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STAY HOME: Distraction Series



Distraction Series 1: Children Who Won’t Die, ARAKAWA


Dear Friends,


In these uncertain times, strength and solace can be found in belonging to a community and we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for being a part of ours. We are all discovering new ways to access and explore art and its potential. As our contribution, the Reversible Destiny Foundation along with ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo office is pleased to introduce our Distraction Series, a biweekly newsletter with links to a variety of A+G projects.


Today, we are sharing Nobu Yamaoka’s 2010 documentary film, Children Who Won’t Die, which introduces the utopian vision of Arakawa and Gins with a focus on the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka in Tokyo, a culmination of their research into the way the body interacts with the architectural space that surrounds it. With extensive footage of Arakawa speaking about the project, along with first-hand accounts from residents of the Lofts, Children Who Won’t Die, offers a look into how the challenging environment of the lofts shifted each person’s experience of daily life, opening up into a poignant meditation on life and death. Thanks to the generosity of the film’s director, the full-length 80 minute film will be openly available through the end of June (please click the link below to watch.) We hope you enjoy it!


Wishing you all the best in the (remote) reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo office





Distraction Series 1: Children Who Won’t Die, ARAKAWA

w/ English subtitles

80 minutes, 2010

Directed by Nobu Yamaoka

Music composed by Keiichiro Shibuya

Narrated by Tadanobu Asano

Cast: Shusaku Arakawa, Haruo Saji, Yuma Yamaoka, Sono Yamaoka, Residents of Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka



For more information about the film and DVD click below





Distraction Series 2: WE, Madeline Gins


In this second installment of our Distraction Series, we are sharing Nobu Yamaoka’s documentary film, WE (2011), featuring Madeline Gins. This film follows Madeline from her studio at 124 West Houston Street to the Bioscleave House in East Hampton, NY, offering another opportunity to spend time with Arakawa+Gins’s reversible destiny architecture. Throughout the film, Madeline provides an intimate look into her extensive, decades-long study of the body, undertaken with Arakawa, as we watch a family explore, navigate, and react to the challenging terrain of Bioscleave House. Thanks to the director’s generosity, this 60 minute film will be available through the end of June, 2020. In case you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, Children Who Won’t Die (2010) is also available through June via our website.


We hope you enjoy We (2011) and will be in touch again with another distraction in two weeks’ time!

Yours in the reversible destiny mode,



Distraction Series 2: WE, Madeline Gins

w/ Japanese subtitles

65 minutes, 2011


How does the body meet the future ?

Madeline Gins – poet, architect, visionary – talks about the origin of creation, its secrets, and the future of humanity. This film documents a visit with her to her studio and to the Bioscleave House in East Hampton, NY – the only example in the USA of the revolutionary, death-defying architecture she developed with Shusaku Arakawa. Gins describes her first encounter with Arakawa, and sheds light on his representative works, including his classic series of artworks, Mechanism of Meaning, which served as the foundation for the procedural architecture projects they later created together. The film also shows visitors navigating in, reacting to, and being transformed by the peculiarities and wonders of the space of Bioscleave House.


Cast: Madeline Gins, Shusaku Arakawa, Lucas Poole, Sofiane Poole, Gillian Poole, Hubert Poole

Directed by Nobu Yamaoka



For more information about the film and DVD click below





Distraction Series 3: Puzzle Creature by Neon Dance


For the third iteration of our Distraction Series, we are pleased to share a full-length recording of the world premiere performance of Neon Dance‘s Puzzle Creature at Kamigo Clove Theater during the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Niigata Prefecture, Japan, on September 15th, 2018. This new immersive dance work was inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakawa and Madeline Gins.


Since 2017, with research assistance from the Arakawa + Gins Tokyo Office, Japan, and the Reversible Destiny Foundation, NY, London-based group Neon Dance has been studying and exploring the philosophical concept of “architectural body” as defined by Arakawa and Madeline Gins in their 2002 book of the same name. Artistic Director/Choreographer Adrienne Hart’s archival research and visits to their built works in both New York and Japan came together in the creation of Puzzle Creature.


Three exquisite dance artists drive this 60-minute performance with wearable artefacts created by the award winning artist Ana Rajcevic forming curious imprints of choreographed action. Puzzle Creature is accompanied by a newly commissioned score for 8 speakers by Oxford based composer Sebastian Reynolds, the work features integrated British and Japanese Sign Language and audio description from Louise Fryer. Organisms that person (you and I) are invited to step inside an inflatable set design by Numen / For Use as the black box theatre is transformed into a unique immersive space shared by both audience and performer. – Neon Dance


Thanks to the generosity of Neon Dance, Puzzle Creature will be available to stream through the end of June, 2020. We hope this inspires your body and mind in new ways!


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,



Distraction Series 3: Puzzle Creature by Neon Dance

Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2018

Production premiere filmed by Tom Schumann


Choreography & Direction: Adrienne Hart

Original Score: Sebastian Reynolds

Set Design: Numen / For Use

Artefacts & Costume design: Ana Rajcevic

Light Design: Nico de Rooij & Djana Covic

Dance Artists: Luke Crook, Mariko Kida & Carys Staton

British Sign Language: Jemima Hoadley & Deepa Shastri

Japanese Sign Language: Chisato Minamimura

Funded & supported by Art Front Gallery, Reversible Destiny Foundation, Arakawa + Gins Tokyo Office, The Place, Arts Council England, Swindon Dance and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.


Neon Dance





Distraction Series 4: Segue Series Reading at Double Happiness, May 19, 2001


With the launch of The Saddest Thing is That I Have Had to Use Words: A Madeline Gins Reader, edited by Lucy Ives, we wanted to take the opportunity to share with everyone more of Madeline’s poetry and other writings. Some of you may already be aware that a number of audio recordings of Madeline’s public readings and lectures are available on PennSound, a wonderful UPenn project that produces new audio recordings and preserves existing audio archives related to poetry. Thanks to this incredible resource, we can all listen to Madeline read some of her writing aloud, which adds considerably to the experience of engaging with her poetry in particular.


For Distraction Series 4, we are highlighting Madeline Gins’s Segue Series reading at Double Happiness, NYC, that took place roughly 19 years ago on May 19, 2001. We especially loved this set of readings that beautifully shows Madeline’s profound ability to be serious while maintaining a sense of play. In this selection, she begins with a series of poems on the Krebs Cycle, which she states she “does not want any biochemist to declare as cute,” and intersperses them with poems about eating Spaghetti, seemingly lighthearted but deeply related, and rich with a touch of melancholy and a soupçon of joy. Please immerse yourself and move on to other readings!

Yours in the reversible destiny mode,