diese ist aus tokion 1997 no.3 / happy - magazin entnommen. die herausgeber des maga- zins sitzen in tokyo. mir gefiel besonders die eigenwillige zusammensetzung der daten.

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>Manuel Rocha, manroit (at) - Mexico, 2002-10-02
""Thousands of bicycles circulate through the streets of Tokyo every day. It is quite remarkable to observe their disordered behavior as well as the existence of great chaos when these locomotive vehicles are parked (many of them fall onto the ground, others end up being used as trash cans, etc). Yet, it is even more striking to discover that many bicycles are abandoned in the city.
A mystery surrounds this: do some people steal bicycles to get home after having missed the last night train? Or, do people just leave bicycles on the streets, because they will buy a new one?
The truth is that in the midst of conti- nuous and organic movement, there are many bicycles that suddenly stop their daily transit and stay parked for weeks or months in the same spot.
The police occasionally take some of these abandoned vehicles and pile them in a corner, or place them in an a special bicycle parking lot, but in spite of this, thousands of bicycles are becoming trash in Tokyo.
These transportation devices have the potential of being used, and yet, they have suddenly gained a state of entropy, a state of complete and chaotic stillness.

First World countries like Japan, are countries where people consume in excess and throw away things which could be fixed or reused in less deve- loped countries. And then, in Japan you have the absurdity of a law that forbids people from taking and reusing abandoned bicycles.

A natural living rhythm exists in organic life, as when we go to sleep every night, but then get up the next day to become active. However, what would happen if we suddenly fall into a state of coma? A clear drama is produced when we have potential stasis and movement within the same being, but one of the two stops working.

A not very pleasant adventured happened to me while riding an old used bicicle trying to get in time for the last train in a suburb in Tokyo. One night, coming out from an Izakaya-japanese traditional bar- I saw a very old and shitty bicycle in the street with out a lock and tried to ride it to the train station, it was late at night, the bycicle was so old and full of trash bags, that I couldnt even ride it for 50 meters so I threw it away again, and kept running to get the last train, and then 5 policemen came out from nowhere and took me and the bicycle to the police station, once there a policeman translator came there and said, why did you took the bicycle and then left it again?, and I said, I took it because it was trash, and the translator did not understand the word trash, and I was trying to get to the trains station to get the last train, so I made a design of a trash can and he understood, then he said, I understand, and then he went down to see the bicycle, when he came back he said, Oh, I see, but this bicycle is not trash, is almost trash. Then they got my digital print and address, asked me to beg for pardon to the police chief of the station, and said they would let me go this time, and abandoned me in the street at 1 AM with no money to take a costly taxi (50 dollars) to get to my house, so I walked afraid and pissed off for 13 kilometers in order to get to my home. After, I did not dare to collect abandoned bicycles for my installation, afraid to be thrown out of Japan, and so I had to ask my friends to lend me their not much used old bycicles for the installation I did later.

The purpose of this sound installation which I showed in Tokyo, Japan at the SURGE Gallery (in November 2000) was to confront these two opposed paradoxical states (still bicycles against moving sounds), hoping to spell out entropy from these agonizing beings and giving them new potential energy and hopefulness for survival.

You can see more material about my trip in Japan at in the exhibition off beat japan.


Manuel Rocha