In a city somewhere in Japan, two men and a woman work in an office. They start each day with a promise to do their best. Clad in overalls, these no-nonsense bureaucrats fill out forms, calculate averages to three decimal points, and leave the office to take measurements. Where they go and why remains totally unclear. On the soundtrack we hear the voices of spectators guessing at the meaning of the mysterious activities, in a waterfall of confused commentary.
The Japanese artist and filmmaker Shigeo Arikawa sets out to make viewers look in a radically new way and judge everything as if they have never seen it before. In previous work, he achieved this by breaking up images into pixels. The construction of a Kafkaesque work environment is his latest strategy to invite a fresh way of looking. We know what we see, but we actually have no idea what we’re watching.