rice talk

date 2003
location echigo tsumari triennial, matsunoyama, japan
medium fibre optics, coreflute, metal halide and haelogen light boxes, aluminium, wood and sound work
dimensions 4 x 4 x 2.1m
photographer anzai
collection artfront

sonic objects article

media arts group



…it is because the land is so hilly and has so many rice paddies that the winters bring such heavy snows and the summers are so stifling. And with only 78,000 people in 762 square kilometres, the area is large and empty. But those, indeed, are the base conditions for the event. Fram Kitagawa, catalogue essay

artist statement

Rice Talk is a permanent installation in Matsunoyama Town. It is sited in an “abandoned” traditional Japanese house. Rice Talk incorporates obsolete and contemporary forms of communication technology. Eight fibre optic tatami mats transmit a Morse code message. This message is a haiku by Kobayashi Issa, written in 1794, an English translation is…

Swapping kimonos she watches from her house him fade into mist.

project description

This site-specific installation investigates the intersection of analogue and digital communication systems. This work explored how new and old technologies inform the way we think about the emerging field of new media. The fibre optic light and sound installation was created for rural Japan as a permanent work. This cross-cultural artwork is located in a 300-year old farmhouse. Rice Talk invites a collaboration between artist and local inhabitants –true site-specificity. Gather together international artists

Rice Talk was commissioned by Artfront the founders of international Echigo Triennial in 2001. Rice Talk addresses the concerns of the dwindling population in rural Japan. The work engages both the rural and the urban community, crossing contemporary and ancient technologies. Rice Talk incorporates obsolete and contemporary forms of communication technology. Rice Talk creates eight fibre optic tatami mats transmitting a Morse code message, a haiku by Kobayashi Issa, written in 1794.


Echigo-Tsumari Triennial by Sally Couacaud, Art and Australia vol 41/4, 2003

Rice talk Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, Catalogue, 2003


Special thanks to Makiko Hara, Kumiko Tomoe, Jasmine Guffond and Sally Couacaud