Koichiro Yamamoto

Japanese | English

Double Vision

From “here” to “somewhere else”

Tape runs across the city, put on electrical poles, walls and tunnels at 2m above sea level. The line could be chest-high or waist-high, varying according to the topographic relief.

Walking around the town, “here” and “there” come to unite, evoking something far away. Viewers become aware of the specific totality and enormous space.

The height of the tape (2m above sea-level) indicates what the sea level will be 100 years from now, which will have risen due to global warming. That means, in 100 years the places we are now standing will be completely under the sea. It has been a long time since the issue of global warming appeared in the media for the first time, yet I wonder how many of us accept global warming as our own problem.

I think what art is required to do in the world of flooding information is to compress the information so that our sensory apparatus can recognize it, and to present the real world as a tangible sphere.

The project was conceived as an apparatus that would enable us to feel the problems of society. It is significant that the project took place in Kawasaki Ward, the lowest area in Kawasaki city which, more than 10 years ago, declared it would tackle environmental problems such as global warming on a regional level, manifesting in a plan for global environmental conservation called “Kawasaki city’s Challenge to global warming”.

We could say “Horizontal Series 2005” was a device created to evoke a relationship between “here” and “somewhere else”.
We trace something which belongs outside of “here” through something “here”, trying to draw it towards ourselves.

The reflective tape used in the project is a common sort for safety use and found in traffic signs. Yet when it is put in a new context, it acquires a new ironical meaning. It becomes a warning signal to the earth and all humanity. Another irony can found in the fact that the tape glitters beautifully at night in the headlights of cars, which emit exhaust gas while running; one of the causes of global warming.

When one minor sensibility resonates with others, and with the aggregation of others society changes a little. By repeating the process, even such a personal art activity becomes socialized, aspiring to walk out of the individual and become universal.

Koichiro Yamamoto 2005