29 Not-Quite-Random Walks Around Tokyo

I’ve been a bit slow in posting this one, but the audio and slides of the talk I did for Pecha Kucha Night Coventry in October has been put on the main PK website:

The explosion during slide 13 is courtesy of the party poppers left behind by an earlier speaker, Laura Elliot!

Follow @PKN_Coventry on Twitter to keep up-to-date with what’s happening with future events.

Coming up: Yamanote Stories at Pecha Kucha Coventry

Tomorrow I’m one of the presenters at Pecha Kucha Night Coventry, this time in turn part of the Japanese Cultural Festival being run by The Tin Music and Arts.

This means entry is free and there’s karaoke afterwards should you so fancy it!

Using an edited map to navigate around Tokyo

I thought the Japanese theme would be a good excuse to look again at a project I did back in 2006: Sites of Potentiality Guidebooks: Yamanote Line. 29 not-quite-random walks in Tokyo looking for Interesting Things.

PKNCov regulars may remember the Invite Boredom presentation Paul Conneally talked about a year or so ago:

Pecha Kucha Coventry | Vol 8 | Paul Coneally from MINDRIOT PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

This is very much a precursor to the Invigilator project and probably sets the scene for most of my practice since then!

See you at the Coal Vaults at 7pm.

Badges and postcards at the Created in Birmingham shop

As well as being able to buy Uncertain Eastside prints at the Created in Birmingham shop, I’ve also put together some special badge collections that you can only get at the Created in Birmingham shop and in very limited numbers.

SoPG: Yamanote

Back in 2006 I spent 4 intensive days walking around Tokyo. Rather than using my Lonely Planet Guide, I used a map cut from a postcard advertising an exhibition. With all the labels cut off.

Tamachi from nikkipugh on Vimeo.

You can read more about the project here; suffice to say that it was something of a pivotal moment in my practice and is what kicked off the whole genzaichi identity/ethos.

Where will you go and what will you see there?

Where will you go and what will you see there?

The pack available at the CiB shop will give you both the appropriated map and the genzaichi/you are here symbol from the Yamanote railway line in badge form. You are invited to use them to instigate a random walk from a railway station (or alternative) of your choosing.

Use them to go somewhere you wouldn’t have otherwise have considered going to and then take some time to get to know that place. See if you can find what the point of special interest is.

Perfect for the latent psychogeographer in all of us!

Counsel for the Artist

At the end of my time at art school, I gathered together all the notes I had made from lectures, conferences, seminars and the such and searched through them picking out phrases that resonated. I found quite a few.

From these I selected the 8 really pertinent ones that I wanted to keep at the forefront of my mind when making work in the years following graduation. These became Counsel for the Artist and they are still cornerstones of my practice nearly 4 years later:

  • Make exchanges with spaces
  • Strive to achieve modest connections
  • Set your own agenda
  • Add to a culture of learning and experimentation
  • Get the message across
  • Meet a new network
  • Resist the ascribed role of witness
  • Circumnavigate predictability

You may have noticed these statements on my CV, in the tags I use for my blog posts and also about my person in various forms.

Buttons

Buttons

The thing with these though, is I quickly found that people from other professions were finding the statements resonated strongly with them too. Hence I’m using “artist” in its broadest of terms: “A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice”.

Is that you?

You can get a selection of 4 statements to wear on your sleeve (or other location).

Counsel for the Artist badges

Counsel for the Artist badges

Postcards and more

The Yamanote and Counsel for the Artist badge collections are very limited availability, but fear not if you are quick enough to get one before they sell out.

The genzaichi and map designs are available on T-shirts from my online shop, and there are Counsel for the Artist postcards available at CiB and online. Buying some is as simple as getting in touch.

call and return

Yesterday I posted a few YouTube videos of work from SoPG:Yamanote.

Looking at the post later, I happened to set both players off at the same time and was struck by the effect of having two narratives running side by side.

The videos are definitely much stronger when taken as part of a group, so this is something I’ll be investigating further.

In the meantime I rattled off a quick side-by-side rendering as a test of concept. I like the way there seems to be a call and return between the two tales. Imagine what this would be like with 29 stories running at the same time!

The resolution of the video isn’t very high at all, so if you want to actually read the text, you can watch slightly better quality versions on the original post.



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