I saw this video by Daito Manabe at the Tokyo Art Fair today: thirty-six electrode-wired faces twitched in time to a modernistic percussion soundtrack. It was a symphony of facial tics, orchestrated in such a way that each face was “played” like an instrument, with whole sections grimacing and blinking in counterpoint. I kind of hate to admit it, but it was totally mesmerizing. I don’t think any faces were actually harmed in the making of this video, because at the end, they all sort of cracked up with the same kind of weird relief you have after stumbling off an especially hair-raising roller coaster ride.
Being friends with artist Daito Manabe might be a bit hair-rasing – here is a video he made, testing the technique on his friends (electric stimulus to face – test4) before he made the piece I saw at Tokyo Art Fair. If you’re in Tokyo in March and want to go, info is on their website.
Read a novel set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!