[-empyre-] "Chindogu" and re-design

Margarete Jahrmann margarete.jahrmann at zhdk.ch
Wed Nov 25 03:02:43 EST 2009

dear friends,
dear machiko {/wave we met at a Vienna Muqua panel},

your nice submission spurs on to participate again- some time gone
by since the game art thread...

please let me kindly add, that of course the Chindogu as described
by Kenji Kawakami and his "ten tenets of chindogu" was key for the
founding of the "Ludic Society" - elaborated in issue one of the
Ludic Society Magazine magazine in 2006.

Practice, inspired by this concept, were play-objects, we called -
GoApe chindogus...

>From my point of view it is not crucial, if it is a Japanese concept
or a European.I also think it is a bit over exaggerated to say it is
widely used in England - as far as I know the art academia scene
from my own PhD studies and teaching experiences in the field of
Ludic arts and interfaces.
The Chindogu, from my point of view is an aesthetic and political
programm, connecting traditions of 'patphysics, object orientation
and conceptual arts
- and most importantly can be used to introduce "uselessness" -
connected to play - as subversive statement, at least in the
European interpretation of the idea.
and we make jokes on it ;)

"In the logics of the imaginative Roger Caillois (1973) suggests the
mollusc as soft conception model, which is obviously an adequate
frame of expérience for the hereby proposed proceedings of Ludics.
The mollusc mood styled smooth new objets célibataires trigger
electronic and ´pataphysic poetic glitches, as a followup series of
the ludic society gamebased search artifacts of “GoApe-Chindogus”."

Title: GoApe Chindogus. Nouveau Objects célibataire. New Bachelor
Machines, 2005-2008. 'Pata-physical Circuitboard things,
Classification: conceived semi-synthetic object/ techno-affordance
Date: Autumne 2005. Technique: Printed circuit boards, electronics
URL: http://www.ludic-society.net/play/objects.php
Collaborators: Max Moswitzer
Presented / Exhibited: 2005 Neue Galerie Graz, 2006 ArcoMadrid, 2007
Conteijner Gallery Zagreb, 2008 Laboral Gijon
Jahrmann, M. (2008), ‘Morales du Joujou: Ludic wonder objects’,
Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 6: 2.. Intellect,
Jahrmann, M. (2009). Plays on a metamorphosis of Contemporary
Electronic toys. In: Coded Cultures, Exploring Creative Emergences.
Ed. MUMOK Vienna. pp 23-27
Jahrmann, M. (2008), ‘Play Fetish. The Portable Prison’. In: Jörg
Huber, Philipp Stoellger (Hgg.): Gestalten der Kontingenz. Edition
Voldemeer, Zürich. Springer Wien New York.

marguerite charmante

Machiko Kusahara schrieb:
> Hi all,
> As Renate introduced me in her email, I am currently in LA.
> During the weekend as we cycled around in our neighborhood, my partner  
> found a book "99 More  un-useless Japanese Inventions", a sequel of  
> "Chindogu" at a yard sale and bought it for 50 cents. What a bargain  
> price!
> It is funny, because we have been recently talking about the strange  
> "Japanese" inventions by this author, in relation to questions I  
> almost always get when I give a presentation on Device Art, the  
> project I have been working with my colleague artists and engineers.
> The strange thing is that although the term "chindogu" is not part of  
> our language (while we understand what it means by seeing the Chinese  
> characters) it seems to be now widely accepted as a Japanese concept.
> These inventions were originally introduced in English. So, until  
> recently (until the author started showing up on variety shows on  
> Japanese TV) almost no one in Japan knew about it.
> A typical reaction of Japanese when asked about the concept from  
> "foreigners" is: "What is that? I hope you don't think we are really  
> using such crazy things! This is a joke!)
> Recently I heard that in UK this book is widely used in design  
> education, as a key concept to "re-design" things, i.e. to design  
> "impossible-to-use" things.
> Playfulness is a very important part of Japanese culture, but I still  
> feel rather uncomfortable when I hear people praise "chindogu" as a  
> representation of Japanese creativity.
> Each time when asked I need to explain what are the differences  
> between "chindogu" and our Device Art.
> Yes, we design things that are not "practical" from coorporate point  
> of view, but we are not joking.
> Machiko Kusahara
> _______________________________________________
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> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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