Volume Five / January 2005 / New York City
Interview with Y.Sodeoka

M.L.: Yoshi, you participated in the fifth volume of "The One Weekend Book Series". Tell me about it. How was it?

Y.S.: It was fun. Not only was it nice to meet you and Eike, it was really inspiring to actually cut and paste papers and draw. We almost don't do that anymore which is a shame.

M.L.: Your art, design and sound projects are very connected to digital media and technologies. How does this influence your paper work?

Y.S.: Yeah, I'm actually trained as a painter. I started painting at a very young age and that's all I knew. I mean I am older and computer wasn't really around until I got out of college.

Now, I don't paint as much. I would like to get back to it someday though. In any case, I still think all my digital work comes from what I learned from traditional art training.

M.L.: Could you tell me more about the connection of being a painter and your current digital work?

Y.S.: I don't think we should make such a big distinction between them. They are just different tools. If there wouldn't have been any computer technology to make art, I would probably still be using brush and paints, I guess.

M.L.: I totally agree that the motivation for art doesn't just come from the tools we use. Tools are merely the media we use to express our ideas, emotions or concepts. But don't you think, that the tools we use are changing the way we express ourselves and therefore how we might be understood?

Y.S.: Yes, I agree so in one way, but I hate to admit that the tools are changing us. Do you know what I'm saying? I think designers' and artists' goals should be not to be overwhelmed by technology. It's important to overpower it. We need to have good ideas before we use the tools.

M.L.: Yes, I think so too. I think you can see that very well in the history of visual culture. The media and styles have changed a lot over the years, but the subjects seem to be constantly repeating. Maybe our ability to distinguish between tool and idea is our chance to discover the essential ideas or subjects. I like to think in technology this way. It could make us worship good ideas again.