Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 129: Gas Mask Panic

Posted on June 29, 2011

To me, gas-masks are a sign that everything else has failed— That despite our efforts, the environment is so toxic that we must separate ourselves from it or succumb to the nature of our biology. Gas-masks are a red-flag marking that we have accepted the fractured world we've inherited. There is no cure, only treatment…

A century ago as depicted above, the mask was a necessary tool for surviving the cruel inventions of man.
Greece, Egypt and Syria demonstrate that its ontological nature has evolved:


We are Faceless, Fearless and on a Vendetta.

Oppression and Suppression in an eternal tango to the beat of combat boots and broken-bottle shards breathing flame.

Take a mask and run with it, because in this game there are no bystanders— only collateral damage.

Play safe.

They're expecting you.



“The Myth of the Gun”

Posted on June 27, 2011


I've been asked many times why Japanese and American made videogames are so vastly different, even within the same genre.

I generally shy away from answering for or agreeing with such sweeping generalities— but in the world of gaming, the distinct cultural differences from production to execution and marketing speak from completely different perspectives.

The video below does a great job of comparing the differences between Japanese and American culture in gaming, game design and violence:



Confessions of a Mask

Posted on June 24, 2011

Confessions of a Mask, ©MMXI

My Japan Studies advisor at college once told me that, "Reading Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask is like covering yourself in vaseline and rolling in sand." I always took this to be quite a compliment; that Mishima's prose could illicit such a response by merely mentioning the title of his book in passing.

Confessions of a Mask is thought by many to be an autobiography. The text speaks of the "reluctant masquerade" in which we all take part. Mishima was a man obsessed with Japan's identity, as well as his own. His personal sin was not his proclivities but shame itself. It tore him up to see Japan broken and tamed by America; a worthy mirror and foil for the creative expression of his secret life.

Mirror Mask

Mishima wore his nationalist pride as a mask while he hid his homosexual life from the world. At the same time, his countless artistic victories served as passing obsessions to blot out the desires of his heart. His convictions unquestioned, Mishima lived life theatrically.

In 1970, after taking hostages at the SDF Headquarters, Yukio Mishima chose the samurai-romantic path; the only choice that he felt could resolve his double-life. To pierce the veil, opening his shameful innards and presenting them to the world.

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. " -Oscar Wilde

Yukio Mishima both lived his life and ended it allegorically: I am my mask.

• • •

The more we can see beyond the mask and to the eyes behind it, the better our lives and world will be.

I'll see you there, if you'll join me—

Happy Pride!


Palliativity 128: Security

Posted on June 23, 2011

Achievement: Unlocked

The ultimate Agora. The Elysium fields of knowledge. The dream of Safe-haven.

Breaking News: The bottom drops out of our lives—

The more we share, the less we have to hide behind. The curtain is drawn and we are ultimately the refraction of this cyber life.

Our photos and their comment threads. What we buy and where we travel. Our blogs and tweets are cogs in the overtly connected consciousness of human-kind. Who are you listening to?

As an artist, the consequences of my public actions have very different outcomes than for most.

Politicians are destroyed by their own texting. Countries fall and companies get hacked. Anonymous is running I.T. for 4th world revolutions while the CIA gets jail-broken for the LuLz.

Welcome to Web 3.0

Adolescence and Anarchy, with Angry Birds for all…


The Diamond Age

Posted on June 20, 2011

The Diamond Age, ©MMXI

The Diamond Age, spiritual sequel to Snow Crash, is definitely my favorite book. If Snow Crash was Neil Stephenson's prediction of the last 20 years, The Diamond Age takes a look at our future 100 years from now. The title of the book speaks to the world built within it, when mankind has mastered nano-technology and can finally delicately wield the atom.

Hiro Protagonist's base world of franchise-states and dead-end cyber-life has given way to an extreme return to traditional cultural ties. Enter the Neo-Victorians and Neo-Confucianists of Hong-Kong where the story is set. Nell, the Bildungsroman hero of The Diamond Age, lives in a world of nano-punk with a healthy side of steam:

"Moral reforms and deteriorations are moved by large forces, and they are mostly caused by reactions from the habits of a preceeding period. Backwards and forwards swings the great pendulum, and its alternations are not determined by a few distinguished folk clinging to the end of it."

Sir Charles Petrie, The Victorians

To me, the most fascinating feature of steampunk is that it is based on a universe of tangible technology. Unlike our current micro-tech, nano-tech computers are a physical manifestation of the gears of change. There are no more programers, only gifted craftsmen. There are no "black-boxes" in The Diamond Age except for the minds of people who live within it.

As the story grows, Nell rises from an orphan of the slums to become princess of a world of her own making. A time when humanity can finally unite in a world of drummers' dreams.

Neo-Victorian, interrupted

The Princess of Mice

Warrior Nell

Buddha in the sky with Diamonds


Purchase Print

p.s. reading this story first on paper and then on an e-reader is quite the experience. to hold the current-tech "primer" in my hands, knowing that soon the day will come when the future is upon us.

p.p.s. on the other hand, reading snow crash on an e-reader made me fearful to turn the page, like a late victorian scared by an on-coming train in moving-picture show 🙂

Kindred Spirits : Silva | Tanimura

Posted on June 15, 2011

Kindred Spirits

It's official : Save the Date!

4 artists • 3 generations • 2 families • 1 spirit

As a follow-up to last year's "Father & Son" show featuring my father and I,
this year we are privileged to team up with another father and son:
Bueno and Eulalio de Silva.

Click here to download poster pdf

— Kindred Spirits —

Click here to RSVP and receive updates via Facebook


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