THINGSText: Chibashi

“Here comes the Bible for us living in the 90’s”

Net Voice in the City“, a book reporting on the cyber revolution on the west coast in the 90’s U.S.
SHIFT had an long interview with the author of the book, Yoshihiro Kaneda, to see what’s been going on in the bay area in the 90’s. This book must be surely more valuable than any scriptures, or encyclopedia to those who are now reading this article.
Yes, you’re in this movement right now, and it’s you who’ll create the future with the net!

First of all, could you tell us a little about how this ‘Net Voice in the City’ came out towards us in the 90’s? I mean, what’s implied with the book?

In Oct, 1995, when I was about to have a book ‘Cyber Revolution’ published, I had advice from Gousuke Takama, art director of Technodon Live performance by YMO, that he said there was kind of a digital revolution going on on the west coast of U.S. In those days, Japan just toyed with a term ‘Mutlimedia’ almost only on commercial basis instead while U.S was facing ‘the revolution as a culture’ like 60’s hippy movement, 70’s punk, 80’s new wave. He told me about that. That’s why I went to the U.S to see the revolution with my bare eyes. And Mr Fukuoka, exective editor of Cape X (currently discontinued), helped me have this book published.

Jerry Peterson

When did you actually head for the U.S?

On 23 Nov ’95. And then, I was there for three months taking a series of interviews from Kevin Kelly (executive editor of WIRED) R.U.Sirius (former executive editor of Mondo 2000), Michael Gosny (Digital Be-In) and guys from Cyborganics.
I could meet main persons of the digital culture there.

Michael Gosny

In the book, I have lots of references to the underground culture on the west coast. There’re thousands of so-called “Zine” in the U.S that is kind of a culture supported by the underground community. When I elaborately asked Jerod Pore from an e-zine ‘Fact Sheet Five‘ about what “Zine” tries to achieve exactly, he answered at the end that it’s the unity through diversity. He told me that. Now, U.S keeps a diverse range of variety in every aspect. For example, some people practice body piercing, some tatto, some are Gay or Lesbian, some prefer LSD to Ecstacy and vice versa or some just smoke pot. People’re branching out to every direction, producing a wide variety of diversity now. We need to respect the differences between people and create a harmonious world. I reckon that these ideas’re what “Zine” conveys to us.

As R.U.Serius claimed, our time is not the time that has a vital political/economic/philosophical/centre. There’s no centre in our time. There’re just lots of things, or ‘edges’ exsisting around us. Each one is growing at random unlike the 60’s, 70’s qnd 80’s. It’s the time of the kind we’re in now. In a sense, I assume that ‘diverse freedom’ will be admitted by our society and spread over the world. We’ll get closer to the time of ‘unity through diversity’.


Another thing I’d like to say in the book is that it’s important to foresee the future, as well as to learn from the past. You know you ‘ll be able to tell what’ll have been going on to some extent in the future if you examine the present.
Also you should foresee your own future, personally, not always socially. I hope people who read this book’ll design their own lives.

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