< back to kame in november
< back to home


> to history

On field research:

Continuing explorations into vernacular, organic, and inadvertent design

An exemplary attempt at Field Work, from my 3000 pictures of Japan:
The fantastic riggings and attachments on telephone poles.

Some professionals had difficulty seeing practical use in researching "vernacular public information". However, the educational crowd seemed to get it right away! One student turned out very moved, as his professor Jinnouchi-sensei reported. This led me to visit them at:

Musashino Art University, Tokyo

where i discovered surprisingly related tendencies of artistic research. The students explore their environments e.g. with non-visual senses, and map them out by soundscapes and other experiences, or create publications from class outings and camps.
Not so coincidentally (see Field Work below), the school had a lovely exhibit "Angura" (short for Avantgarde): posters of 1960-1980 independent activist theater in traveling tents.
The students gave me:

VOW magazine

V.O.W., voice of wonderland: "all about super street art" is a pocket-book fanzine reporting inadvertently humorous attempts of public communication and culture in Japan -- an ironic counterpart to my presentation and research.


...and, "from the ridiculous to the sublime"...
Field Work

From Bob Sliwa, American design consultant in Tokyo/Nagoya, I learned about the art movement of "Field Work" in Japan, indirectly influenced by the 60s Fluxus movement, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp et al. Founder/father of Field Work seems Akasegawa Genpei.
Excursions into places and areas where idiosyncratic occurrences would be collected, examined and then presented: The magazine "Shashin Jidai" published Field Work as a regular section, by the photographer Araki.
--This in turn reminded me of the 70s art movement "Spurensicherer" (Securers of Traces), prominent e.g. at documenta 6, Kassel/Germany 1977.

Any further hints into this field are greatly appreciated -- literature, contacts, URLs... Thank you! - jml