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<nettime> interview with Keiko Suzuki
Josephine Bosma on Sat, 29 Nov 1997 19:24:57 +0100 (MET)


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<nettime> interview with Keiko Suzuki


Keiko Suzuki has appeared in the net.art picture quite recently,
though she has been around ever since last year, when she
appeared for the first time on a net.art hosts website. She is
the hostess and moderator of 7-11, the mailinglist for net.art
and related bussiness. Her role there has caused quite some
upheaval, as her identity is under constant 'attack' and subdued
to many hijackings.


 > - Where are you from
I am from small industrial town in the south of Japan. My
family owned some business so I could travel.

> - Since when are you an artist?
I have been an artist for six years.

> - Did you show your work in any offline galleries or spaces ever?
I have done a few things, but art spaces are very boring and
europe is not better that Japan. This East as you call it is
just fine for me. I tried speaking to Andreas Broekmann
about it, but he was too busy.

> - Did you visit Documenta and Hybrid Workspace?
Yes, just before it got into full swing. I didn't understand
why would people meet and then work instead of play or enjoy
their get-together in other ways. I like ice cream very much
for instance and have had lots of it in that town. (Hope you
don't think I am fat now)

> - If yes, what did you think of it
Its always worth remembering that form dominate content. So
it lost due to its documenta context. Vuk did a good comment
with his pirate Dx website; it'll be on a cd in poland
maybe. Did you know this ?

> - and why didn't you introduce yourself there?
I chatted to some people, but I don't feel so important to
introduce myself formally. Like I told you, I prefere other
places for introducing to people.

I met a strange man called Geert with a distinctive laugh.
He probably won't remember me though, He was more interested
in an Australian woman.

 > - Why this secrecy about your identity?
I don't think there is secrecy, probably more confusion. My
name is very common in Japan and also on The Net. I have
many home pages you know.

It is funny some people say that they are getting keiko
identification threats like if they were me.

Sure, some friends like to warm this up: Vuk was wearing
Keiko nametag in Dessau for instance.

> - How did you end up working with Ljudmila?
I went to Ars Electronica 2 years ago, which I found very
boring, where I bumped into the Ljudmila crew. They somehow
seemed to prefer mensch uber machinen; i liked the red hair
guy Luka. (keep your hands off him Natalie Jj)

> - Why do you prefer Ljudmila over other institutions?
I have attended many residency programmes, but they are
mostly boring with the exception of Ljudmila. Ljudmila have
the best working and playing environment and they don't call
it residency. They see it as art itself, which suits me.

> - Is net.art your prime working ground, or do you do other
things as well ?

My image fits well with net.art. I do do other things, but
people choose to ignor them: curators/ theorists/ audience
have their own agendas. Its quite nice to have hidden areas
of myself. Do you think a net.art audience would like
non-net.art. I doubt cause they want this and only this and
they think they're fast if net.art is fast.

> - How would you describe net.art? There has been quite some
> discussion about it, as you may know...
It is many things to many people. I like the immediacy and
transient nature of it, plus nobody controls my
distribution.

I think I know the discussion from the nettime context and
it seamed too dangerous to me. There were so many rough
corners in people's words; I was quiet then.

I only spoke to people in voice, lot of it is in what they
then posted.

> - what is the ultimate, most interesting aspect of net.art for you?
I would like to turn all baggage into software. Net.art
offers the techniques and institutional structures to do
this. Some day you will get mail about it.

> - You seduce innocent men via a website and make them ridiculous by
>showing their mail to you on the 7-11 mailinglist. What is the role
>of sex in your work?
As in real life, sex is a big motivator on The Net, so I
often use it as incentive or a disguise, but I sometimes
consider sexuality itself.

Concerning the men made ridiculous, they moslty make
themselves foolish. I don't find comments like 'Hey babe, I
want to fuck you!' very imaginative and therefore not sexy.

Sometimes there are some subtle messages sent though, which
I enjoy alot.

So the list is good for sexylife.org anyway.

> - As a female Asian artist, did you ever encounter problems on
>your travels or in working situations? (discrimination, sexism,
>racism) I ask this because Shu Lea Chang was talking about this
>not so long ago, after she had been to Documenta.
Fortunately, I fit often into the japanese female cyber punk
role: You can imagine me well in a shiny short dress and
large silver trainers, with the latest pocket technology.

Nobody harasses that, everybody just loves you and I don't
mind.

> - You seem to have been accepted very easily in the circle of
>net.artists and even are called the host of 7-11. How did you
>manage to enter this slightly inbred/closed group so easily?
I am not sure why. I met these people a few years ago and we
got along well.

I sometimes suspect that I am useful for them but they are
useful to me also.

Also they're the nicest crowd around; did you meet alexei or
jodi ? They do things and get famous, while others only get
famous.

> - Do you see any difference in art on the net from the States
>and from Europe? Is there a difference between these and art
>on the net from Japan?
There's no good net.art in states for me, or from japan:
there's just good or bad. Although, I like very much this
homework in california; it's maybe as sexy as californian
ideology. Do you know what I mean ?

> - What are your plans for next year? Will you reveal yourself to
> a larger audience on conferences or festivals for instance?
Maybe a little, but my agent always reminds me that over
exposure is death for an artist. I will do work though and
go festivals: that's for sure.

> - Is there anything you would like to add to this interview,
> something I did not ask you about?
Its not true that I have had an affair with heath: I do like
him, but nothing else.

-urls-

http://www.ljudmila.org/7-11

http://www.irational.org/pleasur/fucking.html

http://www.nagoya-seiryo-chs.nishi.nagoya.jp/kids/8212/H16.HTM



*

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