BACKYARD / 2000 - 2001

Video Installation with three, 15 minutes video loops with sound

The material for the video project BACKYARD is an extensive collection of footage of the lives and activities routinely documented in and around my parents’ backyard in Japan. Included subjects are my parents’ pets, flowers and plants, birds and insects, and the natural surroundings of the backyard, all videotaped with a hand-held digital home video camera. The hours of footage has been edited isto three separate fifteen-minute loops and simultaneously projected on three walls in a confined space to create a panorama of scenes from the backyard. The project had partly been motivated by my mulling over the method or medium of (art)"making" in an environment where an idea of "studio" hardly existed. I was also curious about the seeming contradiction between the democratization of creative activities as a result of our extensive access to technology such as digital camcorders, and the prevalent sense of function or purpose that accompanies these gadgets, as if next to toasters. (i.e. a camcorder is there for documenting a wedding, or pets - one of the most popular subjects for "amateur" videographers in Japan) Perhaps cute, perhaps grotesque, the larger-than-life multiple-projection of the scenes from the backyard loops endlessly, overlapping the mundane existence of both the subject matter and the maker of the video. Yet something, a small surprise may happen during the course of this mundane-ness, if one considers oneself lucky.