Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

When I was kid, I lived with my family in Birmingham, Michigan. During this time, a young artist named Masayuki Oda came to stay with us. Yuki studied art at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Yuki stayed in the basement of our house which quickly became my hangout. He was stuck baby-sitting my sister and me. We made him play dungeons and dragons, build our dog house, drive us to the mall and teach us things our parents weren't allowed to teach us yet. We had heard that he was an "artist" but never realized that he would become the star that he became after leaving our home and "going pro". In 1990 he won the Grand Prix at the International Environment Art Exhibition in Osaka.

Yuki makes very large out-door, cool/modern/fun installations that win awards and stuff, but he also makes very cool objects that work inside the house or in the yard. Our homes have always been decorated with Yuki's art until we moved into the rather difficult to decorate Japanese home that I live in now.

Anyway, Yuki is coming to Japan and will be showing his work at Art Planet gallery in Shinkoiwa. (03-5672-0372.) If you're interested in his stuff, please check out his web page and visit the gallery. If you see him, tell him Joi sent you.

As many of you already know, Six Apart, which I my company Neoteny is an investor in has been working for awhile to develop Vox. (I'm the Chairman of Six Apart Japan as well.) Vox is still in preview mode, but we're welcoming and asking friends to sign up and give it a try. It's free. I'm actually enjoying it a great deal and have been posting most of my stuff on my Vox site these days. It feels more personal and is a bit more group oriented than this blog. Anyway, let me know if you have any questions and let me know what you think.

Click this badge to get an invite through my landing page.

Happy One Web Day!

Had a mini party in Tokyo. Robert Pepper and Kenneth Carter joined Fumi and me. Fumi shot some video of us talking.

Robert Pepper and Joi Ito talk about the web for One Web Day in Tokyo. Parti I. September 22, 2006.
(Use this link if you have trouble viewing the video above.)

Robert Pepper, Kenneth Carter and Joi Ito talk about the web for One Web Day in Tokyo. Parti II. September 22, 2006.
(Use this link if you have trouble viewing the video above.)

I'm on the board of Pia, which organized the tickets for the Madonna tour in Japan. It was the first time that the official ticketing agent used an auction system to sell the premium seats.

Yesterday, I went to see the last show of the world tour in Tokyo Dome. We watched from the box seats or "suites". (I was probably supposed to be taking care of our VIP guests instead of playing with my camera phone but...) It as a bit weird having staff in uniforms pouring wine and bringing food while watching Madonna flipping the audience the finger and talking about the "universal 'fuck you' and 'don't fuck with me'"... ;-P In one act, she was wearing a "Japanese do it better" t-shirt. I wonder how many Japanese caught that.

It was quite an interesting event. The audience was very emotional. For me, it was a very weird experience. She mixed covers of lots of tunes from the 80's and 90's that we all grew up with and didn't do many of my favorite Madonna tunes. I'm a big fan of remix and she did a very good job of making a sort of medley of songs down memory lane. She sampled riffs, took bass tracks, melodies, and lyrics from all kind stuff. In retrospect, I guess a lot of her work has been about picking up underground trends and presenting them to the main stream. I did have a weird feeling that in the case of many of the tracks I would have rather heard the original than her version.

She did have a fairly strong "lets all get along and not fight about religion" theme, although I'm not sure how this went over with her fans. However, while waiting for the elevator leaving the stadium, I heard a girl talking about how she cried. I think "dancing with Madonna" for people who have been fans of hers for decades is an experience worth crying about.

It was a bit strange watching her doing a sexy dance on a leather saddle with a pole that moved around in the air while singing "Like a Virgin". I've probably heard more renditions of Like a Virgin by foreigners in Japan trying to find a song to sing in tiny Karaoke bars. She helped me reset the context, albeit positioned slightly off-center from where I remember it being positioned.

All in all, it was a fun concert that brought back lots of memories of being a DJ in Chicago and being a bad boy in New York.

Here are some flickr photos.

If you'll be around New York City on September 29, please join us at Irving Plaza for a Creative Commons concert presented by WIRED and Flavorpill. The show will feature Mike Patton's experimental pop supergroup Peeping Tom, DJ/producer Diplo, and mash-up/remix artist Girl Talk. Creative Commons' CEO Lawrence Lessig will be on hand to introduce the artists.

This concert is a great way to show your support for our work, as proceeds from all ticket sales will go directly to Creative Commons (please note that ticket price is *not* tax-deductible). Tickets are $25 each (plus service charge) and are available online at Ticketmaster.

The event is a part of Next Music, which kicks off WIRED NextFest, a four-day festival featuring more than 130 interactive exhibits from scientists and researchers from around the world.

Please join us if you can. Again, 100% of the proceeds from every ticket sold go directly to Creative Commons.

WIRED + Flavorpill present:
Next Music
Featuring Peeping Tom (with Mike Patton, DJ Rob Swift, and Rahzel), Diplo, and Girl Talk
All proceeds go to support Creative Commons
Friday, September 29 | 9:00 PM, doors open 8:00 PM
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place, NYC