Waking up from a jet-lagged coma, close to the break of the dawn, you can still see The Light fighting its way through the serpentine paths of Shinjuku. Massive granite walls pulsating with reflected bursts of fluorescent gas discharge, a visual counterpart to the Reich’s Piano Phase. Each sign a pulsating heart, phasing in and out as the neon struggles to preserve its dominion over this lego-like microcosm. Kabukichō is what happens when the city’s planners all leave for vacation and let the rogue architects run the show. The jewel of the highest bidder concrete economy, former swamp now a three-dimensional maze, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon gone wrong.
Here, the dawn simply appears, like turning a switch on the remote. Sunrise is irrelevant, it’s the fine-tuned relays controlling the fluo grids that decide when the night ends and the day begins. These relays are what’s holding together the illusion of Tokyo as the mother of all dystopias, a fast-forward singularity of the posthuman condition. An elusive territory, its map existing only in the vacuum between the liquid ink imprint and the cerebral cortex. Like all literary utopias, a chimerical homeland for those longing to belong, forever kept alive by close re-reading of its texts.
And there of a sudden, a switch is flipped, leaving these streets naked, vulnerable, dreading the mundanity of the day to come.
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