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Tokyo / arrival & first workshop day

So I'm trying to force myself to write everyday about out activities with STEIM in Tokyo. Still pretty jetlagged, so my writing might not be so fluent...

With Frank Baldé, Taku Mizuta Lippit, Nic Collins and myself went to Tokyo for a STEIM tour. More details of the tour in the events section of, and the news section of

Yesterday we arrived in Tokyo, a first time for me. We stayed in Akihabara, the mekka for electronic components and gadgetry. It was quite overwhelming - endless streets of small shops stuffed with tiny toys, usb gadgets, computer stuff, games, games, games. It is very obvious that in Japan it is accepted to play computer- and consolegames. Unlike the Netherlands it is not something that you're only supposed to do when you're under 20.

Everything is arranged extremely well, by our hostess Ayako Fukunga, of the Naya collective. Also Tomomo Adachi should be thanked for all his efforts in helping us realizing this visit.

Today we moved to Hachioji Seminar House, located to the west of Tokyo, 1.30h drive by train & taxi. Here is where we'll do the workshops, and stay too. The seminar house is very much in the country, with hills and trees and such. Nice facilities (including heated toiletseat ;)) and friendly people (like all people in Japan I've met so far). We started in the cafetaria right after our arrival, for a lunch. Then a presentation by Taku on 'Interfacing the physical and the digital', followed by Frank demonstrating junXion with the Wii and talking about data mapping. After dinner (in the same cafetaria - nothing else around) I did my talk about 'Designing digital instruments'. As with Frank's talk, mine was also translated by Taku and our friendly workshop organizer Kboto-san. The participants didn't understand the english language wlll enough without that. This was quite a challenge, since the flow of your presentation is completely lost - it requires a different approach from the informal lectures we usually do. But according to Taku, who was able to read the students better, we did a good job in making them enthousiastic about our work.

Announcement by Kbota-san:

Now they are all soldering the PIC boards that Taku brought, and tomorrow Nic will do his workshop - having them create a simple cracklebox and a simple oscilator out of a speaker and battery.

STEIM in Tokyo - Hachioji Seminar House

STEIM in Tokyo

STEIM in Tokyo - Nic and Taku

STEIM in Tokyo - Taku in focus