catch and release _ my upload event.
Yasuko Toyoshima (Conceptual Artist)

to Japanese

catch and release _ my upload event.
Yasuko Toyoshima (Conceptual Artist)

I used to keep uploading video files almost habitually.  They were made public to anyone.  It was a fairly short period between 2007 and 2008.  Eventually I came to delete all of them.

All these were about Sumo.  I produced videos or slide-shows out of materials like matches from Sandan-joi to Musubi classes by NHK-BS2 live-broadcast or movies and pictures I took by myself when I went there to watch the matches.  I also arranged comments by NHK announcers or remarks of Sumo stable bosses as amusing elements.  Then I kept mashing-up songs in my iTunes with those videos over and over again.

I had an incident.

The video-sharing website displayed "related videos" at the right side of its main screen, where videos with relevant tags or titles are listed.  I was watching videos I uploaded, almost intoxicated, then suddenly came across a video with the identical title to the one I uploaded in the related videos.  I found it was what I "produced." Somebody seemed to have downloaded mine then uploaded it without my permission.  I synchronized Ama vs Asashoryu match with a song "Keikoku [Caution]" by Ringo Sheena.  I banned the user from the channel.  "Stolen!" I felt.  Of course, I was aware that I was bearing a considerable paradox.  My intuition and logic had been confused concerning possession.  

It was the time of the summer tournament 2008.  I had come to receive a number of messages.  They were Sumo fans from Mongol, America, Greece, Czech, Brazil, Germany, Chile, Argentina and United Kingdom, writing "Thank you for the latest Sumo matches." More and more people came to subscribe my channel and send messages to me.  All of them were anticipating Sumo videos which I uploaded in real-time (I had been obsessed so).  I hustled for them, uploading all the matches from Sandan-joi to Makushita, Juryo, and Maku-uchi.  In addition, I inserted champion interviews of each class.  I began feeling sorry to the subscribers for synchronizing my favorite songs with Sumo matches.  I came to feel frightened about whether such arrangements had happened to be vulgar as a Sumo fan and committed blasphemy against both Sumo and these songs.  "Let's keep them for a while," I decided.  Nevertheless, I couldn't stop.  I couldn't help occasionally watching videos matches of wrestlers I had felt attractive, editing its speed and adding my favorite songs.  I had been addicted.  Uploading them again, I switched its access setting between private and public day by day.  As if reflecting my unstable mood, private/public setting had changed all the time.

After the summer tournament 2008, having completed uploading all of the video files, I had found it difficult to get to sleep, worrying "I must go mad if I continue such a thing" during midnight.  I had already uploaded over 1300 videos.

Eventually I made a decision, deleting all the videos one by one.  I felt pain as if my skin were torn apart every time I clicked "Delete" button.  Since I hesitantly carried it out in midnight, it was already morning when I deleted the last one piece.  Then I deleted my channel itself.  I should not have made it public.  Pleasure must become painful unless I enjoy it alone.

I felt as if exorcising my own ghost.  But as a result, it appeared as shallow self-denial, betrayal against myself.  I reflected "Although this uploading itself is 'illegal,' am I losing myself even more with this deleting?"

Nowadays I upload Sumo videos I edited to another video-sharing website without setting them "public," watching them intoxicatedly.  Although I keep them in DVDs and external HDDs, I want to put them somewhere on the verge of becoming public with a single click.  It is the edge of my ring.  There would be no possibility for those data with which I was so much obsessed to be released as "works" in future.  First of all, how come I decided to initially set them "public" and release the output of my own act to others? And what does it mean that I'm still feeling pleasure by watching videos alone after all, now without such others?

I think I had been able to imagine "others" somewhere to whom I want to show works while producing the works.  But with the emergence of the up-loader in recent years, one has become capable of making interventions to "others" with "private/public" setting.  We have come to be able to customize "others." It has become possible to exclude unfavorable and undesirable others.  Paradoxically though, this capacity to customize "others" has prompted to figure out another further "others" who had been hardly noticed.  I feel I can't hide anything from the "others." That is, even though I can choose "private" setting to break connection with "others," there has been "others" from further meta-levels who provide us a choice "Which do you prefer? Private? Public?" in everyday life.  This "others" ridicule me with observing my very manipulating the threshold of private/public.  I hate to be ridiculed as I am a bad loser.  I want to escape from there.  Thus I want to struggle there without escaping, because I want to escape all the more.  

One day, it happened to me.  I couldn't find that video data synchronizing Ama vs Asashoryu match with "Keikou" by Ringo Sheena.  It seemed I happened to have deleted its original data right after uploading it.  I got in a daze.  I had deleted all what I uploaded.  I felt hard to breathe, regretting a mistake with no mending.  Then I recalled the incident, the video downloaded from my channel by somebody else then even uploaded again without my permission. I searched the video to find the video still remain in the person's channel.

I had to visit the channel and download the video.  Feeling like to show my gratitude, however, I still had resentment against the person.  But I was surely pleased to see the video still kept there.  So I felt a little ashamed of myself.  I have not yet found words to express exactly what I felt at this moment.

I managed to download and retrieve the video.
Uploading the video with private setting, now I keep watching it alone.

Appeared in the Bulletin "New-Method" No.  13