Selected Writings Cont...
Mikato Saito 1999 (Tokyo)

One pop girl' s group made a million in the music industry with their commercial pop-movie - it went on a road show last spring, and next season, it was sold as a video in the shops. This year, however, they had already stopped working as a group and started on their own solo careers. When an important person dies, the world has a moment to express its grief, though after a month the death will be forgotten in society as if nothing has happened before. The newest blockbuster SFX movies are made and flooded everywhere by the rapid endless development in technology that consists of perfectly analysed data from the past. The most brutal crime ever is frequently reported all over the world, and it is like the creation of world records won by athletes.

On the other hand, the world has now started compressing the history of human beings which is almost 2000 years too much. The Cyberspace environment, for example, the Internet, eventually turns an individuals brain into an Internet terminal. Information has become accessible in an instant anywhere in the world, and when it is not necessary any more you can get rid of it at the push of a button. Everything becomes compact and pragmatic in Cyberspace, and because of that we find it difficult to dream in out world. Digital technology has plundered mystery in the world and all events are categorised like data in a library. Through that step the world is decreasing more and more. It does not even miss capturing and dissolving the expanding history

You are the media - it is the only one way of not being sunk or disappearing amongst the digital age but to live as vivid individuals. It is important not to fit yourself into a stereotype but to make yourself as media which is not anyone or anyone else.

Simon Henwood is a good example of a talented artist who keeps creating work ideally in the idea of self-media art. His works are very much related to something very dark and black. Alice - is the art comic magazine that decodes life and death - icons in children' s picture books understood from a subcultural context. Poor Johnny Pumpkin - the story of a boy called Johnny Pumpkin whose skin is not strong enough against the UV light and so he only can play with his friends in the shadows. Purr - is a visual magazine that defines crime as a pop culture as if it is the same as pop music.

Yet, what makes Simon's ideas in his art new is that because he does not used disliked images of life and death. He successfully combines the darkness and hip together. Fuck, death and more pop! - these words, his internal slogan, are distinguishing Simon Henwood from hundreds of other underground artists. The sensitivity in his memory of his childhood also has an inevitable effect on his art world.

In the last three to four years, creators from my generation, tend to look back at their own childhood. For example, Hero from the children's TV programme in the '70s has become a popular character for TV commercials now. By looking at them, we can experience the same emotion and feeling. It is because what we already have in our memory that it gives us a stronger message/impact (excerpt from H magazine, March 1998 Japan).

This phenomenon is not only in the UK but also in the USA and Japan. For example, the fact that the young audience for Austin Powers all over the world, can share, understand and enjoy the humour of a parody of ' 007. This shows the fact of a common memory amongst young people whose experiences have been created by the media. It is a typical phenomenon in the decreasing
world. This art book, White Kitten, describes/shows the portraits of these mediarised young people captured in cool-downed brush strokes. It' s still the models who have an uneasy expression and anxiety in their eyes towards the world. We won' t be absorbed by the media! - young models' silent message, it is the best concept of the self-media artist, Simon Henwood.

Mikato Saito is editor-in-chief 'H' magazine. Tokyo, 30th July 1999.

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