Girl Talk Piece in Best of Music Writing 2009

I am very happy to announce that the article “2008: Girl Talk” about the musical artist Girl Talk I co-wrote with Nick Sylvester will be included in the newest edition of Da Capo’s Best Music Writing anthology. (Last year’s edition available here: Best Music Writing 2008). The piece was originally co-published on Néojaponisme and Nick’s blog Riff Market. This year’s Da Capo collection will be edited by rock crit legend Greil Marcus — author of Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music and other fine books.

The original piece:

2008: Girl Talk


W. David MARX
May 8, 2009

Tokyo Art Beat/Beams tee

Ian Lynam tokyo Art Beat

My new shirt for Tokyo Art Beat is now available in their shop. The elusive custom green and pink colorway pictured above is available only at Beams T.

May 2, 2009

All About Typography

All About Typography
Tuesdays 19 May – 21 July

I will be teaching a ten-week intensive introductory typography seminar at Temple University Japan

All About Typography teaches the connotations of type & typography: the visual reading of language.

The class is an in-depth look at typography (designing with fonts) for both beginners and experienced practitioners. The class is a working examination of Western typography including lectures on type history, type classification, and contemporary practice. Practical exercises, as well as in-class critiques will help broaden students’ understanding of typography practically and critically.

All About Typography’s syllabus is based on a handful of proven typographic education projects developed by design faculty from the best graphic design departments in the world: Yale, CalArts, London College of Printing, and Cranbrook.

The class will conduct projects to explore typographic expression, learn correct typesetting practices, and increase design acumen: how to say things clearly with graphic design.

The class will host guest lectures by some of Japan’s top graphic designers.

The class is Mac-based, but will apply equally to PC-based environments.

Course reading:
Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton
Assorted handouts

More information:

March 24, 2009

Patrick Macias lecture at Temple University

Néojaponisme contributor Patrick Macias is giving a lecture at Temple University Japan, Azabu-juban Campus on March 13 entitled “Otaku Power – Trivia/Desire and Transformation”. The lecture will go from 6:30pm to 8pm.

March 11, 2009

Grass Hut

Interview here.

February 15, 2009

MEKAS. Twitter and Gyaru Vocab

The Japanese fashion site MEKAS. that I edit started a new Twitter yesterday (, and I went a bit crazy with 140-character observations as I read through the new March fashion magazines.

CanCam — not a gyaru magazine — for some reason had a “Gyaru Inside-Joke Vocabulary Dictionary,” and there were a few choice entries:

アナル (anaru) is apparently not just a way to say “anal” but an abbreviation of “あ〜、なるほど!” (a naruhodo, “Oh, I see.”)

Yes, We CanCam, meaning 迷わずに『CanCam』を買うこと — “buying CanCam each month without fail.” There is no way anyone actually uses this.

ユダる (yudaru), literally “to Judas,” meaning “to back-stab, betray.” You could probably also read the verb as “to Jew” since “Jew” is yudaya in Japanese, but this connotation is not really the Japanese language’s fault. The entire character of Judas was written into the Jesus story as a way to blame Jews for his death (Judas = Judah), since crucifixion is so clearly a Roman form of execution. At least, that’s what Bishop Spong says.

永眠 (eimin, “to sleep forever”), which normally is a poetic way to say “to die/to pass away,” but gyaru use it as “to zonk out/to sleep deeply.”

W. David MARX
January 24, 2009

Workshoppe and other...

Some photographic results from the recent workshop I did with the undergrad students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. One student brought along a handful of printouts of the patterns I’ve been posting on NéoJeo for inclusion. Smart dude. he brought it back home. The shoppe was really fun.
The Meeting Modernity opening was a blast! Almost 200 folks wandered through from 6 to 9. Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting!

January 14, 2009

Meeting Modernity in PDX

Meeting Modernity PDX
Néojaponisme’s exhibition Meeting Modernity will be in Portland from January 8 through February 1st in the new year at downtown small press emporium Reading Frenzy. The opening will be on January 8 from 6–9PM. I’ll be in attendance (as will Ma and Pa Lynam!), so come on down.

Recently discovered outside of the city of Sano in Tochigi-ken, the Meeting Modernity collection of found photos documents Japan as it engaged with modernization and commercial photography in the Meiji and Taishō Periods. The series is comprised of portrait photography in particular.

December 29, 2008

Merry Xmas, me.

Just got interviewed over at Graphic Hug.

December 24, 2008

New site

Just launched: 4.0. A million thanks and praises to Paul Sather and Jeremy Lanig!

November 13, 2008

Miami Art Basel

I have a video installation in Scion’s show at Art Basel Miami this year. If you are in the Sunshine State and looking for free booze and fine fine art, this is your place in early December. (Today’s Usugrow painting is tomorrow’s Dali!) Friday, 12/05 at the Raleigh Hotel Penthouse from 7PM-10PM. I’ll be there- hit me up!

October 30, 2008

Farce Alert: Art Space Tokyo in Metropolis

Wow. Chin Music Press’ excellent book Art Space Tokyo received an absurd and highly questionable review in the latest issue of Metropolis. Riddled with racial/cultural stereotypes of Japanese and dismissive of the opinion of foreigners involving themselves in Tokyo’s fine art world, it upholds Metropolis’ reputation for stellar journalism. Read it here.

AST editor Ashley Rawlings retorts at length in this infinitely more worthwhile blog post on the excellent AST website. Ashley politely pulls his punches aimed at reviewer C.B. Liddell while eloquently pointing out the numerous stereotypes and gross assumptions made in Liddell’s article.

I’m biased, as I wrote one of the dismissed essays in the damn book, but Liddell’s review strikes me as the work of a college freshman’s stab at homework for Journalism 101. Some striking concepts within:

Japanese =Inherently artistic

Apparently, foreigners are inherently less artistic, and if one is to paraphrase some of Liddell’s earlier work, less cute as well.

The whole review is trite and suffers from a myopic view of culture at large, not to mention a very short-sighted perspective on contemporary art in Japan.

Oh, and there are grammatical errors throughout.

October 21, 2008

Animal Hero Rescue!


Mumbleboy, that suave and dashing genius, has a new art show up in Portland at Black Wagon, the best kid’s store in town!

October 12, 2008

IDEA #331


I have a lengthy essay about Gary Hustwit’s documentary “Helvetica” in the latest issue of Idea, on newsstands now.

October 11, 2008

Process Train Car show

I have a visual shoutout to the land of milk and honey, Machida-shi, in this new show in Brooklyn.

October 10, 2008