Setsuko, Seiji and Hitoshi in Obama, Japan and Obama in Indiana - 5 minute video document [in Japanese]
This video documents an installation that featured three karaoke performances staged in the city of Obama, Japan. The performers are members of a local group called the "Obama for Obama Support Group," a business development organization aimed at promoting Obama, Japan that was formed at the time of Barack Obama's first presidential bid. I invited them to perform a custom-made karaoke track of Barack Obama's primary election speech in Indiana. This video was exhibited at the Robischon Gallery in Denver, CO as a companion piece to the public commission "Participatory Democracy and the Future of Karaoke"
[more info on this project below]
Commissioned on the occasion of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as part of the curatorial project Dialog:City [http://www.dialogcity.org], this large-scale public project examined the situation of Denver residents at the time of the DNC. The people of Denver played host to an international event but had the same access to it that anyone in the world would, through TV feeds coming from the restricted-access convention center. Through the development of a series of custom-designed karaoke speech tracks and the establishment of a network of Karaoke Convention Centers [repurposed karaoke bars where residents could re-speak/re-perform the words of their would be leaders], the project aimed to create a form by which the residents of Denver could interrupt the transnational flow of media by passing it through their own bodies.