Quake volunteers: the remix

Art collective Chim↑Pom gets the techno treatment from Why Sheep?

Quake volunteers: the remix

Controversial art collective Chim↑Pom have been in the news a lot recently. Already notorious for a 2008 stunt in which in which they wrote the word 'Pika!' (used in manga to represent nuclear explosions) in the sky over Hiroshima, the six-member group reasserted their claim to notoriety in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, when they snuck into Shibuya Station to paste an image of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the corner of Taro Okamoto's vast 'Myth of Tomorrow' mural.

Before you start assuming these guys (and girl) are a bunch of insincere pranksters, though, it's worth pointing out that Chim↑Pom have also been actively volunteering in some of the areas worse affected by the disaster. Their experiences provided fuel for the group's Real Time exhibition in May, which garnered widespread media coverage, and now they're getting the remix treatment.

'Ki-Ai 100 (Rebuild Dance Mix)' is based on one of the video works shown in the 'Real Time' exhibition, in which Chim↑Pom member Ellie joins a bunch of volunteers who the group met in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture in a round of '100 renpatsu' (a game in which each participant has to shout out something random in quick succession). The cries range from the serious ('We're going to do our best to rebuild!', 'I'm going to knock out any false rumours!') to the ridiculous ('I wanna see cute girls in swimsuits soon!', 'I'm gonna find a girlfriend this year!'), and are led added poignancy by the fact that many of the participants are actually residents of Soma themselves.

The remix comes from Why Sheep?, a.k.a. Gaku Ueda, the creative force behind sound art project Kare-San-Sui Surrounding and a one-time recording assistant for YMO's Haruomi Hosono. If you like what you hear, Chim↑Pom x Why Sheep? are the opening act at this Friday's Freedommune Zero festival. We've no idea what to expect, but the Why Sheep? website offers a hint: 'See you on 19th Aug, 1011. If you find a man in a radiation protective suit then, it's me!'

By Daisuke Nishimura
Translated by James Hadfield
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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