This web page is Copyright© Eric Van Hove 2006
Off the record is a punctual underground underway art show that takes place at various venues and subway stations in Tokyo. It hijacks the recently installed X-CUBE© locker system.
X-CUBE© lockers allow multiple users to exchange packages by using a touch screen and their cell phone numbers as digital-keys. Proposed by Belgian artist Eric Van Hove, the tactically curated Off the record exhibit simply substitutes the package with an artwork or installation.
Existing entirely in transitional public spaces, the show nevertheless remains hidden and visible solely within a private network: a person who has gained access to the work can only invite someone else to view it whose cell phone number they already have.
A chain reaction guest list:
The curator or the artist places the artwork, then invites the first person to the show by registering his cell phone number with the X-CUBE©, and calling him to confirm. In the following hours, the invited viewer arrives at the station, uses his cell phone to unlock the gallery space (the locker), and pays ¥100 to view the work. He then invites the next person by registering a new cell phone number and calling to confirm, and so on...
Think of a "Chinese whisper," a children's game in which a sentence is passed on from one player to the next, often with its meaning altered in transit.
Want to see a work? You need to find someone who's invited, and get him to invite you or go with him together to see it. There is no other way. This is a mean hi-tech mega-city: if you're rich, pop-up when you want...but if you're poor, be fast! It costs ¥100 every 3 hours.
The show ends:
- if for any reason the last invited guest takes too long to visit the show
- if the art work disapears
- if the last invited guest breaks the chain by forgetting to invite a new person
- if an earthquake destroys Tokyo