Photoday is today.

And the word of today is ELECTRONICALS

Vassar Observatory
Academic Quad, 2am.
Sander’s Physics Building, Vassar
Chow's Piece, and a sun-bulb
Stuffed buddy made by .tiff. Check out her blog here.
I went to the woods to write, but got distracted and took some pictures of things I saw
woods and snow
Then I took a massive crap in my water-less toilet that burns your detritus like some sort of futuristic machine. Luckily, I could stand the smell long enough to take a picture:
My Burning Shit

The Sad Story of Nasubi – Japanese “Living off Contests”

nasubiA certain sad story about a wild japanese gameshow is popping up on few blogs and I thought I’d share. In January of 1998, a Japanese comedian named Nasubi participated in a reality TV show in Japan in which he was stripped of everything and sent into a room. The place was empty save a stack of magazines and postcards. To survive, he had to win one million yen (about $9,000) by mailing in contest entries. Everything he eats must also be won through the mail. You can read the full story here.

So what was the point? The article concludes

…it was to test the thesis that contests had become so ubiquitous that it would be possible to live entirely on what one had won in them. This was called kensho seikatsu (Living off contests).

I think the psychological trauma this caused is the most horrible bit. The most disturbing part reads

Nasubi’s first ordeal ended in December. The thing that put him over the top was, of course, a bag of rice. Unfortunately, he didn’t know that he had won and continued writing postcards. That night, he was paid another visit by the producer, who crept in with Christmas crackers to wake him up in the middle of the night. There was nothing congratulatory in the producer’s manner as he refused to answer Nasubi’s questions, and continued setting off the Christmas Cracker’s until Nasubi realized that he had successfully completed his challenge. Nasubi was curled up into a foetal position, and seemed unused to talking to other people.

Nasubi’s website is a bit hard to read, but you can find it here.
For an unhealthy dose of some other exciting and less depressing Japanese shows, mash here.
I think it would now be appropriate to recommend a highly relevant book to the issues (Japan and other things we don’t understand about them) at hand:


Love and Sex with Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships
On another related note (It’s Japanese tangent night, didn’t you hear?) take a peak at Kimiko Yoshida’s Futuristic Brides {link}

Michel Gondry Picks a few Youtube videos out of his nose [video]

So it appears that Michael Gondry picked a few hot Youtube clips straight out of his nose in that french video artist sort of way (so it’s ok.) I think it’s grrrreat.

Here are his picks

anxiety attack – jeffrey lewis…

MIT sketching…

Emile Cohl – Mobilier Fid?┬«le –

Ornette Coleman and Mark Kostabi…

Pussy On The Mat – a ditty by Ivor Cutler…

Re: Michel Gondry Solves a Rubiks Cube with his Nose…

Max Roach at his best…

game over…

Chomsky dispels 9/11 conspiracies with sheer

Devendra Banhart – A Ribbon…

fats waller – your feet’s too big…

Press and Photo Practice

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20080116_alc_a01_022.jpg, originally uploaded by Sundogg.

I’ve been seeing so many self-aware photos recently…framed in a way that whatever cameras present play an important role.

The Reuters photo blog has a post about it, but mostly from the perspective of the poor cameramen unwittingly caught in the frame. {link}

Graphic Novels, Best American Comics +Shooting War +Persepolis

The ‘Best American Comics’ collection of 2007 is mind blowing. It’s very significant that this is only the second ‘Best American Comics’ series. Comics are edging towards a more legitimate space and I think it’s exciting. (for more in Houghton Mifflin’s ‘Best American’ series, mash here)

If you still think comics are just Batman and Manga check this out.
I’m so amazed how easy it is to go months without seeing a single mention of a significant graphic novel. There’s a huge assortment of very moving and intriguing stories. [list here] I think we all have have Art Spiegelman to thank for Maus I and II. It jumpstarted the non-fiction aspect of graphic novels and the work of the primo practicioner of first-hand comic storytelling Joe Sacco is indebted to Spiegelman.

Check out some interviews with Sacco, the ‘innovator of modern comic journalism’ at the Village Voice and at LA weekly.

I finished “Shooting War” by Anthony Lappe over Winter vacation. It was a little too flashy for my taste. The story tries to address what goes wrong when live video blogging/war/media politics converge. (we can already live videoblog) The use of real photos from Iraq as backgrounds is pretty well done though, and the portrayal of Dan Rathers circa 2020 is hilarious. It’s a quick read, but sensationalizes everything. You know, in that anti-corporate McDonalds arches on U.S. tanks sort of way.

In related news, Persepolis, a comic by Marjane Satrapi about growing up during the Iranian revolution, was made into a movie, but I heard it’s not that fantastic. I have yet to see it. It’s no Frank Miller, but it provides a very honest perspective of the Iranian revolution of 1979, and what it meant for those actually in Iran.