Musashi Mix Inq

Kindred Spirits: it’s show-time!

Posted on July 11, 2011


The heat is on as we get ready for Kindred Spirits!

In the next couple weeks before the show, I may not be posting here as regularly. To follow the process and progress as Kindred Spirits comes together, visit the Facebook Fan-page for behind-the-scenes photos, video and random musings.

You can RSVP for the event by clicking here.

Hope to see you there!

• • •

Kindred Spirits: Silva | Tanimura

Friday, July 29 at 7:00pm - August 13 at 11:00pm

helium gallery — 4710 North Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL


Filed under: Art, Blog, Event, show No Comments

Palliativity 130: The Blade Itself

Posted on July 7, 2011

I remember being given my first knife at the age of three. My parents, grandparents and I were on our annual apple picking trip to the north, over the Wisconsin border.

When my father handed me the neon-green plastic object, it took me a moment to realize what I was holding in my cupped hands. I thumbed the cool blade and marveled at the curved glimmer, recognizing the silver flash from the samurai films I watched with dad narrating the subtitles to me:

"Is that guy gonna be okay?", "Yeah, his arm will grow back…"

• • •

I'm fifteen years old and with my highschool friends wandering downtown Chicago past curfew on a Friday night. Generally I was the only non-white-guy in my crew so I always fell back and walked slow. When we'd hit a bad street, I'd scan the shadows and thumb the knife in my pocket, channeling Mifune and Eastwood: flexing my fingers and ready to draw…

In my mind, I hoped that the would-be bad men of the night would see me stalking after my friends and figure that I had this heist covered— Find your own mark.

This lot's been claimed.


Filed under: Blog, Pain No Comments

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…