Distraction Series


Distraction Series 10: A round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline


Madeline and Arakawa with Mesoamerican statues in Tula, Mexico

1. Madeline poses as Arakawa casually leans on Toltec warrior statue in Tula, Mexico.


Given the current limitations on travel, Distraction Series 10 is here to bring you on a round-the-world armchair vacation with Arakawa and Madeline. From Mesoamerican ruins in Tula, Mexico, to Italy, France, Japan, and various locations in New York state, join us as we travel through time and space from the point of view of our two founders. We’ve pulled around twenty photographs from our archive for your viewing pleasure – scroll down for the images with descriptive captions. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, you’ll find Arakawa and Madeline posing, taking photographs, examining their environment, and planning their day over breakfast. Enjoy!


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office



Arakawa and Madeline posing in front of Japanese buildings in snow (3 Jan 1995)

2. Arakawa and Madeline all bundled up in front of snowy, thatched cottages in Japan.



Arakawa and Madeline on a boat in Venice

3. While Arakawa photographs his environment from a boat in Venice, Italy, someone else turns the lens on him and Madeline.



Madeline with haystacks in France

4. Madeline poses in front of a field of haystacks in France, as if she has just stepped into a Monet painting.

Arakawa in front of a castle in France

5. Arakawa looks pensive in the shadows against the backdrop of a French castle.



Madeline and Arakawa walking on a street near a horse drawn trailer (Sep 1986)

6. Madeline and Arakawa both turn to look over their shoulders as they pass in front of a horse and buggy, U.S.A., September, 1986.



Arakawa walking up stairs in Europe

7. Arakawa strikes a pose on some picturesque European steps.

Madeline on the deck of a boat

8. Madeline poses in a beautiful, white dress on a boat. Unfortunately, a finger was covering part of the lens – something one wouldn't discover until the photographs were developed after the vacation was over. Many of us might have experienced this in the last century especially!

Madeline touching plants on a trail in Japan (1979)

9. Ever curious, Madeline examines some leaves on a trail in Japan, 1979.

Madeline and Arakawa walking outside

10. Arakawa and Madeline shift their gazes downward as they come to a standstill before a stone wall in Upstate New York.

Arakawa and Madeline posing on a Japanese street

11. Madeline and Arakawa pose on the sidewalk in Hakone, Japan, 1979, with the famous Hakone Fujiya Hotel and a mountain in the background.

Madeline and Arakawa near a smoky campfire

12. Madeline and Arakawa stand behind a thick cloud of smoke billowing from a camp fire in Upstate New York.

Image of clouds from plane window

13. Who can resist the urge to take a photograph from an airplane window? A "mistake" in the development of this photograph gives the impression of a full moon hovering over a mountain range, with a planet floating nearby.

Arakawa walking on stone path near Mayan ruins

14. Arakawa turns to look over his shoulder as he walks along a scenic path near Mayan ruins.

Arakawa and Madeline writing at a breakfast table in Japan (1979)

15. Arakawa and Madeline writing and looking through pamphlets as they enjoy breakfast at The Fujiya, a French restaurant at the Hakone Fujiya Hotel in Hakone, Japan, 1979.

Polaroid of Arakawa in Venice (Jun 1969)

16. Arakawa's profile in shadow in front of the canal in Venice, Italy, June 1969.

Polaroid of Madeline in Venice (Jun 1969)

17. A fashionable Madeline walking in Venice, Italy, June 1969, with a trench coat draped around her shoulders.

Arakawa in front of the leaning tower of Pisa

18. Arakawa leans against a low wall with a tower in the background.

Polaroid of Madeline on a boat in Venice

19. Madeline relaxes in a boat on the canal in Venice, Italy, her head perfectly framed by an archway.


20. Arakawa sits in an armchair in the middle of an intersection in Japan. A bicycle wheel to the left and the grid lines of a building above, partially frame him in references to Modern art.


Contact sheet of images of Tula, Mexico

21. Negatives from Arakawa and Madeline's trip to Tula, Mexico, bring back memories of how we used to take vacation photographs.



Snapshot of a snowy riverbank (26 Jan 1990)

22. A peaceful winter landscape. This is the type of photograph that we all wind up taking in multiples, especially now in the digital age, for while we cannot bare to pass by such beauty without capturing it, our attempts rarely convey the pure majesty of being in nature. January 26th, 1990.


Images: Photographs featuring or taken by Arakawa and Madeline, 1-22: 1: Tula, Mexico; 2: Japan; 3: Venice, Italy; 4: France; 5: France; 6: most likely U.S.A., September, 1986; 7: most likely Europe; 8: boat; 9: Japan, 1979; 10: most likely upstate New York; 11: Hakone, Japan, 1979; 12: most likely upstate New York; 13: from window of airplane; 14: near Mayan ruins; 15: The Fujiya, a French Restaurant at the Hakone Fujiya Hotel in Hakone, Japan, 1979; 16: Venice, Italy, June 1969; 17: Venice, Italy, June 1969; 18: most likely Europe; 19: Venice, Italy; 20: Japan; 21: Tula, Mexico, negatives; 22: January 26, 1990






Distraction Series 9: Questionnaire from Madeline Gins



Photograph of Madeline Gins (seated in the second row from the front at the far left) in Grade Six, Radcliffe Road Elementary School, Island Park, NY, 1952


For the ninth iteration of our Distraction Series, we have pulled a questionnaire from our archive that Madeline had her mother give to her Fifth-Grade class on January 20th, 1969, the day Richard Nixon was sworn in as President of the United States. Lucy Ives, editor of The Saddest Thing Is That I Have Had to Use Words: A Madeline Gins Reader, wrote a lovely piece about this questionnaire for the Poetry Foundation in April of this year. Madeline’s questions focus in on thoughts – where do you feel them, from where do they come, where do they go, what are they made of? And she then has the children conduct a practical exercise (drawing a circle), before asking about their thoughts while carrying out this particular activity. Finally, the questionnaire asks the children to explain the difference between children and adults, state their most interesting thought, share their oldest memory, and come up with an interesting question to ask their teacher.


The fascinating responses from the children have thoughts taking the shape of duck feathers, words, air, gold, nothing, silk, soft tissue, sugar, fur, emerald, steel, fluffy cotton, brain tissue, leather, and marbles. One child, Nancy, explains that “an adult has to be mature, not only in size, but in mind. A person could be six feet tall, 26 years old, and still act like a child, as an 8 year old could act like a professor of Math according to his mind.” So true, Nancy. A few students had some thoughts to share about our planet: Susan has imagined that the world was completely covered by water and asks if her teacher would like to live under the ocean, while Tracy imagined a land where everything was sweets and sodas. Tybert once thought that the middle of the earth was hollow and that you could go inside, and, finally, Peter made the chilling declaration that “the earth is dead.” 13-year-old Zoë, responding in 2020, has a scary thought about her own world: “What if my life is a game and someone is just controlling me and everyone in my life is fake?” Contrary to the assumption that this would be a frightening scenario, she thinks it would be “cool.”


An interesting thought exercise to try at home for adults and children alike!


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office



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Madeline Gins, the first typescript page from Questionnaire, 1969



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Distraction Series 8: Arakawa’s MISTAKE, Lecturer: Satoshi Yamada


For Distraction Series 8, we are very pleased to present a ten-minute excerpt of a two-hour lecture by curator Satoshi Yamada on a work by Arakawa entitled 35’ by 7’ 6” and 126 lbs. No. 2, 1967-68. This lecture was given on May 13th, 2012, at the Nagoya City Art Museum, where Mr. Yamada was a curator at the time. NCAM houses sixteen works by Arakawa in its permanent collection, along with an additional five works on long-term loan from the Estate of Madeline Gins. As the museum is located in the artist’s hometown of Nagoya, NCAM has focused on developing a collection that covers a broad range of Arakawa’s artistic experiments: it spans from the sculptures of the late 1950s (his so-called ‘coffin’ series), to sketches revealing his thought-process, and finally to the large-scale paintings of the 1980s that anticipated his move toward architecture in collaboration with Madeline Gins.


Satoshi Yamada, currently the chief curator of the Kyoto City Museum of Art, conducted a 2-year-long study of Arakawa’s work in 2003–2005 with two other fellow curators, forming the organizing committee of the 2005 exhibition “Analyzing the Art of Arakawa Shusaku” at NCAM. This in-depth research project and his years of experience working with the museum’s collection pieces have formed Mr. Yamada’s opinion that Arakawa thought through everything in great detail and created his work with a view to communicating ideas as clearly as possible to the public—an assessment that may bewilder some people who are familiar with the enigmatic works of the artist.


We hope that this lecture will provide another foray into the world of Arakawa and invite you to exercise your own analytical thinking while looking at the artist’s work. For Closed Captioning, please click on the “CC” at the bottom right of the YouTube video.


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office




Arakawa, 35’ by 7’ 6” and 126 lbs. No. 2, 1967-68, acrylic and collage on canvas, 7 panels, overall: 420 x 88 1/2 inches

Collection of Nagoya City Art Museum, photograph courtesy of the museum



Arakawa, Look at It, 1968, screenprint (5 screens) on chromium-plated Mylar, 36 x 48 inches



Arakawa, Landscape (Mistake), 1970, screenprint (11 sheets) on 12-gauge chromium-plated Mylar, 35 x 46 inches

Collection of Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, photograph courtesy of the museum 





Distraction Series 7: Sky No. 2, 1968


Arakawa, Sky No.2, 1968, acrylic and oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in



In 1968, Arakawa produced a number of works that took his use of stenciled and written language in a more playful direction than we saw in the paintings included in documenta 4. In canvas and print form, he reproduced recipes for lamb stew, fried pork with sweet-sour sauce, banana cake, and coconut milk cake. These recipes were, in a sense, readymades, found in one or more cookbooks that Arakawa and Madeline had on their shelf. They all follow a similar formula: Arakawa copied a page onto the surface of each work and then diagrammed the ingredients.


For Distraction Series 7, we present you with our playful response to Sky No. 2, 1968, pictured above, which involved baking the Coconut Milk Cake recipe as it is written in cursive over the surface of the canvas, up until we are left hanging with this final sentence: “To serve, fill between the layers with:”. This incomplete direction seems to demand that the viewer fill the layers by filling in the blank. They may immediately look to the diagram at the bottom to see if that offers any hint. When it does not, they must search within their own frame of reference for coconut cake to complete the recipe rather than be left with the image of two, completely bare, single-layer cakes.


While this painting introduces language as a readymade, it also brings us away from our visual sense to a certain extent. We might picture what the completed cake would look like, and certainly had to when we turned to baking it, but, more importantly, the painting makes palpable the cake’s sweet taste, the scent of freshly grated coconut and the aroma wafting from the oven as the cake bakes, and finally the texture of the light and airy crumb and the creaminess of whatever the viewer’s brain has sandwiched between the layers and perhaps over the cake’s entirety. Another work in the series is entitled “Recipe (taste it)”, which we could take as a literal direction.


Sky No. 2, 1968, does not ask you to bake an actual cake; your mind has already produced a vivid replica, but the diagrammed ingredients at the bottom of the canvas provide the perfect mise en place to get any would-be bakers started. As in earlier paintings, Arakawa has placed these word-objects in space, and in our mind’s eye we might find ourselves standing before a kitchen table or countertop (though in real life, we would be missing the baking powder, which would keep the cake from reaching the “sky” of the title.) This is perhaps the writer’s subjective response to the painting, and in this case by someone who loves to bake and has indeed had coconut cake before. The title made it easier to conjure up images of whipped, fluffy egg whites and airy sky-high cakes; yet this created some cognitive dissonance when contrasted to the first Sky painting (Sky, 1968), which included a recipe for lamb stew.


Every person viewing any work of art will have their own individual response or interpretation. In terms of taking viewer participation to the next level, we thought a fun, easy way to demonstrate this subjectivity would be to have at least two people make this recipe and see how their cakes differ. If you try this recipe, share your results on Instagram and tag us @reversibledestinyfoundation!


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office


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Distraction Series 6: documenta 4

Documenta 4

The subject of Distraction Series 6 is documenta 4, which took place in Kassel, Germany, from June 27th to October 6th, 1968.. Arakawa was invited to participate in this recurring international art exhibition in that year as well as in 1977.


documenta began in 1955 as a way to bring West Germany back into the international art scene and modernist art, which had been labeled ‘degenerate art’ under the Nazi regime, back into Kassel’s local purview. 1968, a pivotal year that saw protests across the globe, marked a serious shift in content for documenta, moving from essentially retrospectives of modernist art to an exhibition of more current artwork, signaled by the slogan, “The Youngest documenta Ever”, although the official title was, "Art is what artists make". Artistic Director, Arnold Bode, though still largely responsible for the exhibition, stepped down, opting for a more democratic process with many of the final decisions left to a particularly youthful advisory board who selected very recent works. Indeed, much of the art by the 149 featured artists was made that year and at times even specifically for the exhibition. While this was seen as a positive move as it presented a broader concept of art to the audience, criticism was levied at the board for a heavily American roster of supposedly international artists. 51 of the 149 artists were from the United States, earning documenta 4 the nickname “Americana.” From a historical perspective, it is interesting to note that these works did not overtly reflect the political situation unfolding in the United States at the time. These American artists represented pop art, minimal art, color field art, op art, post-painterly abstraction, and, to some degree, conceptual art. Artists from Germany and elsewhere with conceptual and performance-based practices (for example Fluxus and Happenings) were not included, leading to protests at the opening ceremonies. Four German artists led a disturbance action called the “Honey Blind”, in which they poured honey on microphones and furniture and went around hugging and kissing those who were meant to give speeches. Students waving red flags joined in the protest.


While we have not yet found any materials in the RDF archive about what Arakawa and Madeline’s thoughts were on documenta 4 and the civil rights protests in the U.S., we do know that throughout their lives, from Arakawa’s early involvement in the anti-establishment Neo-Dadaism Organizers’ group in Tokyo, to their joint interest in Code Pink, to Madeline’s support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, their work was about the breaking of fixed boundaries, whether mental, physical, or institutional. The six works by Arakawa included in documenta 4 all explore these ideas. See below for more in-depth information about some of these works.


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,


Reversible Destiny Foundation and ARAKAWA+GINS Tokyo Office


Arakawa, Name's Birthday (a couple), 1967, oil on canvas


In Name’s Birthday (a couple), 1967, Arakawa offers a bird’s eye view into the plan of a room with a window on one of the walls. This room is represented in slightly different ways on two canvasses. On the left panel, lines and brackets denote the boundaries of objects that are represented by words and placed within the room. Reminiscent of a blueprint, the objects exist as surfaces rather than volumes. An arrow leads to each word/object from the shadow of a loose knot of string, perhaps a physical demonstration of the interaction between objects as they move through and exist within space. The rope shadow, achieved by spray-painting over an actual rope held against the canvas, is a clear indication of a poly-dimensional space. On the right panel, numbers have replaced the words, as if to stress the language of a blueprint to a greater extent than on the left panel. We also find that the window is open, and light, represented by a dense yellow color-field, fills the cracks and we might imagine it pouring into the room, and down to the bottom space of both canvasses, where it is extracted into its spectral form in a zone separated from the main body of the canvas. The fact that the two panels do not perfectly line up also shows a slight shift in perspective and highlights movement in general, reinforced by the circle at the top of the painting with an arrow indicating motion from right to left, with the object’s path traced in a series of after-images. The label of ‘mistake’ on the right panel brings us back into the canvas’s lived dimension.



Arakawa, Separated Continuums, 1966


In Separated Continuums, 1966, we find words standing in again for the everyday objects they name, this time within a grid and along a line presumably representing a time-space continuum. Rather than any kind of perspective, Arakawa has used the temporal dimension to order our understanding of space. In this case, the numbers along a separate continuum might indicate the difference between our lived and perceived experience, or alternatively the space between the concept or existence of an object and our perception of it.



Arakawa, Unknown Blood, 1965, graphite, ink, and spray paint on paper


Unknown Blood, 1965, is the only drawing by Arakawa included in documenta 4. Here, a picture field has been drawn in over a diagram of an apartment or house. This picture field has been stabbed in the top right corner by a flat painted knife that has two shadows indicating at least two sources of light. The first shadow maintains the shape of object, while the second shadow transforms the knife into the shape of a screw driver. The other three corners of what we might imagine is a canvas or piece of paper have been folded back, revealing space behind the image. The bottom right fold includes a splash of paint that is most likely the unknown blood referred to by the title. The knife has stabbed through the picture and this yellow blood, that looks like a splash of ectoplasm, has dripped down seemingly from another, unknown, dimension located behind the picture plane.



documenta 4, catalog, pp.20-21, Druck + Verlag, GmbH, Kassel, 1968. At right: Arakawa, Untitled, 1964-65, ink, tempera, pencil, marker on canvas


In Untitled, 1964-65, a series of models lead one from another. If we take what we have learned about Arakawa’s language of signs, symbols, and ways of representing space, then we might interpret this work in the following way. The rope or string motif is again present. Perhaps we start there, understanding the strings as objects that are interrelated and moving through time into a specific fold of gridded dimensional space as we saw in Separated Continuums, 1966. What we might call a prism at the left, give off light of different colors that also move into the fold, as indicated by an arrow. This canvas does not offer up a clear point of reference through which the viewer might be able to enter or engage with a created space or reality, but it does stimulate the intellect, ensuring that the viewer is reading and thinking and not just looking. 



documenta 4, catalog, pp.20-21, Druck + Verlag, GmbH, Kassel, 1968. At left: Arakawa, Alphabet Skin No.3, 1966-67, oil on canvas. At right: Arakawa, Fifty two, 1966, oil on canvas


Alphabet Skin No.3, 1966-67, and Fifty two, 1966, function in similar ways to Name’s Birthday (a couple), 1967, and Separated Continuums, 1966, but the worlds of numbers and words, while both semiotic, do not collide within these paintings.



Arakawa, Fifty two, 1966, oil on canvas



Distraction Series 5: Virtual tour of Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka


For Distraction Series 5, our Director, Momoyo Homma, leads us on a tour of the Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA – In Memory of Helen Keller, in Tokyo, Japan. We are very grateful to Nobu Yamaoka, the director of the two documentary films presented in Distraction Series 1 and 2, “Children Who Won’t Die” (2010) and “We” (2011), for filming this experience. Follow along as Momoyo guides us from the building entrance up to one of the lofts, where she walks us through how this unique living environment affords ample opportunity to stretch and move the body in new ways. Special guests Yuma and Sono, two of the children who appeared in “Children Who Won’t Die”, speak about their experiences from their time living in one of the lofts. Speculating about what it would be like to live in a Reversible Destiny City, Yuma imagines that there would be no war in the future, an observation that Arakawa himself frequently made. Rokka, a two-year-old who currently lives in one of the lofts, also demonstrates fun ways to use the space.


In addition to this private tour, we want to bring to your attention a 15-minute episode of the NHK World program “Close to ART”, which features the Reversible Destiny Lofts MITAKA. With some background on the history and philosophy of the lofts, including footage of Madeline and Arakawa, this episode provides a great complement to Momoyo’s tour and we highly recommend it:



We hope to one day welcome you all to the lofts in person! Until then, we remain:


Yours in the reversible destiny mode,



Distraction Series 5:

Virtual tour of Reversible Destiny Lofts

Directed by Nobu Yamaoka (RTAPIKCAR,Inc.)




NHK WORLD 「Close to ART: The Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka」

Available until April 15, 2021


"The Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka" is a colorful group of housing units located in Mitaka, a sleepy Tokyo suburb. Designed by artists Arakawa Shusaku and Madeline Gins in 2005, the buildings function as both art and living space. The 9 lofts are designed "not to die," taking residents out of their comfort zones with spherical rooms, bumpy floors and more. We talk to those who live and work here as we discover what motivated Arakawa and Gins to build the lofts in the first place.



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,






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 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 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