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TOKYO

Diary 2.0 work among pieces at art festival

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Keeping a diary no longer needs to be a solitary activity. The popularity of social networking services, for example, has allowed people to post their thoughts for the world to see — which could be anything from gossip to fomenting revolution.

Quick to zero in on the trend, artist Christopher Baker explores how the current boom of such services has enabled the definition of what a diary is to diversify. At the upcoming Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions, he will present an installation work comprised of 5,000 video clips chosen from Facebook and YouTube.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the festival this year likens the role of films to that of diaries, at a time when global society is becoming increasingly digitized and video seems to be replacing handwritten letters as perhaps the most reliable and authentic way for people to memorialize their experiences.

Burkinabe filmmaker Michel Zongo, for one, presents a travelog called “Espoir Voyage,” in which the young documentarian heads for the Ivory Coast to solve a mystery surrounding the death of his older brother. But in a broader sense, this film also serves to describe and draw global attention to the postcolonial situation of West African nations.

The 15-day event provides visitors with an opportunity to directly communicate with participating artists through symposiums, lectures, concerts and talk sessions. Artists expected to take part include Akira Miyanaga, Ben Rivers and Takao Kawaguchi.

Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2013: Public Diary takes place at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Meguro-ku from Feb. 8-24 (except for Feb. 12 and 18). Admission is free. For more information, call 03-3280-0099, or visit www.yebizo.com.