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[Nettime-ro] FW: <nettime> Interview with Toshiya Ueno
Alexandru Patatics on Wed, 26 Sep 2001 13:02:10 +0200 (CEST)


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[Nettime-ro] FW: <nettime> Interview with Toshiya Ueno



Urban Techno Tribes and the Japanese Recession
Interview with Toshiya Ueno
By Geert Lovink

Toshiya Ueno is a Japanese sociologist, media theorist and critic. In May
1990, when I was introduced to Toshiya in Tokyo during my first visit to
Japan, I could not quite make out who he was. His English was poor and so
was my Japanese. I had heard about his institutional involvement and his
career as a popular columnist for fashion, design and computer magazines. In
1992, when he came to Amsterdam for the first time we slowly got to know
each other and by the mid-nineties our friendship was established. He kept
coming back to Europe and became a regular visitor of the Ars Electronica
festival, reporting for Japanese magazines. At that point Toshiya's English
skills increased dramatically and a fierce dialogue about media theory
issues and the state of new media culture worldwide started between us. A
few times a years Toshiya would stay in the tiny guest room of my former
Amsterdam house. He gradually left the official Japanese new media business
and started to investigate Amsterdam's free media scene, drugs culture and
the (Goa) techno trance scene in particular. Through the lively refugee
tribes from former Yugoslavia based in Amsterdam Toshiya came in contact
with techno-trance rave scenes in Croatia where he made his debut as a DJ
and TJ (text jockey), a passion he would continue in Japan. Our
collaboration would take us from Internet conferences in Europe, a annual
five years long teaching project at Osaka's Inter Media Institute (IMI), a
common trip to Taipei to co-producing a television show about Amsterdam's
subculture. In this e-mail exchange we have focussed only on a few aspects
of Toshiya's work: the notions of urban tribes and digital diaspora, the use
of technology in subcultures and the need in Japan to cross boundaries and
start a dialogue and exchange between various scenes.

GL: In retrospect, how would you describe the nineties in Japan? It seems
such a strange period, where not that much seems to have happened. It more
looked like a never-ending mild recession. A sweet stagnation without brutal
Thatcherism. No crucial decisions were made. No drastic cuts. No equivalent
of the fall of the Berlin wall. No uprisings. There weren't even dramatic
political and economic changes following the 1997 Asian financial crisis and
countless bank scandals. The cultural climate seemed dominated by a ongoing
consumerism, yet in a less ecstatic way compared to the bubble years of the
mid-late eighties. A sophisticated numbness and joyful innocence could be
found amongst youngsters. How could this odd mix of technological speed and
pop fashion admits an ongoing recession result in such an amazing soft
stagnation? Please tell me if I am wrong. If this model is running out now
do you see any signs of discontent or even protest?

TU: Your description may be right until mid 90s, the days just after the
collapse of the speculative and 'bubble' economy. But around 1999 a drastic
storm of 'neo-liberalism' set in. Ordinary people were seemingly not aware
of this crisis in their everyday life. However, if you turned your eyes to
the micro level you could find lots of symptoms of a collapsing corporate
welfare state. There have been many lay-offs, 'restructuring' of businesses
and various cases of 'privatization' of the public sector such as museums,
institutions and state universities. Until 1995 people did not feel these
measures and were by and large unaware of the coming crisis. Since 3 or 4
years however we are facing a 'second hand' version of 'populism' in the
UK-style. Politicians have been quite influential in this process. It did
not matter whether his/her political stand point were left or right, liberal
or conservative, global thinking or nationalistic. These days novelists and
TV stars are capable of winning an election and become president of a local
prefecture or win a seat in the national parliament. Some of them are
significant figures in Japanese subculture.
During the recession the cultural or expressive sector of society was deeply
damaged. It has become difficult to find a publishing house for books that
have a theoretical or political content. I was saddened with the absence of
uprisings or riots, yes. But I also have to say there have been numerous
revolutions, even though most of them came from conservative and reactionary
side. 'Revolution' is the very nature of neo-liberalism. Japanese society is
following the same process which the UK and US experienced earlier. On the
other hand one has to see the singularity of the Japanese 90's. We could for
instance point at the transversality (a notion of Deleuze/Guattari) and
singularity of the economical, cultural and even political crisis.

GL: Is it useful to integrate the notions of subculture and media as
developed by UK cultural studies into your research about Japan?

TU: Cultural studies UK-style and its versions in other Asian regions are of
importance to me. I do not want to reduce cultural studies to political and
theoretical reflections on Japan's imperial and colonial past, neither to a
sociology of popular culture. In the UK, cultural studies has also been
tactical criticism and a theoretical weapon against populist neo-liberal
politics within the everyday life. Cultural studies were not just an
analytical tool, it was also related to real micro and cultural politics
against the populism sprouting of neo-liberalism. I am referring here to
do-it-yourself, Rock Against Racism, the movement against Criminal Justice
Act and so on.
Until recently I have also been thinking why we did not have protest
movements in Japan. But now I am more interested in doing something real and
respond to the seemingly invisible and intangible crisis. We can make
something happen in this situation. Although neo-liberalism is really shit,
it is also true that it can also generate forms of resistance against
itself. A few years ago, in Germany and Amsterdam, I came across the rave
party phenomena. I discovered music-based subcultures even though rock had
long been a part of my life. Rave culture has got something for me. Rave is
based on hedonistic desire and fun, but at the same time it can also be
connected with environmental awareness. It is a movement in itself with its
own anarchist politics. For instance pirate radio is often used these days
to broadcast from rave parties.
In the early 90's I used to be a critic of contemporary art, music, film and
all kinds of expressive cultures. Those were the so-called postmodern days.
At that time the Japanese economy was still a powerful force. The
speculative 'bubble' economy needed, even preferred, 'speculative' essays
and articles. Under those circumstances I wrote a lot of papers and essays
for a myriad of magazines. However, when I came across rave I realized that
music was the most important thing for me and my critical interpretive
ability was most suitable for the music and its cultural and political
implications. That's when I stopped writing about other fields such as new
media theory and the arts. Within the rave movement I found a lot of
elements I was interested in and involved with before, for instance, free
radio, techno music, ecology movement, quasi-squat activities, anarchism,
dissident politics, and also visual designs of party gear--decorations which
are related to contemporary and electronic arts. All the elements I had been
interested in so far were coming together in rave. I started to elaborate my
own theory based on everyday experiences.

GL: Do you think that techno culture is part of the leisure industry to
forget daily boredom?

TU: A party is not a festival or carnival to forget the routine of the
everyday life. A party is a critical part within the everyday. Sometimes
people think of a rave as a unusual event which is opposite to the everyday
life as a 'temporary autonomous zone' (Hakim Bey). For some scholars raves
are conceived and interpreted as disorder, chaos, a marginal experience,
frequently depending on communitas and liminality arguments as developed by
Victor Turner. Theoretically speaking these arguments are rather banal.
Raves or parties are not liminal or marginal. One can bring in elements such
as the gift economy, open minded communication, abandoning the sexual
'picking up,' environmental consciousness and so on. Even though it seems
that rave and party can occur beyond the everyday life, beyond the border
between order and disorder, the usual and unusual. Because of my involvement
in rave culture people in liberal and leftist academic circles in Japan have
started to criticize me. They say: 'Toshiya changed a lot. He abandoned
social movements, cyber cultures and media politics.' But that's not true.
These days I am much more involved in cultural politics, the politics of the
everyday life than ever before. Through rave culture I am encountering a
variety of urban tribes.

GL: Aren't you overestimating the political dimension of the rave phenomena?

TU: Most of the ravers are apolitical and lack consciousness about political
issues. For instance, they don't care about Japan's colonial and imperial
past. On the other hand it is very interesting that some of young trance
tribes are negotiating with capital or globalization in their own way when
they have to manufacture fashion gear. They don't have a political agenda
but they somehow have tactics to survive or to make money in their
relationship with Japan's former colonies such as Korea and Taiwan. They
don't deny their eventual political agency concerning topics such as ecology
and the pirate (gift) economy. As a dissident sociologist I would like to
construct a political practice with these urban rave tribes in order to
develop tribal solidarity in Inter-East connections through various
subcultures and build bridges between Japan, Korea, Taiwan and even China.
In other words, rather than being crazy about a reflection and redemptive
consciousness on the Japanese colonial and imperial past, I would like to
create something positive together with ravers, urban tribes and also youths
and people in ex-(or post) colonial Asia. I have to say that the leftist
'authentic' and 'liberal' position in Japanese academia is failing to grasp
such alternative possibilities. They tend to be too 'moralistic' by seeing
history and past only in a regrettable way. I am sure that there is a
similar pattern in former Yugoslavia. If the Croats for instance insist on
their 'most-victim status' then you can not invent something positive or
productive in tribal solidarity with others, for example with Bosnians or
Serbs.

GL: What do you think of the current I-mode fashion in Japan? Is there any
reason for Westerners to be excited or even jealous about the Japanese
wireless craze and DoCoMo in particular?

TU: Certainly all of my students and the party tribes are all using mobile
phones to communicate, make appointments and sometimes to get a bit of info.
But I can't find any reason why westerners should be jealous about their
Japanese counterparts. Concerning tactical use of mobile gear I can point to
more interesting and crazy usage in Europe. Nowadays even for most dissident
punks and squatters handies are really helpful technological tools. Some DJs
and organizers in Japan started to distribute tracks via wireless networks.
At the same time they are also are thinking about how to hook up mobile
phones with MIDI instruments. Even though all this supports capitalist
telecom corporations, these experiments could be really revolutionary.

GL: How would you describe Internet use amongst young people in Japan? It is
being said that they're not so interested. They are much more crazy about
wireless applications and more protected, intimate BBS systems. Is the
English language an obstacle to communicate? Cybercafes and public terminals
aren't that popular compared to for instance Australia, Asia or Latin
America.

TU: Japanese youth are not so crazy about Internet, as far as I see,
certainly not my students and the tribes around me. The aim and the way of
using the Internet are quite different. They are all the time net-surfing
but mainly visit Japanese sites. They are also quite skillful using
computers to edit sounds and moving pictures. The web design scene is also
powerful but always lacks  content, especially political and theoretical
one. So relatively it is true that they prefer 'stand alone using computers'
over the Internet. There are only very few students who visit English based
sites. Language is still an obstacle, also for me. There are not so much
cybercafes in Japan because most of the people already have their own
computers in the office or at home. Of course tribes in the party scene are
more active on the Net in order to organize parties, wary of local
authorities and police to find out.

GL: Where does the 'urban tribe' concept come from? Don't you see it as a
set back to go back to such an anthropological term, so close to ethnicity
where there no longer is any ethnicity? Why would rave cultures be best
described as 'urban tribes'?

TU: The term 'tribe' was not invented by myself. For this I have to go back
to Japan of 1955. One author published a novel titled Season of the Sun. It
was a bestseller. It told the story of hedonistic subculture youth and
caused a sensation in those days. A film was based on the novel.
Increasingly that type of youth style out of the novel could be found
everywhere because youth were trying to imitate the style and fashion
described in Season of the Sun. Of course, this novel was inspired by the
real youth of these days. And then a term was invented: 'sun tribe'. People
used to call the dissident, hedonistic youth during the fifties the sun
tribe (taiyo-zoku). After that in each period, 60s, 70s, 80s, mainstream
press and parent cultures always used the term zoku to describe unknown
youth subcultures. For example otaku-zoku, crystal-tribes (Japanese yuppies
in 80s) or the speed bike tribes.
Japanese are crazy about the generation gap phenomena, perhaps because we
don't have visible markers amongst people. 5 or 6 years difference is
already important for people. Japanese youth are very sensitive about age.
Since the 90s this symptom is slowly changing. Maybe the otaki-zoku was the
last tribe in Japan. Because people tried to use another term, kei, it is
very difficult to translate - system or series. So, for instance,
Shibuya-kei, Shibuya-series in English. Shibuya is the name of the district
of Tokyo, one of youth centers in the city. So people would like to call the
music genre and some fashion based on the youth in Shibuya, Shibuya-kei.
Nobody these days is using the term 'tribe' anymore. But at the same time
there are a lot using the term tribe or tribal in flyers for club and rave
party to connote new types of music genres and specific atmosphere.
Another interesting point is that the author of the Season of the Sun later
became a politician in the parliament in the LDP - the dominant
liberal-democratic party. He is now governor of the Tokyo metropolis and
perhaps the only mayor who rejected to give the human rights to gay people
or to give rights to foreigners to be able to vote. He's a real fascist or
at least can be called a fanatic nationalist and historical revisionist. He
is constantly denying Japan's colonial violent past. He once called Asians
'third people'. Japanese would be first, Americans and the westerners
second. According to him people from other Asian countries such as migrant
workers or students should be discriminated. This is a really crazy
situation. Why did this man become so powerful? Because people supported
him. In that way zoku and the story of tribes is not only based on
sub-cultural studies, it is deeply related to Japanese politics. Recently
the son of Prime Minister Koizumi, who is also populist, neo-liberal,
started appearing as an actor. Despite of the poor result, he gave an
audition with the title '21st century Yujiro' (Ishihara's dead brother).
Such phenomena are interesting, ironical and crucial for Japanese populism
and conservative cultural politics.
In Japan the term 'tribe' has had a specific meaning. In the late 40's in
Osaka, the second biggest city in Japan, there were squat villages, squat
towns of Korean residents. They were very much discriminated. In those
villages there was a lot of scrap of steel underground. They tried to dig up
this scrap and get money by selling it. But this scrap was the national
property of Japanese national government. And then the conflict between the
police and the Korean residents started. It made a sensation in those days.
These Korean residents called themselves the 'Apache tribe.' They compared
their position with native-American. Numerous authors and novelists wrote
the novel featuring this 'Apache tribe.' One of them was an SF called
Japanese Apache Tribe, written by Sakyo Komatsu, in which Apache tribe
appeared as a mutant having iron body something like cyborg or T-1000 in
Terminator 2. It is a well-known fact that this novel influenced the
underground cult movie Testuo. I am sure that some SF freaks or club techno
tribes regard this film as a legendary piece.

GL: You have been working with the 'digital diaspora' concept. Could you
explain this? To what extend would you support a withdrawal into the Net?
Could we speak of productive monads and where does this inward looking
become eccentric and obsessive otaku-ism? You have been critical of the
figure of the otaku and the Western fascination for this so-called typical
Japanese obsessive behavior of the 'otaku' data collector. Where does a
sub-culture in Japan have possibilities for resistance, and at what point do
'temporary autonomous zones' transform into consumer-driven lifestyles?

TU: By using the term digital diaspora I don't mean the disappearance of
human lives and bodies into the Net. Rather, I use it to talk about a
diaspora within the Net (or generated through the Net). Historically
diaspora cultures can be found around the world. Some theoreticians working
on the diaspora topic have used the term of web or network. The term
'diaspora web' was introduced by Paul Gilroy. These days this terminology is
no longer a mere metaphor but rather a sort of allegory for the reality
itself to which we are faced up. We are now faced with broader cyberspaces
through network technology. Not only due to computers but also via radio or
telephones the information 'seas' have been expanding. Not only through the
power of Internet, actually some refugees and people in diaspora began to
keep their lives in diaspora through video distributions or computer
networks and other electronic technologies. One could mention refugee
communities in Perth (Australia) coming from Croatia or Macedonia. They are
using VCR technology to maintain the relationship to their original place.
And also one can put as example, some independent media in Amsterdam to
support people coming from ex-Yugoslavia, (as described in Dona Kolar-Panov,
Video, War and the Diasporic Imagination, Routledge,1997). Information
technology and telecommunications are developing the diaspora notion into
new directions.

Diaspora in general is connected to moving and migration forced by some
power relations including economic, political, religious and so on. To
describe the things and the cultural elements moved, like dreadlocks,
T-shirts, and music etc, one can appropriate the term cultural diaspora to
interpret such a circulation. Certainly diaspora is a sort of cultural
traveling and causes traveling theory, but it should not be confused with
globalization in general or postmodern pastiche eclecticism which is based
on the 'anything goes' parameter. But on the other hand it is becoming
difficult to maintain the dichotomy between real refugees, illegal migrants,
asylum people, 'suffered diaspora,' ravers, hooligans, travelers, tourists
and the 'cultural diaspora.' It is becoming difficult to distinguish forced
settlement and voluntary migration, dwelling and traveling in a rigid way.
We, I mean critic or intellectuals in the 'first world', are in between the
'suffered' and the 'observer'. Diaspora is crucial tactical tool and even
medium or space to analyze this situation.

GL: What does the diaspora condition got to do with the specific Japanese
'otaku' phenomena, the manic collectors of instance records, magazines and
games?

TU: In the past I have criticized the term otaku but not the otaku people
themselves. I am criticizing the cultural condition of otaku and its
political context. I myself am an otaku of sorts, being crazy about Japanese
animations and psychedelic trance techno. I am skeptical about Japanese art
based on otaku-ism. Western people are fascinated by otaku culture and
that's why it can be marketable. Some even try to emphasize the cultural
traditions and history of otaku. They say Japanese culture has always been
dominated by collectors infomania. For them Japanese history has been
postmodern and eclectic right from the start.

GL: Where does the difficulty to communicate between scenes, movements and
disciplines within Japan come from? It is striking to see how many useless
frictions and anxieties there are, between artists, scholars, institutions,
activists. This makes it rather difficult, I suppose, to set up networks in
Japan. The only communication which seem to work are the very private,
intimate channels on certain bulletin board systems (BBS). There seems to be
a form of competition, not related to work, money or income. This fact has
made it difficult to set up a half-way independent and interesting new media
arts scene in Japan. Japanese we get to meet in the West do not collaborate
in Japan. It seems much easier for them to meet in New York, Amsterdam or
Paris then in their own country. Do you believe that this is simply cultural
(as a 'second nature') and therefore next to impossible to change? Isn't it
interesting that this overdose of communication devices hasn't had a
significant impact on this specific aspect of Japanese society? Or should we
view this observation as yet another culturalism?

TU: Well, I don't want to say that there is particular inability to
communicate in Japan. I am actually highly skeptical about any form of
culturalism or cultural essentialism. But to be honest, I have also have
felt the useless frictions amongst the different urban tribes in Japan on
numerous occasions. I am fed up with that situation. That is the reason why
I am frequently staying in Europe. Maybe others also feel like that. For
instance, in Japan, media artists are generally not interested in politics
and especially not in Japanese politics. On the other hand, most of the
leftist intellectuals have never heard of media art or media activism.
Tetsuo Kogawa and Toshimaru Ogura are great exceptions of course. The former
was founder of free radio movement in Japan and still very active for
experiments of streaming and developing critical media theory. The latter is
radical media activist and theorist organizing anti-wiretap and anti-echelon
movement. In fact, I myself have not met them since long time. Tokyo is too
huge to see each other. Toshimaru is living far away from Tokyo. There is a
deep gap. Of course this gap is both cultural and political. Cultural
studies is recently becoming popular in leftist and liberal academic
circles. But most scholars reduce cultural studies to a method for
criticizing the notion of the nation state. Their arguments have never
reached younger generations or urban subcultural tribes on the streets or
scenes such as hip hop or rave, even though they could easily be against the
nation state and its cultural hegemony.
Take the example of LETS (local trading system) in Japan. That's a popular
concept at the moment amongst critical intellectuals. Koujin Karatani and
partly Akira Asada, who always prefers the 'safety zone' rather than the
real 'critical space,' are at the moment involved in organizing NAM, the New
Associatist Movement, which is a network of LETS in Japan. I support LETS,
its theory and especially its practices. Being one of the ravers and
organizers of small illegal parties I respect every form of gift-economy
style and reciprocal symbolic economy. So why don't I join NAM? Despite of
Akira and Koujin's nasty and cynical gestures towards social movements
during 80's, it is good to see what they are doing. But there is an old type
of politics at work within NAM. Karatani and others are putting out the
theory, and then people can do LETS activities according to the theorists'
system. Volunteers work within the structure elaborated by intellectuals and
theoreticians. This in my opinion points at an outdated and unnecessary
contrast between theory and practice. Their classifications on some parts in
the movement are very ironic. They call their small groups 'kei' meaning
series or system, in contrast to tribe. So you have bunka-kei (culture
series), lilon-kei (theory series), undou-kei (movement series) and so on.
It sounds like a bad joke to the subcultural urban tribes. Karatani and
Asada's take on social movements is to ignore and neglect the organic and
transversal relationships amongst different scenes.
What I am trying to do is setting up small pirate radio stations and flea
market activities during open air raves. Indeed, there is a difference in
understanding between tribes such as rave and punk and hip-hop. But that's a
much better situation than the classic binary opposition between theory and
practice. Karatani labeled NAM as a new type of communism. Probably that's
right. But he does not think about the people's reaction. By using the term
communism NAM is losing interesting people and tribes. Their way of
communication is using classic leftist language in an almost tragic-comic
way. I am familiar with it but most people are not. I wished NAM and various
urban tribes and subcultural scenes would shake hands and build an affective
and effective alliance. For that vision a cultural politics would be
crucial, a politics which communicates within the scenes rather than mere
political rhetoric. It can be called cultural politics. Technology can
change the way of communication in each cultural and political context. That
is why I restarted the pirate mini FM free radio idea during open air
parties. I would like create hybrids amongst different urban tribes such as
techno, punk, eco, anarcho, rave, new age, otaku, the left and other
dissidents.

GL: What is the current level of media theory in Japan? We don't hear much
about it. I can't think of any Japanese contemporary theory being
translated. We actually only hear about theory import into Japan, not the
other way round. Is this because there's nothing going on? This can hardy be
the case. Is the produced theory only of local interest? What's reason for
this theory deficit?

TU: There are a few tendencies within Japanese media theory. The first is
mainly developed in academic field and is called media studies. There are
some layers and spectrum goes from audience research to more positivist
methodologies. Basically researchers don't want to go outside of
universities and academic circles. Most of them are not enthusiastic to use
media technology themselves. There are a few translations or papers
available in English.
The second tendency would be a form of criticism to be found within new
media art, connected to the Internet hype and early-mid 90s media
technologies. That is why it used to have financial support from big
corporations but that's fading away. Unfortunately new media arts lacks the
vision on the broader political economy of its own field. That is why
corporations can safely speculate their money into 'speculative' media
theory .
The third tendency would be the activist 'tactical' media. But that stream
is very micro and weak in Japan. As I mentioned, Tetsuo and Toshimaru are
active in both theory and action. They are paying attention to the economy
and politics of the media and Internet. I am not that satisfied with the
theoretical level of the three currents. For most of the time I have been
moving between the three and taken difficult in-between positions. What is
crucial in this context is how we can build bridges between the different
media tribes.

GL: Over the last few years you have been going to a wide range of raves,
from illegal parties in German forests, squatters parties in Amsterdam,
raves in Zagreb to solar eclipse parties in Hungary and Zambia. You also
attend a variety of raves in Japan, from expensive Tokyo club events to
informal events in parks and in the mountains. Do you see yourself as a
modern anthropologist studying rave culture? Have you encountered any
problems with this form of 'participatory research'?

TU: There is a 'belonging without identity' as described by Gorgio Agamben
and Lawrence Grossberg which goes beyond the usual definition of community
as a social entity with shared values. Without identification on fixed and
stable positions it is possible to belong to a tribe. Tribal formation are
not one. Within one tribe we can find diverse styles, differences in taste
and even conflicts over how to live ones life. When subculturalists say '
(s)he is tribal' it means that there is an open group-minded feeling, a
solidarity and tolerance for other tribes and different styles. It point at
a consciousness against the mainstream of this civilization and its
globalization. For example, tribal cultures within the rave scene show
respect for so-called traditional tribal or quasi-premodern cultures and
their 'indigenous' way of living. This respect is so distant from the way in
which journalism and political science talk about 'tribal wars.' The
position of the DJ in all this is highly significant. The DJ functions as a
mediator and catalyst to both inform and transform people how to enter other
dimensions of the world. They could be considered the shamans of the cyber
age. But this shaman is at the same time an 'organic intellectual' in a
Gramscian sense, organizing people to get to other horizons of  society
through 'partying.'
Becoming a DJ has influenced my way of writing in many ways. Both positions,
the sociologist and the DJ consist of a cut'n'mix of materials produced by
others. Usually a DJ does not  compose or create the music tracks him or
herself. The DJ cut'n'mix is '(re)inventing' and (re)elaborating already
existing sounds. The same can be said about the work of the sociologist or
theoretician as a TJ (text jockey). We can no longer pretend to create
'theory' out of the blue. We always first collect material, texts and
resources and then start quoting, editing and appropriating passages from
past works. That is do-it-yourself within theoretical practice. Kodwo
Eshun's notion of 'remixology' is quite suggestive. Sometimes I am asking
myself: am I a sociologist or just a tribal raver? It is a really difficult
question to answer.
I don't want to merely celebrate rave culture. There are a lot of problems
such as hedonism, consumerism, drug issues, frictions amongst tribes and
organizers, negotiations with local authority and police have to made, etc.
I never face any problem during my 'participatory observation' or fieldwork
research. Maybe this is because of my enthusiasm to join the party. The
difficulty is lying somewhere else. I do not have the proper language yet to
talk to both academic circles and party tribes. It might even be impossible.
I would like to invent a different way to theorize everyday life.

[Toshiya Ueno is an associate professor at the Expressive Cultures
Department at Wako University, Tokyo. Several of his papers in English are
available in the Nettime archive. He is preparing a book titled "Urban
Tribal Studies" with the Amsterdam-based Croatian sociologist Benjamin
Perasovic. His published books, in Japanese, amongst others, are "Situation,
Cultural Politics of Rock and Pop (Sakuhinsha, 1996), "Artificial Nature, On
Cyborg Politics" (Keisoshobo, 1996), "Thinking Diaspora" (Chikuma Shobo,
1999) and "Cultural Studies, an Introduction" (With Joshi Mori, Chikuma
Shobo, 2000, vol.2 coming up).]




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