New-Method (*1) held the Uploading Event from 00:00 to 23:59 on 27th August. A webpage was specially produced to upload (*2) files, where 1726 files came to be uploaded by a number of unspecified participants.
The announcement of the event was made via e-mail at about 11pm on 23th August, as well as via Twitter at about 12pm. It said as follows;
On 10 October 1964, Hi-Red Center had Dropping Event.
On 27 August 2011, "New-Method" will have Uploading Event.
That was all what it explained about the event. Then the date and location followed, which was an URL of a webpage produced in a server that "New-Method" has managed. It seems to be made public to anybody, saying "Please access here!"
The day, 27th August, was also the closing day of "No Work Work Show" by Takahiro Hirama, a member of New-Method. The announcement said the Uploading Event will be held in its closing event "New-Method Night vol.1". (fig.1)
The Dropping Event (*3) by Hi-red Center is documented in "Tokyo Mixer Plan" by Genpei Akasegawa (1984, PARCO publishing). Jiro Takamatsu, Genpei Akasegawa, Tatsu Izumi and Takumi Kazekura gathered there and dropped things like bags or clothes. The word "Drop" referred to Jackson Pollock's method. Regarding the earth as the canvas, they replaced paints to be dropped (*4) with bags, clothes or sheets. Seen in this tradition, the earth may correspond to the webpage, bags or clothes to files, and dropping to uploading. Uploading Event could be said to be an action painting in the era where the internet has been commodified.
I received an e-mail from Hideki Nakazawa, offering me to participate in the event as the observer. The observer is supposed to make records of what happens during the event, and I decided to engage the event.
Just 30 minutes before the event (fig.2), Nakazawa had announced the event on Twitter. Hirama was supposed to play in the "Uta Kawasaki and ucnv band" on the same day then join the event. I wondered if he could really join, but it turned out to be possible. Hirama was to join the band just as a no-man member as related to his "No Work Work Show." Thus, he was credited as a performer but did not attend, which was his performance. Hirama managed to go home without visiting the live venue, then joining the Uploading event. The last member Shogo Baba was re-tweeting Nakazawa's announcement. All the members of New-Method seemed to have been ready in front of their PCs. New-Method often releases their works by utilizing Twitter, as in the New-Methodicist Manifesto (*5) or New-Method at 2F (*6). Twitter played a significant role not only for announcement but also for development of the event.
Clicking the link at 00:00, I found the webpage updated with the word "Uploading Event" and two frames vertically aligned. I found some letters in the frames but I took screen shot first (touching Command + Shift + 3 with Mac). In the upper frame were some guidance and a box to select files. The lower frame had nothing, except an uploader (fig.3).
Then the webpage was updated, the below frame showing "2011/08/27 00:00:18 IMG_0515.JPG 149KB" with file-name link and file size. No name for the one who uploaded it (fig.4). Clicking the link, I found a new window popping-up, then a portrait of a beautiful woman. But something was strange...yes, it was a man dressed in female make-up. It was Masaru Kaido, the editor in chief of the bulletin New-Method. Splendid. I couldn't help touching "Command + Shift + 3." (fig.5)
Closing the window then back to the uploading page, I found many file names with uploaded time in the lower frame. It seemed that filed uploaded from the upper frame was shown in the lower one in the chronical order. New-Method were announcing the event on Twitter.
Checking the guidance again, it said "uplaod is possible via e-mail," which means one could use mobile phones to upload files. Designed with minimum elements, the webpage let even beginners easily upload files. With no stylesheet used, the webpage was shown in its standard appearance. Titles and texts are in black (#000000) and link in blue (#0000FF) (fig. 6). Artists were not involved in the aesthetic judgment and threw it away to the computer.
More and more files began appearing on the webpage. No time to check them all. While watching timelines at Twitter as well (fig. 7), I was archiving related tweets with Togetther (a web service to archive twitter log).
Meanwhile I tried to find a file to upload, digging my hard disc drive. I found a picture of Hi-Red Center I just donwloaded yesterday, uploading it from the upper frame.(fig.8) The file size was so small that it got uploaded quite soon. A few seconds later, the name of the file with its date was displayed in the lower frame. Clicking the link to check if it worked properly, I found the picture in a new window.
There were a number of files uploded during the event, by unspecified but a number of people, possibly with different motivations; files in their hand, pictures of works or flyers till in progress, their favorite pictures, funny images, something just downloaded from the internet, desktop screen shot, or capture of the tweet complaining of trouble with the uploader. (fig.9)
I found files supposedly uploaded by New-Method. A room with Nakazawa's work. Baba's musical score work. Hirama's Purikura work. Nakazawa's self-portrait. Lottary (*7). Their conversation on Skype. Their tweets taught me that Nakazawa was eating a ramen, then he uploaded the photo of the cup-ramen, on which he made drawing with a paint-software, which was then captured over and over again. (fig.10)
Then reloading lag took place. Command + Shift + 3, then I uploaded it. (fig.11) The trouble was dissolved a few seconds later, then the webpage came to display "the number of files uploded," which was 200 at that time. Then another Skype capture was uploded, which let me understand that Baba was changing the specifications of the uploder.
Later, there seemed to have development of "public" and "private" with uploaded files, such as a file with its name "I'd go to bed soon" as if being a tweet on Twitter, or conversation via file names like "upload 1 GB file" and then "I don't think it's possible" (fig.12).
Such loose cooperation might be related to the fact that uploaded files were not against morals of the general public, as far as I saw. It must have created a kind of public sphere where a certain moral codes were shared even with the very individual activity of uploading files from one's own HDD. Once they became aware of others who would see uploaded files, then it must influence the contents of files.
Then I came to think of, first of all, what this event was meant to be. It is an ordinary uploder. It is normally used to share data. New-Method produced an uploader without practical purposes, just an uploader for uploading. The question I felt comes not from something mysterious but from its non-sense that it is already revealed as such and has nothing more or less than that.
As a result, however, the nonsense had also visualize the act of uploading in a certain way. Looking at the uploading page, one may find a variety of file extensions such as .jpg .gif .pct .txt .pdf .doc .mp3 .wav .wma .mov .mid .ai .psd .exe or .html. But all these are displayed in a single page with being uploaded, which may show that the act of uploading can deal with such various data forms indiscriminately as binary data (computer data described in 0/1 alone).
During the event there were some files with unfamiliar file extensions such as "assembler.a," "azeozero.a00," "afourfour.a44," or "asixeight.a68." They started from extensions beginning with "a," then followed "b," "c," then "d." (fig.13) Later I found that it was Hirama who uploaded those files, who picked up extensions in the ascending order from with a file-extension dictionary and created files by naming them their its pronunciations in Katakana. This was what Hirama discovered through Uploading Event as a New-Method style uploading. As if often the case of Hirama and New-Method, they soon adapt themselves to the given circumstances.
By 3am, the number of files uploaded had exceeded 500. (fig.14) With seemingly less people then participating, the uploading pace had slowed down, but uploading had continued constantly. Guessing from uploaded files, Hirama and Nakazawa were mainly uploading, as if uplaoding all the files in their HDDs. There might be people uploading and watching it, but it must be only I as the observer who had mainly watched and archived what had happened there. The standpoint put me in the unique relation as if facing all the people uploading. I archived tweets until then and decided to have a sleep. (*8) It was already 5 am.
I found more files having been uploaded next morning. It amounted to 750. (fig.15)
Uploading event continued, then the number of files grew to 900 and exceeded 1000. The 1000th file was a file named "1000.jpg." (fig.16)
Then I arrived at 20202 for the reception of Uploading Event about 7pm. There were the three members of New-Method and photographer Masaru Kaido. The uploading page was projected onto a screen. It was live-broadcasted via U-STREAM. (*9) Then Uguisu Sivuch joined to be the presenter. The uploading event reception was named "New-Method Night vol.1," which is the new version of the monthly event "Method Night" held by Nakazawa from January 2003.
A half past 7pm, the reception started with New-Method standing in front, (fig.17) Uguisu Sivuch as the presenter and me Muroi to propose a toast. Then other people joined, (fig.18) there continuing uploading whatever they had in their mobiles. (fig.19) The pace accelerated toward the end of the event, in which uploading came to be motivated purely by itself. Data had become the residual of the self-oriented act of uploading. (fig.20) (fig.21)
Closing the reception, we went to a Chinese restaurant for the afterhours, just waiting 23:59 at which the uploading page would shut its access. When Uploading Event finished, the number of files had attained to 1726. Now the page has been deleted and one can no longer access the files uploaded there. (fig.22)
A few weeks after the event, I was offered to write a document on this event. I asked Baba to provide the uploded files, he replied back to me "New-Method has regarded the data as being lost. Therefore, I'm afraid but I can't give them."
Then later, I also found that the "regarded as missing" is associated with an anecdote that Hi-Red Center lost the thing dropped at Dropping Event.
"New-Method" is a three person group formed on 4th September 2010 by Takahiro Hirama, Shogo Baba and Hideki Nakazawa. The group released the "New-Methodicist Manifesto" on the same day. Since then the group has released their works via e-mail such as "Exchange Intervention," "Hatsumode" or "Final Income Tax Return." Besides, the group has participated various events and exhibitions.
to transfer (software, data, character sets, etc.) from a smaller to a larger computer.
(from Dictionary.com, retrieved on 3 November 2011)
Hi-Red Center :
A group formed in 1963 by Jiro Takamatsu, Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi. The name was taken from tranlation of each member's initial letter "Taka(hi[gh])," "Aka(red)" and "Naka(center)." With its group member quite flexible, Tatsu Izumi is also included as a member as well as other temporal participants. It formal formation was supposedly at the "5th Mixer Plan" in May 1963, but its activity had already started in practice from "Yamanote Line Incident" in the last year's December. Among their major activities are "Shelter Plan" (January 1964), "Who Uses Communication Satellite" (April 1964), "Great Panorama Show" (June 1964), "Dropping Event" (October 1964), "Metropolis Clean Up Promotion Campaign" (October 1964) or "Great Exhibition at the Court" (August 1966). Incidentally, it has not been certified whether Nakanishi had participated in the "Dropping Event".
(From "Tokyo Mixer Plan" and "Dictionary of Contemporary Art Terminologies" )
Jackson Pollock's method is "Drip Painting/Dripping" but it is described as "Drop" in "Tokyo Mixer Plan."
New-Methodicist Manifesto :
"New-Method" declared it on 4th September 2010, via e-mail and Twitter.
New-Method at 2F :
A performance conducted by New-Method when appearing at "Tamatama9.03 Yamayamamayakashi!," an event held at Chateau 2F, an art spot in Kogainei, on 19th March 2011. While reading up the explanation about Twitter, the three members posted it to Twitter.
A work that New-Method released on 3 December 2010.
"Purchase of the Public Lottery Ticket"
New-Method "Uploading Event" response archive #newmethod Togetter (Japanese only) :
New-Method "Uploading Event" reception movie - USTREAM :