Migiwa Orimo


My work presented at the Baron Gallery is the third installment of an evolving installation that explores notions of “slippage” (or the points of disjunctions): interrupted continuity of land and time; the fragility of connection; mistakes and failures.

The current installment addresses my reflection of the above theme in light of the nuclear plant accident following the Great Tohoku Earthquake in Japan, on March 11th last year.

In whatever form “slippage” might take–physically, politically, or culturally–when it occurs, we experience a shifted sense of equilibrium. When that happens, we, as human beings, become sensors. We notice, observe, measure, witness, suspect, and probe. We try to regain balance.

Some look at nature with inquisitive eyes; some keep “attending” press conferences via online streaming in search of information; some become activists; some bring themselves together as a community of learners.

Downwind“- a site-specific window installation: yellow packing tape, a painted windmill (outside the gallery window), 2012

I was an elementary school student in Tokyo in the 1960’s. I remember we kept repeatedly being told not to walk in the rain without a cover, or our hair will fall out. I didn’t really understand why, but it was because of a fear of nuclear fallout. With above ground nuclear tests–Bikini Atoll (1954), etc.–we were in the midst of the atomic age. When it comes to nuclear disasters, we are all downwind.


Cicada Wall 7.16.2011”–a wall assemblage, 2011

In Japan, many haiku poets use the cicadas as a symbol of summer. I chose one date arbitrarily and searched Tweets mentioning the word “cicada,” which I have here compiled.  A small monitor shows Youtube footage taken on that day by a surveillance camera on the grounds of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Daily Press Conference

Since the 3.11 nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has been giving press conferences several times a day. Independent media journalists have been live-streaming these to give viewers access to unedited versions of TEPCO’s press conferences and Q&As. Even today, one year later, thousands of viewers monitor TEPCO’s daily reports.

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