217 Views of the Tokaido Line, a six-minute video loop with generative haiku, is a "digital journal" of traveling Japan on the Tokaido train line (Kyoto-Tokyo). Working against the implicit linearity of the journey (the forward motion of the train) image and text fragments foreground nonlinear processes: loops, speed changes, reversals, spatial montage and random retrieval. The great Japanese travel artists (Basho, Hiroshige and Soseki) are used as models and sources for atomizing experience into discrete and ephemeral jolts of time.
With our small cameras, smartphones and apps we document our travels. We capture and collect "haiku" moments, tokens of time and space, just as we always have, whether with pen and paper or the bulky camcorder. But with digital technology, we now store these moments as files in searchable databases. How do we use them? Do we try to find the narratives in the fragments or hunt for the suprising incongruities? Perhaps we only care about the isolated moment,the singular shot or sequence, which we "share" as soon as it has rendered. However we narrate experience, our devices and their databases remind us that there are always moments lost in any narrative retelling, always a different path through the data.