Akihabara in the city of Tokyo is an electronic town with a major shopping area for computer goods. This space is also famous for sub-culture of Manga, anime. The lanes and by lanes are overcrowded with electronic freaks, obsessed Otakus, maid cafes, foreigners and many other who fancy want to hang around the place.
Apart from maid cafes, who are shouting and distributing flyers to catch hold of the customers, the streets are also filled up with small eating houses with large signage, and restaurant crews standing to call customers on the roads. But among the glamour of electronic and Manga paradise, everyday life of Akihabara is as mundane as anywhere else in the world. If we start talking to walls and bright signage it is the same story of loneliness and encounters; fear and surprises. Pacing over the same map again and again and longing for a break or a leisurely walk.
The project ‘In conversation with Akhiabara’ aims to explore how the narratives of informal meeting spaces in the streets/public space evolve, how art plays as an intermediate form to build up these spaces.
Through workshops and random conversations with people in the streets, markets, we came to know that Akihabara which is a market for leisure has got very less space for leisure/rest or informal networking for the people working there. Space is full of people who only play video games in the public space silently, without interacting with stranger on the street. There are meeting spaces which are paid, like cafes, eating houses and etc.
So we created a space behind the biggest electronic supermarket Yodobashi, initiating traditional Japanese games to invite people for possible engagements. Whole activity was a performance art involving conversations and social exchanges.
read broadsheet (japanese)
Dislocate & Chiyoda 3331 Art Space, Tokyo, 20011
images of the games played
Images of the installation