Friday, January 7

TokyoDV - a collaborative Tokyo media blog of videographers

I have a hard time explaining
TokyoDV.com. It's just an amazing network. I'm not sure they know what a blog is, but it's definitely a blog. I guess you'd call it a collaborative video blog by a group of Tokyo videographers. It reminds me a little bit of Me-TV.org in format, but it's stark, elegantly simple and there is very little description. The videos are left to stand on their own and they do. They are non-linear works of art and mini-documentaries. Little stories unto themselves which are amazingly informational, insightful and appealing. Many don't even contain much voice over or conversation, mostly it seems unnecessary, but those that have speech have english subtitles and are easy to follow. It's not often one gets such a great and direct look into another culture. Here I am half a world away and yet I immediately can connect, identify and understand what is going on culturally. Sure there is a lot that I'm missing, but this is an excellent display of the power of new media to be very human, globally connected. We see real street life, real people, we here there words, there interests, their fashion and body language. These things speak far more succinctly and directly that mere words alone.

I believe we'll see a lot more homespun media networks like this in the near future. I'd love to see more collaborative video blogs like this in America, but I think this new form of media network needs a better economic model before it can be sustaining. Tokyo DV is already having a few bandwidth issues from what I can see. It looks like they depend mostly on donations.

They are an amazing insight into the Tokyo subculture and I'm guessing they're going to get swamped with traffic once the likes of boingboing.net get a hold of their url. I should state that the boingboing crew have an obsession with the Japanese cosplay culture, hental arts and other oddities of the Japanese sexual culture. It's a vibrant and modern culture. It's more traditional and at the same time more modern and commercial. These trends are obvious as you will see.

As much as I have tried above, the best way to summarize this up is just my notes, so enjoy...

Some apparent TokyoDV themes
(the majority of these links are QuickTime videos between 3 and 6mb)

  • gadgets & connectivity - obvious in all videos is the obsession over cellular gadgets, tokyo is a very connected society

  • brand culture very commercial, brand oriented culture - This is definitely the most interesting video I've seen. Women willing to pose naked with the brand goods of their obsession for publicized photos merely for the right to keep the brand goods.

  • fashion - vibrant and varied fashion culture, traditional to modern, street fashion

  • the SARS epidemic is obviously still an influential factor as you can still see the occasional mask

  • sex vibrant sexual culture and rituals - hetal arts, fertility rituals,

  • dance: Cosplay dance raves - JapAfriZilian Dancing - an influence of African culture into Japanese culture. I'm just taking an educated guess, but I believe JapAfriZilian is a slang term unique to this very localized dance culture in Japan. In comparison we would call the general influence of African culture in the US, Africanization. One obvious example are Adam Curry's beloved drum cadence sequences played at nearly every football game at every school in the US from high-school to college. These ritual drum beats we love so much have an obvious African influence. I believe wikipedia's entry for Africanization is a little narrow.

  • film: the site seems to have at least one very good documentary film maker contributing: Dragons Come Home Trailer

  • architecture and accomidations: apartments - interior design - office space

6 comments:

Freedom said...

Hi Michael,

Thank you so much for the nice review of TokyoDV.. I hope you don't mind if I post some new 'vitcles' the Captain and I have been working on..

Tokyo Underground Geo-Site Project 3
Stepping past the barrier and descending a narrow spiral staircase to a temporary platform reveals Tokyo's literal underworld. It is a stunning 20-meter diameter concrete cylinder extending down for 40 meters. Light green hues reflecting off the smooth concrete from mounted lights fill the scene as workers move in and out of a temporary trailer and up and down the single steel-cage elevator.

The project, titled ?The Azabu-Hibiya Common Utility Duct,? is a public works venture that collects various utility lines (such as gas, telephone, water, electric, and cable) into a single trunk tunnel. This cylinder acts as a hub whereby a pair of lateral utility tunnels emanate near its bottom in both the east and west directions. This is the point of connection. But it is technically a reinforced shaft necessary for the deployment of the lateral digging equipment...

Video - Article - Discuss

Thanks again! Keep up the great blog!..

Freedom

Freedom said...

I'm still determining the name of what we do; I create the video, while the Captain writes the article.. I think 'vidicle' (video + article) might be the best term.. Anyway, we've cooked up something saucy from our visit to Paradise TV Japan..

Paradise TV Strives for Stupidity, Sex
The television studio is a sparse mix of a wall map and two green plants. As the weather anchor begins reading the next day?s forecast - snow in Niigata and sunny skies across Kanto - a gust of wind suddenly knocks her to one side.

Though giggling slightly, the journalist straightens her top-heavy frame and continues, fumbling a few lines but maintaining eye contact with the rolling camera while she firmly grips her notes.

The breeze increases, so much so that her black skirt and white long sleeves suddenly disappear in the rush, leaving the determined newswoman clad in only lace panties and an extremely loose-fitting black bra in which to announce the rain in Sendai.

Welcome to Paradise TV...

Video - Article - Discuss

related article - The King of Satellite Television Smut

Watch for more videos from our visit to Paradise coming soon..

freedom said...

Hi Michael,

It's TokyoDV again.. If this is getting annoying, drop me a line.

I just wanted to mention that I'm encoding selected TokyoDV clips for the new video iPod. I've created a video podcast feed, that looks pretty spiffy in iTunes. A screenshot of what it looks like, along with info on receiving the TokyoDV Video Podcast can be found here:
tokyodv.com/VideoforiPod

The codec allows for 'scalability', meaning you can exand the image to full screen without too much degradation.. I was impressed with the results because the original videos are at 320 x 240..

I'm not sure if there's money in it yet, but it's exciting.. At least for me.

Thanks,

Freedom

Michael Meiser said...

Annoying!? It's not annoying. Coolest news I've heard all week. I've been waiting for you to get a video feed forever. It's about damn time.

The only thing is I can't find your email. You've got to at least give me a hint. ;)

I'm away from my primary computer right now, but as soon as I get a chance I'll post it on the yahoo video blogging group.

You can always email me at michael at mmeiser dot com. That's for personal use and friends. Or the email that's at the right top column of every page on my site.

Michael Meiser said...

Hmm... Just tried your feed out in FireANT. The feeed validates and works but it FireANT won't play the .m4v files, probably just because it doesn't recognize the extentsion. It's their bad, not yours. A bug. I'll have to bug them about tomorrow. In the meantime I'll try it in iTunes.

We should chat via email. There's plenty of stuff you can do to increase your visibility and make sure you're listed in itunes, the other video blog directories, our world wide vlog map and more. This includes geotagging, perhaps some feedburner stuff and much more.

Anonymous said...

"the SARS epidemic is obviously still an influential factor as you can still see the occasional mask"

Er, mate, Japan didn't have any reported cases of SARS. And most Japanese weren't concerned about it spreading here, at least not since the peak of the outbreak years ago. You see Japanese wearing masks because they are either suffering from allergies, or are considerately trying to prevent the transmission of germs from colds and flus. Not because of fears from SARS or because of pollution (another common misconception).

No offence, but your comment came across as really ignorant.

And yet you post these comments:
"(tokyodv has) little stories unto themselves which are amazingly informational, insightful and appealing... It's not often one gets such a great and direct look into another culture. Here I am half a world away and yet I immediately can connect, identify and understand what is going on culturally. We see real street life, real people, we here (sic) there (sic) words, there (sic) interests, their fashion and body language. These things speak far more succinctly and directly that (sic) mere words alone."

I'd be careful about making general comments about a nation and its people based on some short videos which are neither informative nor entertaining.

If you really believe that these videos offer an insight into Japanese culture, you are sadly mistaken. I would have thought that their preoccupation with large breasts and naming their sister site "fucked gaijin" were clues.