Remo Has Left Festival Gate

REMO-Record, Expression, Media Organization-- is a media center in Osaka. Their mission is to : "provide activities that act as a conduit for the organic flow of research, experiment, development and practice by exploring and reviewing issues presented via media." Kazuya Sakurada is one of the most active members of Indymedia Japan and curated many REMO workshops. Tetsuo Kogawa conducted a transmitter building workshop in 2005, in which 13 transmitters were built. The workshop participants were an amazing mixture: a retired teacher, a poet, a homeless man, a childcare worker and several artists. As each transmitter was finished, workshop members walked around the loft-like space speaking, singing, laughing into mikes connected to their mini-transmitters. It was a glorious evocation of Brecht's dream of each person a tranmitter. The center was in a failed mall called Festival Gate, located in the area of Osaka known for pachenko parlors, homeless campouts and drug exchange. Attempting to upgrade the district and overcome its seedy reputation, the city subsidized the building of a large mall, similar in colorful design and playfulness (a roller coaster ran through the center of it) to Horton Plaza in San Diego. When Festival Gate didn't attract enough tenants, the city turned many of the spaces over to arts organizations, hoping for "civic uplift" by the arts. So for a few years the arts did thrive there. REMO presented media workshops and performances. Nov Amenomori is one of the founding members of REMO, organizing Breaker Project [] in the streets, and Kanayo Ueda doing poetry readings at a cafe (Cocoroom) next door. But the attempt at art gentrification couldn't really change the basic condition of the depressed neighborhood. The empty roller coaster roaring through the mostly empty space came to symbolize the lonely plight of the creative individuals who were trying to keep their cultural organizations alive. In June REMO held their last event at Festival Gate. The Festival Gate will be torn down to make way for the city's next attempt at "urban renewal" in the area. Remo's future plans include: * 2 weeks public space media installation with an artist from Thailand from the end of September just in front of the Osaka Central Station * 2 weeks indoor media art festival and/or media activism teach-in from the end of year to the first half of the next January in a white cube in a city central which is used for museum preparation. There is still some negotiating with the city government for an alternate site. Meanwhile the Japanese government is moving to control the internet. Under the guise of controlling "cybercrime" the authorities are attempting to put the Japanese internet on a "business" basis.