see that after
conceptualism is postmodern.
Marcel Duchamp brought a toilet into a museum and he said like, " this
is not a toilet." or signed some one's name. But, in this case, frames
of train windows are Judd's works. Inside a museum, a Judd's work seemed
to be inorganic, inhuman and isolated. However, if I see Judd works like
this, I do not think so objective, but I get feeling quite universal. How
are frames of train windows in the world ?
Silver metalic frames continuing on both sides. The vertical structure is
similar to Japanese traditional architecture. And also, I think, we can
compare it to various things.It is like speech is silver.
Restriction continuing on both sides. TV images. Right and Left. A door
seen at the front. Berlin Wall. I feel, there are a lot of invisible walls
in Japan. Country boders. Walls of languages. Sound, image and action go
beyond walls of languages. I think this kind of writing is also one of actions.
Because, I can't talk like this in English so well.
Around the final of a chapter, JR Center Line, Just after Tomomi pressed
a shutter, At the beginning of the next chapter, a projector is turning
with making sounds and there is one definition of movie.
A sound of shutter. Sounds and images of a cogwheel getting into perforations.
A sound of motor-drive of camera. A film rewinded. 16mm film flowing into
a projector. Sounds of projector. Images of turning reel. In other words,
Sounds and images of camera shot 24 frames per second. Light=images reflecting
like wave motions. These sounds and images are between a chapter and a chapter,
and not written their details. A chapter and a chapter, a scene and a scene
are actually continuing. This is a cinematic montage.
We can creat a movie from these images. But, I think, anyway, we can just
read or just shoot. Some of those images might spark off.
Frames continuing on both sides, no cogwheels, landscapes flowing outside
of frames. Times that passed away. Modernism bound and stopped by words
and theories. The end of art. The end of history. The landscape flowing
relatively to the opposite direction of frames, it might be movie which
has motions and shoot reality relatively against still painting and modernism.
And also, the whole story is written both reality and images by the same
letters, words. So, we might think, this fiction in fiction expresses reality
which have no frames and restrictions as metaphor.
When we close eyes, while a long shutter, black images are created. While
the moment, images come out. Frames continuing on both sides. By a slow
shutter, landscapes flowing on both sides slow down and stop. Cogwheels
get into landscapes and times, and reversed. At the same time a shutter
opens, images 24 times per second start to move, and landscape.
In other words, Godard quoted it in " Pierrot Le Fou ", Arthur
Rimbaud's one passage in " Une Saison en Enfer. " " I found.
what ? eternity. the sea melting into the sun." ( sorry if not exact,
translated from Japanese. ) Anyway, in this case, it might be " the
sky flowing on both sides." A main character in this story, Tomomi
Nakahara goes beyond a modernism wall in a train which goes to the outskirts
on elavated railroad. One point perspective breakthrough. Existentialism.
Structuralism. Post Structuralism. Mille Plateau. Plateau Tomomi ( Nakahara
means Middle Field ). Go beyond dualism. Hang on. Derrida. " Structure
and Power " in a train. " 2001: A Space Odessey ".
After 50's abstract painting, in 60's, Greenberg's art theory added and
the reduction processes were all over until Jadd. And, some people said
that art is all over. Art which has long history was said all over, just
after abstract painting for a few decades. Naturally, artists keep creating
works of art. Conceptualism, new painting, transavanguardia, media art,
perfoming art, installation and so on. Contemporary art is quite complicated.
And, those arts are created with using diverse media. It is very similar
to artistic movie or cinema which is a composite art. So, we might say that
a move had a potencial of post modern art from the beginning.
Therefore, after World War ll, some people said that the art capital, Paris
moved to New York. But, I think, it is not correct.
Certainly, New York is one of art capitals. I like Pollock and Rothko very
much. MoMA's collection is wonderful. So, if we look only painting, after
cubism seems to be abstract painting. But, it only depends on modernism
ideology after Greenberg which divides arts by each media like painting,
film, literature and so on.
In Paris, art movements were impressionism, cubism, dadaism, surrealism...,
if we look only art books, we feel, nothing after those movements. But,
after World War ll, it is Nouvelle Vague that the most biggest art movement
happened in Paris. As long as I know. If it was one century before, people
like, who were creating picture, literature and play, created cinema. That's
And, artists in dadaism and surrealism, some people understand that they
just created fantasy and illusion. But, some of those avantgardes were social
activists. And, their purpose of surrealism was not only human unconsciousness
but also social unconsciousness. I took more juornalistic and social scientific
Literature, picture, play, music, cinema and so on. They were created in
the same art movement. And, contents and concepts were more important than
media. It is material that oil painting, film and even words.
In New York, Fulxus members like, George Maciunas, Pike, Yoko Ono, Cage,
Bueys seemed to succeed to those streams. Transavanguardia in Italy might
be also a little.
So, what is difference before and after modernism movement, after 60's ?
And, if we use a word, post modernism easily, we need to say post post modernism
next. It will be a little stupid situation.
In my opinion, the contribution of modernism in art is only to think about
characters of each media well. And, it is good formalistic and theoritical
approach. But, we also can know it through just comparison and creation
with using diverse media. I think, that is one of the reasons why many contemporary
artists are working as present style.
Around 60's, the U.S. art theorist, Michael Freed said that art should be
convinced, when we first look it in a moment. It is not art, which we need
time to appreciate like theatrical art or film art. He was talking like,
we need to experience art in a moment, which break through to eternity.
And, he also insisted that art should be media specific.
But, in a 1987's disccusion, He was talking like, we might be able to loose
or extend notion of media with referring to Laurie Anderson's theatrical
According to cinema, I guess, Cahiers du cinema in Paris insisted on superiority
of cinema art around 60's among modernism movement. While I watch Godard,
" Pierrot Le Fou ", I feel theatricality and a moment breaking
through to eternity come at the end of the work. And, I see, " Histoire(s)
du cinema " is a cinema which is a cinema as more composite art. But,
according to the issue of media specific, cinema is media specific art,
compared to installation with using diverse media or performing arts.
Of course, according to the whole cinema movement, Nouvelle Vauge, it is
important that relations with not only art but also literature, documentary
And, according to cinema called experimental or avantgarde film, Tony Conrad
created a short film, just light and shadow which was made of only transparent
film and black film. And, some film makers were interested in only structure
of frames. And, some of them were interested in film material itself and
created some chemical effects. And, some of them tried special operation
of projector. Around modernism movement, what is media ?, those films were
created and it seems to go on parallel to art.
However, at present, there are a lot of special effects with using computer
technology. And, if a work just shows technique, we will be tired of it
soon. After all, what or how to shoot must be important. Like a painter
creats a painting, a poet writes a poem, many short films are created still
now, although they are not distributed comercially. Andy Warhol's films
are also this type of work. In Japan, we sometimes can watch them at Image
Forum, NTT intercommunication center, in New York, anthology film archive,
American Museum of the Moving Image, MoMA, Whitney, Pompidou in Paris and
so on. But, among that kind of works, I feel, there are sometimes too individual
works which ignore social scientific sense and they just can not creat a
Although I wrote about only Europe and the U.S., Hokusai also created picture,
writing and cartoon on his own way. Until the Edo era 1867 in Japan, everyone
clearly can see that it is Japanese and the Eastern culture. But, after
the Meiji Restoration, Japanese culture was Westernized and industirialized.
After World War ll, American Pop culture influence, around 80's more information
got into Japan. It seemed to become post-modern a little. But, there are
a great difference between a big city like Tokyo and a region. And, now
is quite complicated. It is also an issue which is talked through this novel.
This is a city story through cultural views.
According to art, I know some artists who are active and correspond to Euro
and the U.S. modern and contemporay. But, I do not know conservative artists
so much. And, they seem to creat an art object rather than to express something
in a little closed art circle regardless the whole Japanese culture, time
and society. I like to appriciate real Japanese traditional art like Nihonga
and Shuibokuga ( black and white painting ) or traditional architecture
in Kyoto, Nara, Kanazawa. Tokyo also has some traditonal architectures.
But, some artists and writers are reactionary and exclusive now. So, it
is a little umcomfortable atmosphere. Compared to before, the whole Japan
I am thinking that I should creat my own works. And, the future is that
each artists creats each works and one by one lives. Now, globalization
keep going, we should think trans-national culture, as characters will be
lost, trans-regional culture rather than multicultural post-modern ? That
means regional and international. In this scene, we migh need mind to go
Last year, when I started to write this story, It is one of things in my
head, in Brooklyn, between Fulton Mall and Metrotech, a message on flags,
" Discover Our Neiborhood ". There is a photograph on this web
site. Art Exhibition 1999¨project¨from Indian fabric¨40photo-No.30. The
photo is more than three years ago. I think, this work is closest to the
works in project. It is a joint between New York and Tokyo. And also, anywhere.
And, it is road movie, Jonas Mekas, Shu-ji Terayama" throw a book,
get out to town ", Hokusai's Ukiyoe and so on , the worldwide traditional
way. If time and space change, the view also change. That's all.
And, another thing in my head, When Documenta 9 director, Jan Hoet visited
in Tokyo and was talking a story, when he was thinking some ideas of art,
while he was in a train to visit a friend, he tried to look for something
inside the train and outside the train, but he could not find nothing. And
also, he felt, Japanese students did not creat based on experience and depended
on art and sculpture which they only looked in photograph. And, he was talking
like, " Please do not forget human eyes are not flat. They are balls.
And also, it might be interesting to compare with, Shinya Fujiwara,"
Tokyo Hyo-ryu ( drifting ) ". Although this is a nonfiction, at the
beginning 1980's, Shinya Fujiwara came back to Tokyo, after he had been
wandering about in India. And, he hated post-modern landcape in Tokyo, where
a lot of alphabetical sign boards overflowed. And, he lived in warehouse
district, Shibaura in Tokyo. Because, he felt, Shibaura did not have any
cultural atmosphere. And then, he compared a house sold as ready-bult to
a shortcake and an apartment to a barracks as metophors.
Especially, I do not hate an apartment in Japan, there are a lot of good
architects and construction companies. So, I think, they just should build
better architectures gradually. Rather than that, I care that I do not have
a large working space now. And, I have not been to India and Asian cities
so much. So, I want to visit in the future. In New York, although they were
mainly students, I could talk to people who came from Asia like Taiwan,
China, Thailand, Korea, India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Shingapore, Bangladesh
and so on. It was very good experience for me and I could make some friends.
And, it is on an equal position to talk in English in New York.
And also, Alain Resnais, " Hiroshima Mon Amouri ". " You
watched nothing in Hiroshima, in Leningrad, in Madagascar, in Dresden, in
Hanoi, in Sarajevo ( Historie du cinema-JLG )."
While I was creating this story, some scenes of movies and cinemas, which
I had watched before, occured to me, and I thought some similarities to
them. Although some one might think, where ?, Kubrick, " 2001: A Space
Odyssey ", Bertolucci, " The Sheltering Sky ", " Gingatetsudou
( the Galaxsy Train ) 999 ", " Blade Runner ", " 007
", Carax, Wenders and Godard. In a sense, this is a concept of cinema
for me. So, this is not a cinema cinema but a cinematic writing. But, I
am doing what we can do with using only words. In a sense, I think, this
is a literature.
And, according to recent Hollywood movies, works which lack validity and
bored seem to be increasing. But, there is my favorite movie, Clint Eastwood,
" Eiger Sanction ", which is about rock climbing Everest. Recently,
I noticed that this move is also a plateau movie. It was shot on terrific
location. Regardless of the whole story, it tells us something that none
get to the summit.
When I was in elementary school, I watched it on TV. And, I remember that
I was climbming on neighbor walls and mountains. In New York, a Intaglio
print professor, Mr. Blaustin whom I continued to take his classes, was
talking like, " Art is long way. " And then, recently, I was watching
" Eiger Sanction " on video again. Eastwood came out as an art
professor and said, " Art is long way." I was suprised a little,
although this is possibly just a coincidence. Now, I am interested in unconsciousness
Although I think, there are a lot of opinions, " What is literature
? ", Ango Sakaguchi pointed out like, " Ryunosuke Akutagawa's
works are always about mental side and works knowing human well. There is
no ideology in his works." Certainly, I think that he did not have
social philosophical knowledge so much. And, there is a very big difference
of amount of information that we can get. His works seem to be a little
existentialistic. In a sense, Koujin Karatani might be a great literary
man. But, theory is difficult to know what kind of thing the theory is telling
in reality. In a point, a story or novel is that we can know how the time
and people are living. So, I like Akutagawa's works. And, I think that he
But, now is different time from that of Akutagawa. If we want, we can go
anywhere and have internet. Now, some Japanese literary men are reactionary
and literary circle's exstentialistic. And, that should be criticized.
And, cinema record reality more than literature. Even it is a comedy or
a gangstar movie. Frankly, I also want to shoot a cinema. But, if I really
do it, maybe, I need some different approaches from this writing , budget
and find people who collaborate with me. And also, I also have no enough
working space, as Tokyo's space price is very expensive. So, if I creat
a large art work, I am thinking to go other places a little. Actually, there
are no enough large creating and exhibition spaces in Tokyo. That is the
main reason why there are not so large paintings and contemporary arts in
Tokyo, I think.
According to cinema, I am thinking to shoot something by 8mm film or video
a little. Drawing and writing are very basic and essential, so they are
very good, though.
Altough I am writing with hitting on a little, I want to write about this
site's front page. I wrote, A YUJI ITO JOINT. Spike Lee was using a word,
About ten years ago, " Do The Right Thing " was shown in Tokyo.
He was introduced as the first black movie director. ( I do not know which
is correct African American or Black people political correctly. But, he
was talking like " Black Movie " before on TV. ) Anyway, that
was impressive. It is not directly concerned with that I went an art school
in Brookly. But, Spike Lee is Pratt's neghbor movie director. And, I know
his shop on Dekalb Avenue.
Last year, I was watching his comedy on video. I noticed that A Spike Lee
Joint not Film was written on his movie. I thought that it is conceptual
and spiritual rather than to write film. We can take Joint as various senses.
Recently, I was reading a magazine, Premire. He was talking like that he
is one of few movie directors who have a final editorial right.
And, accoriding to this front page, some one might think about AAA or Joker.
And also, enviromental issues. But, actually, I creat like that to read
both English and Japanese with any word's disturbances.
I wrote GENDAIBUNGAKU. GENDAI means contemporary in Japan. And, BUNGAKU
means literature. So, GENDAIBUNGAKU means contemporary literature. Generally,
we write the word with Kan-ji, traditional Chainese lettering. At this time,
I wrote it with Rome-ji. It is Japanese that we write with using alphabet
from sound of Japanese. Recently, we often use it. Because, when I type
a Japanese word processor. First of all, I type Japanese sound wih Rome-ji,
alphabet. And then, I push exchange Keys. Except those, we also use Japanese
original lettering, Hiragana and Katakana. It might be complicated for a
And, while I was in New York, a word, Gaijin seems to be accepted like a
discrimination word among some people. But, it is actually a shortened form
of Gaikokujin, which means foreigner in Japan.
I want to write about cinema a little bit more. It is a good point of cinema
that we can glance people's lives in which we never been to. Even if we
went a place directly, it is not always to know like a cinema. And, we sometimes
can get close to reality through setting up a fiction. Art and literature
also get close to reality and truth through different ways.
Recently, I got a similar feeling from Abbas Karostami's work to Spike Lee's.
His works change my images about a country, Iran. And also, " Lock,
Stock and Two Smoking Barrels ".
Wim Wenders said that movie is human art, and also object art. Those two
are getting together.
And, to the begin with, cinema is trans-regional media. And, internet came
at the next. TV and big newspaper are domestic media. Frustration and impatient
about information control never disappear. According to TV and big newspaper
which have big company sponsors, journalism and advertising are mixed up
ambiguously. It might be a mistake to seek objective reports. They seem
to control information unconciously.
For the last decade, in the Post Cold War structure, many racial disputes
happened around the world. In the first year when I went to Brooklyn, LA
riot happened. That flames leaped across New York a little. I remember,
that tension was a little high.
Last year, there were air strikes by NATO in Yugoslavia. Japanese goverment
seemed to agree with. But, personaly, I disagree with air strike against
citizens. There is a question, why they did not kill Miloshevich instead
of citizens on early stage. Some people might say that it will be chaos.
But, it is like, in Russia, when Gorbachev was caught by a coup detat, Elitin
came out. I think, the next leader always comes out. Of course, citizens
who select a leader have the responsibility. But, it must not be everyone.
And also, Susan Sontag was talking like that the type of leader like Miloshevich
does not care, even if citizens die a little. Saddam Hussein is also.
Last year, I was reading a book by Bill Gates, " Business@The Speed
of Thought " by chance. And, I found an article about recent military
technology. And, it tells that more exact air strike is possible now.
I do not know about the details of Yugo disputes. And, this is my opinion
and my question. But, people who are intellectual must not agree with air
strikes like that without any criticisms. And, in Japan, the goverment opinion
is not always the same as that of every citizens. There are that kind of
differences in any country.
In Japan, with using the world disputes, some reactionary power which insist
to enforce the militaly always come out. I understand that self defense
force and peace keeping force against a country which violates the lowest
level of international rules. But, I think that basic peace keeping is diplomacy
It mistakes the meanings for the end that they never do any efforts for
diplomacy. And, that kind of people have no experience to talk to anyone
except Japanese actually. After all, they are just ignorant. There are the
same type of people in any country to some extend. Now, information reach
the world soon.
According to diplomacy, even though only several politicians do it, it is
none sense. So, we need economical exchange. However, according to the U.S.
and Japan for more than one decade, economical disputes stood out. So, we
might need exchange and communication on diverse levels. Anyway, it just
bothers me and none of my business to be involved in economical disputes
which large companies and multi-national corporations are causing.
Finally, Tokyo art scenes seem to be a little slow. But, now, Jean-Luc Godard,
" Historie(s) du cinema " is showed on Euro space in Shibuya until
June 23. It is the first time to be showed on a large theater screen in
the world. The work originally consists of 4 video cassetes and for 4 hours
and 30 minutes. I already have watched every chapters. The condition of
video projector was enough for the screen. As long as I know, Matsushita
has a video projector which needs a special operator to operate. I watched
it and worked with almost ten years ago. It was very clean and bright for
even a large screen in theater.
According to the part one from 1A to 2B, " Historie(s) du cinema ",
They consist of mainly masters of cinema and not only cinema but also painting,
philosophy, literature, and music histories. And also, histories in the
20 century which were shot by camera in mainly Euro and the U.S. Histories
by not words but cinema which are projected. It starts from, " all
the histories ". Although it is difficult for me to write in a short
time. I could watch it in very full and impressive times.
Essentially beautiful and impressive montages and overlapes continue. Not
only images but also mixes of sound, music and dialogue were very sophisticated,
although it is always that recent Godard works, especially after the late
of 80s. Some scenes came out, which I already have watched on video. But,
when I watched them with differnt montages and overlaps on a large screen,
they were very fresh.
In a chapter, " only the cinema ", some conversations with a critic.
I guess, as the Cahiers du cinema group was thinking with facing cinema
which is media to shoot reality, we might say that Cahiers du cinema is
one of intellegence in the 20 century.
According to the part two from 3A to 4B, it was created after 1995. And,
it reflected issues of recent racial disputes. It includes very serious
and deep subjects. But, it also includes very beautiful and impressive images
like the part one. So, as it will be too long, I stop about " Historie(s)
du cinema " at this time.
In the future, I want to watch it on video over again. And, I feel like
watching other related works. In the true sense, I think that " Historie(s)
du cinema " is the final avantgarde in the 20 century, which will be
left in history.
June 2000, Tokyo