Tokyo Heterotopia: Interview with Akira Takayama

Pleased to see publication of interview with Akira Takayama who created ‘Tokyo Heterotopia’, a theatrical investigation into urban otherness in Tokyo, which is available as digital application on iPhone and smartphone. It becomes an interactive theatrical experience that is site-specific and meditative.

Odate, N. (2018) ‘Heterotopian Transformations  An Interview with Akira Takayama’, in Arfara K., Mancewicz A., Remshardt R. (eds) Intermedial Performance and Politics in the Public Sphere. Avant-Gardes in Performance. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

Akira Takayama explores cities and public spaces by applying a frame of heterotopia, derived from Michel Foucault’s concept, which allows audiences to experience a different way of viewing the cityscape where they wander. Takayama interprets heterotopia as an other space which does exist in reality. His creations are based on his perception of reality gained through extensive research with local researchers and collaborators. Taking examples from four Heterotopia projects as well as other recent works, including his new Wagner project, he discusses with Natsuko Odate how to defamiliarize the audience’s perception and how to keep transforming the public space not as a centripetal place but rather a centrifugal space to adopt a diversity that exists in our society.