Method No. 16 (September 3, 2002) Guest: Takashi Murakami The bulletin "Method" is an email bimonthly of free forwarding. The purpose is to pursue and exhibit method arts, such as method painting, method poem, and method music. If you have any trouble with receiving, please contact us. We will meet your wishes. - "Method" members: Hideki Nakazawa (artist), Shigeru Matsui (poet), Masahiro Miwa (composer) - Manifestos of Methodicism http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/ - Japanese translation http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/index_j.html Preface by Hideki Nakazawa Guest's manuscript: Essay on the Viva-ism to Fundamentalism by Takashi Murakami Guest's work: Zuzazazazaza, SMPKO2 by Takashi Murakami Members' manuscripts: Bitmap School vs. Vector School by Hideki Nakazawa Remove Intuition! by Shigeru Matsui About SendMailV3 by Masahiro Miwa Members' works: Letter-Coordinates-Type Painting No. 1, Stone-Arrangement Painting No. 1 by Hideki Nakazawa Quantum Poem No. 39 - 49 by Shigeru Matsui SendMail Notator by Masahiro Miwa Information, Editor's notes -- Method No. 16 Guest: Takashi Murakami Preface by Hideki Nakazawa Takashi Murakami is the today's best-known and the most important artist of Japan, with his keyword "superflat." Yes, "flat" reminds us of two things; one is the traditional Japanese art represented by the Rimpa and Ukiyoe, and the other is the theory of modernist paintings by Clement Greenberg. Then, what is "super"? It is probably to emphasize the relation to the today's Japanese Otaku manga (geeks' comics), which are also "flat," and which mirror the very postmodernist culture that cannot be separated from subculture. We, methodicists, have also been considering a matter of modernism and postmodernism, and of internationalism and localism. Mr. Murakami's way and ours are just the opposite, but both are complementary to each other at the same time, I believe. - Kaikai Kiki http://www.kaikaikiki.co.jp/ - http://www.metropolis.co.jp/biginjapanarchive349/329/biginjapaninc.htm Guest's manuscript & work: Essay on the Viva-ism to Fundamentalism by Takashi Murakami Hayao Miyazaki's "fundamentalism of animation" and Kaiyodo's "fundamentalism of models" are example forms of a standard of value that has been established in 30 years by Japanese creators who have lost reliable grounds of creation since the defeat in the Pacific War. Hayao Miyazaki created animation works using the mode of "fundamentalism of animation" and carried out wide-ranging reforms from the studio theories and the styles of movie buisiness to its distributions. He succeeded publicly and economically. Kaiyodo, a creating group, is building up a new genre in the entertainmant world by producing and selling the food toys (goods thrown in), "chocolate egg," that has become one of social phenomena. Kaiyodo has already produced more than 2,000 items of food toys according to the philosophy of absolute 3-D structure, that is, "fundamentalism of models," and holds a dominant position in the trade association in everything like planning contents, quality, and sales. "Fundamentalism of animation" and "fundamentalism of models" are of Otaku (geeks') contents. Why do they base on Otaku? Because they seem to resist against the reality that has no background, as there is no definite answer for what Japan nation really is. And one more thing: "Aum fundamentalism." Engaging in a group work at present, I feel Aum Shinrikyo very familiar. Progression to the cult, I mean. A very delicate technique is needed to walk a tightrope keeping a proper distance from that part. If my group became a cult, it would be a loser. But unless it reaches fundamentalism, it cannot approach the truth. And yet, building up fundamentalism at such a place where there is no grounds makes nobody see any goal at all. What kind of fundamentalism am I aiming at? Anyway, it must be an irresponsible one with such a dislocated title as "Susunu! Denpa-shonen" ("Forwarp! Radio Boy"). In spite of all, I will try hard to build up my own "fundamentalism." Zuzazazazaza, SMPKO2 by Takashi Murakami http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/g016murakami.html Zuzazazazaza ...This is a work where I intended to bring the 1970's animation mode to the painting context. The animators I referred to are Yoshinori Kanada, Tsutomu Shibayama, and Osamu Kobayashi. SMPKO2 ...The last chapter of the figure project collaborated with Kaiyodo. It is a work of comment on Otaku figures, having Masahiko Asano as a 3-D director, who is known as a leader of the project "Gundam Sentinel" produced for high-end users of Gundam plastic models, and, as a maker, Fuyuki Shinada & Vi-shop, master of Japanese monster creating. Members' manuscripts & works: Bitmap School vs. Vector School by Hideki Nakazawa If you were a 2D-CG creator, you might have noticed a profound difference between the bitmap CG formula and the vector one. The tools for bitmap are called "paint" software, while those for vector "draw." The essence of bitmap is an accumulation of color dots called pixels, while that of vector a topological line called a bezie curve. Functions for high-resolution and anti-alias seem to connect bitmap with vector, but real bitmap school creators would rather prefer low-resolution and obvious jaggies. I used to be a bitmap school creator as an illustrator until 1996. My works were called "BAKA (ridiculous) CG," as they looked funny probably because of those jaggies emphasized. I turned method painter as a fine artist in 1997, but the soul of bitmap is unchanged at all. I use letters or Go stones instead of bitmap pixels. I still love jaggies woven by letters or Go stones. What interests me is that Takashi Murakami's superflat works are the very vector CG. Every character is defined as a region encircled by a closed-curved topological line. It is one object itself, not an accumulation of dots. The schemata like "method paintings vs. superflat" or "bitmap school vs. vector school" are found not only in today's Japanese art scene but also in the past and in the Western countries as well. A good example seen in the 17th century's Japanese art, the Rimpa, is "Korin vs. Sotatsu"; and in the Western Renaissance, "Venetian school vs. Florentine school" is the one. "Romanticism vs. Neoclassicism," "Seurat vs. Cezanne" and "Fauvism vs. Cubism" are all the same schimata; the former cases are Coloristes, the latter ones Dessinateurs. Yes, Tiziano's each brushstroke is the ancestor of the bitmap dot, and Michealangelo's strong line the vector line. Why does this schema appear universally? Because it derives from the classical dualism, "atomism vs. idealism." Thus, it appears not only in art history but also in every aspect of things; "bottom-up vs. top-down," "induction vs. deduction," "harmony vs. melody," "sampling vs. synthesis," "chemistry vs. physics,"* "plants vs. animals,"** etc. These schemata tell us that the two standpoints are just the opposite but complementary to each other at the same time. That is exactly so with "method paintings vs. superflat," not only in their meanings but also in their technical aspects. * Materials are made of many atoms in chemistry, while an object is one in physics. ** Plants which can be grown from a cutting or separating the roots are the accumulation of cells, while an animal is one life. Remove Intuition! by Shigeru Matsui The year of 2002 is the 100th anniversary of a modernist poet Katue Kitasono's birth. Kitasono analyzed that factors for consisting of poetry are "material," "phenomenon" and "formation" in his essay "A Brief Poetry Essay on So-Called Imagery and Ideoplasty" in 1936. Furthermore he literary transposed them to "language," "imagery" and "ideoplasty." He considered poetry as a connection among these three notions at that time. According to his thought, composing poems is originated from collection and classification concerning "phenomenon." This operation is done by his intuition. It composes "languages" selected by the intuition and makes lines and stanza, and "ideoplasty" is concluded. It is a poem that he sensually materializes "phenomenon" by his intuition and unites to be "formation." Literarily speaking, it is that he sensually words "imagery" by his intuition and unites to be a "ideoplasty." As a methodicist, I agree to his thought: poetry is the effect of making "formation" of "phenomenon" and "formation" consists of substitutable "materials." That leads an assertion that Kitasono did have intermedia concept. But his constitution of "formation" is acted by his intuition, which gives me a question. Kitasono's "formation" does not mean an order of a row of letters, but random arrangement of letters. This can be said that it is closer to the method of art design than poetry. He regarded poetry as replacing colors and objets d'art with usable letters on usable plane geometry. The principles directing his works are nothing but Kitasono's own aesthetic intuition and poesy. His pursuit for his works on this method was introduced as "Monotonous Space" in 1958. His aesthetic intuition has reached a noble method in this work. Then many people have imitated his method. Consequently it came to produce followers of Katue Kitasono. I am also one of them. But I am not an epigone. Therefore I have been seeking for method poems by universal objectivity instead of aesthetic intuition. "Reference website" Kitasono Katue. com: http://www.kitasonokatsue.com/ The Library of Tama Art University KATUE KITASONO ARCHIVES: http://bunko.tamabi.ac.jp/bunko/macintosh/k-home.html Kit Kat+: http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~artbooks/kk/index.html About SendMailV3 by Masahiro Miwa SendMail was composed in 1995 and the third version of this piece, which was composed for the trumpet, was performed last month. This composition has very methodicistic characteristics because the notes it contains are not chosen for musical reasons. From the concert hall a trumpet player calls a host computer using a modem, then logs into the UNIX system and simply sends an e-mail through this music. It is music just because all commands and texts are "written" using a trumpet and "displayed" with sound (as musical pitch). To enable texts to be inputted using a musical instrument and make audible the text information, a conversion table for the MIDI pitch numbers and ASCII codes is used. All notes played in this music are provided according to this conversion table, not only for the e-mail contents but also for command texts for the modem and host computer. This means that there are no expressions of individuality from the composer, no references to beauty and no contrivances to appeal to a person's emotions (see "Methodicism Q & A" by Hideki Nakazawa in last issue). Nevertheless this piece may be performed many times and the audience is able to have a special experience each time, because the audience understands that the whole point of the composition is not the piece itself but the method of its design. This composition is not an artistic expression for the benefit of the audience. It is just a mechanism to bring people to a place where someone dedicates an artwork to the god of something, even if the set up is nonsense. Letter-Coordinates-Type Painting No. 1, Stone-Arrangement Painting No. 1 by Hideki Nakazawa http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/work016.html "Letter-Coordinates-Type Painting No. 1 of 29 Letters by 29 Lines" (1997) ...I arranged Chinese characters and Hiragana letters (Japanese alphabets) as/instead of bitmap CG's pixel dots. "Stone-Arrangement Painting on the Board No. 1 of 35 Points by 35 Rows" (1999) ...I arranged black Go stones and white Go stones and vacant points as if like a low resolution bitmap CG. Quantum Poem No. 39 - 49 by Shigeru Matsui http://www11.u-page.so-net.ne.jp/td5/shigeru/QuantumPoem.html Works from June 19 to September 2 SendMail Notator by Masahiro Miwa http://www.iamas.ac.jp/~mmiwa/SendMailNotator.html A special tool software for "SendMailV3" that automatically converts English text into musical notes (developed by Mr. Taro Yasuno). If you are well trained to recognize musical pitch and you memorize the MIDI/ASCII conversion table used by this piece, then you can have a conversation with your friend only using melody without using this software. Information: from Takashi Murakami - Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris "Kawaii! Vacances d'ete": Takashi Murakami - "Kaikai Kiki," until October 27, 2002 (Touring exhibition: Serpentine Gallery, London, from Nov. 2002 to Jan. 2003) "Coloriage," until October 27, 2002 (group show curated by Murakami) - Pacifico Yokohama, "GEISAI-3," 29 & 30 March 2003 from Hideki Nakazawa - "WINDS CAFE 69," Hideki Nakazawa's One Day Exhibition: The Present of 'Method' from 5:00 pm on September 14 (Sat) at WINDS GALLERY, Kichijoji. Guests: Fumihe Hihara (koto player), Shigeru Matsui (poet), Masahiro Miwa (composer). http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~mal/Cafe/ - Discussion on Methodicism as a guest of "empyre," an on-line arena for media arts, during the period of the last half of September. http://www.subtle.net/empyre/ - Solo show "Circuit" from October 11 (Fri) to November 2 (Sat) at Gallery Cellar, Nagoya. Talking Event from 3:00 pm on October 19 (Sat). - Solo show "Set" from October 21 (Mon) to November 9 (Sat) at SAI Gallery, Osaka. Talking Event from 7:00 pm on October 22 (Tue). - Essay "'Black and White' IS color" in both Japanese and English on IDEA magazine 294 '02-09 (featuring Black & White). - Participation in the program of ISCP, New York, from November 1, 2002. from Shigeru Matsui - Perfomance "READING" on December 7 (Tokyo) from Masahiro Miwa - October 13. Nagoya: The first propagation performance (!) by The New Era Department of Public Relations Music Group (M. Miwa, R. Sakai and friends) in "artport 2002." from "Method" - Back numbers http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/method/index_e.html Guests up to the issue No. 15: Motoaki Shinohara, Toshiaki Furuya, Masahiro Miwa, Akira Tatehata, Kenjiro Okazaki, Haruyuki Suzuki, Tatsuhiko Ishii, Yutaka Matsuzawa, Yuji Takahashi, Shin Tanabe, Shigeyuki Toshima, Yasunao Tone, Yasuko Toyoshima, Clarence Barlow, John Solt. - Those who want to subscribe for this bulletin, contact the members. - Volunteer assistants wanted for the activities of "Method." Editor's notes: There was held "GEISAI-2" on August 31 and September 1 at Tokyo Big Sight. I wrote about Mr. Murakami's "superflat" in the Preface, but right now he seems to be too busy being absorbed in GEISAI, a huge art festival organized by him this year. Both GEISAI and "superflat" deal with the issue of Japanese subculture, which we methodicists also think problematic. By the way, the word "fundamentalism" in English seems to have a religious, anti-modernistic meaning, while the Japanese word for "fundamentalism" can be applied in wide sense.(HN) -- Bimonthly Bulletin "Method" No. 16 published on September 3, 2002 Publisher: Hideki Nakazawa, Shigeru Matsui, Masahiro Miwa firstname.lastname@example.org http://aloalo.co.jp/nakazawa/ email@example.com http://www11.u-page.so-net.ne.jp/td5/shigeru/ firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.iamas.ac.jp/~mmiwa/ Although you can send on this bulletin freely, each writer still holds the copyright. 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