The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Jeff Jackson presents … SIGNAL TO NOISE: The photography of Daisuke Yokota *

* (restored)


Daisuke Yokota is one of the most talked-about young Japanese photographers. He’s been praised for his meticulous approach to photographic experimentation, combined at times with visceral performances and his willingness to continuously test the limits of photography.

Born in 1983 in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Yokota is part of a generation of young artists using photography in subversive new ways. His approach combines multiple rephotographing and printing, and applying acid or flame to the end results. He is working out of, and pushing forward, a Japanese tradition of photobook-making and performance that harks back to the visceral experimentation of the Provoke generation and the work of the relentless photobook-maker Daido Moriyama.

His process is meticulous to the point of obsessive. He shoots on a compact digital camera, prints and rephotographs the results on medium-format film, then prints them again several times using heat and light to mark or distort the images. He stands out because his results tend transcend the sum of the parts. Or, to put it more brutally, his creative process does not appear more interesting than the results. The idea, execution, and final work are all of an equal and often mysterious intensity.

– Sean O’Hagan, The Guardian



Daisuke Yokota on the influence of Aphex Twin on his work:
“There’s a sense that you can’t really see him, and this confusion is interesting to me. Then, to speak about his music, there’s a lot of experimentation with delay, reverb, and echo, which is playing with the way you perceive time. Of course, there’s no time in a photograph, but I thought about how to apply this kind of effect, or filter, to photography.”




THEY and WATER SIDE series




FOSSIL series


SITE series




p.s. RIP Carolee Schneemann. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Definitely read Richard Chiem’s book then. ** chris dankland, Chris, old buddy! So, so good to see you, sir. My morning is its usual de-clouding via coffee self. And yours? The Richard Chiem novel is superb, don’t miss it. Oh, you’ve moved. You made it! Good, good, good that you’re into Phoenix life. Anything like your old Texan life? Very happy that you’re writing, of course. Best news right there. My pleasure on the reposting. Your posts are always singular. I only just got thew new GbV and have only heard it through twice, but, yeah, in the least surprising news ever, I love it more and more. Interesting: your observation about Pollard’s voice changing. I’ll lock into or rather look at it from that angle on my next spin. My opinions are slowly forming, as they tend to do with Pollard. I’m always kind of studious at first until the thing/tracks familiarise themselves with me, and then dumb pleasure gets mixed in, and then it’s easier for me to parse the stuff. Yeah, man, it would be super great to have you here more often if that idea swings the right way for you. You take care, and please give Jennifer my very best! ** Nik, Yeah, he’s quite the writer. Oh, uh, I guess I meant that the film will seem to be constructing the earmarks of a horror film perhaps, but the horror signage doesn’t pay off as that expectation would suggest, and, in fact, as the horror trope fails, the emotional horror uses that expectation/distraction to sneak up on the viewer. Which I realise probably doesn’t make much more sense than the phrase you asked me about, oops. It’s hard to nail down what it is until the script is finished and the post-writing/imagining begins. I think the PGL trailer is finished. The French poster got nixed at the last minute by our producer, which we’re a bit crushed about, but we’re going to try to persuade him otherwise. A lot of PGL stuff right now what with the French release and the US mini-release basically happening at the same time. Thanks about the Bookworm thing. Yeah, usually Michael S.  is so intimidating, but he managed to make the experience very comfortable. Excellent that PA liked your film! That’s great! Wow, Craig Baldwin, that’s awesome. What a good class and teacher PA seems to lead/be, no surprise at all. My week is a lot of PGL-related stuff and work on the new film script. Mostly just that. I’m managing to feel busy/preoccupied without feeling crazy. So far. Let me hear your latest, and have a sweet day. ** Steve Erickson, Yes, the left here has not become intellectually and politically and cultural rigid and dictatorial. For the most part. That’s still the right’s turf. I was never very big on The Prodigy. Their charge always seemed tissue thin to me. Best of luck with Mark Cousins. That should be interesting. ** KeatonStack, I used to know her. I should try to get back in touch. Over here ‘tail’ means cock. I always find that confusing. I hope you trick that trick into working. Surely. ** rewritedept, Hi, Chris. Man, I’m so sorry to hear things are rough with you. Birthdays are always hard. That shittiness you feel about yourself will pass. And probably return again later. Sucks that you’re always dealing with that swinging around. The psoriasis is surely weighing in on your mood. It would have to. I have other friends with it, and, yeah. I don’t know what to say except that I hope life’s greatness makes its presence felt right away. Love you too. ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, man. Yeah, his work was quite US-unfriendly, even back when films that were more deliberately left were instinctually embraced there. Plus his work is pretty weird if you look at it as a totality. Some of those fiction films, like that bizarre sci-fi film, are seriously offbeat. I really like your plan re: Hebrew solidification leading to filmmaking. Your brain is being a really good sieve, it sounds like. Thanks about my heat. We still need it, but not for long. ** Okay. I decided to restore this intriguing art post put together by Jeff Jackson some years back, and I hope you like it. See you tomorrow.


  1. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – I’d forgotten all about this post and it was a pleasant shock to see it reappear here!

    I’ve been following the blog the past few days but glitches have kept my comments from appearing. Trying something different today and hopefully this one will go through.

    Loved the day celebrating Richard Chiem’s wonderful ‘King of Joy’ which I was lucky to read in galleys. And I knew the name Lech Majewski, but not any of his films and the post was a revelation. Do you have a recommended starting place?

    I spent yesterday visiting a writing class at UNC Chapel Hill – they read 30 page excerpt from DAM and seemed engaged by it, had a number of good questions. It was a nice experience, but longer drive there and back than expected.

    Let me know if there’s any word on PG. I’m casting about for screening room options.

  2. Tosh Berman

    Great images today! Thanks, Jeff (and Dennis). I love the photographs, and its interesting about his process in getting those images. My Bookworm experience was fantastic. I wanted to do a five-hour episode with Michael. If not talking about my book, then we can just chat about Sparks. I’m participating in their documentary today. Looking forward to that.

  3. Keatoncado

    Haha this bar I used to be at too late at night. The weekday DJ would play the greatest hits from Disco late night. Xanadu was one of those songs. And I will forever have Run Around in my head. Ew, I dont know how I feel about that. I guess that its French makes it innocent. Im not really a genitals guy. I do enjoy a nice ass. I like this photography. I feel like the Japanese are into ghosts like me. These make me think of the naked Indian from Waynes World, also, reading about the formless bodies that walked around after the atomic blasts. The gay park is a popular thing here with older guys. I hear the best one is covered in Pygmy Rattlers lol. So went out last night ran into my old friend, so we just sat there like two old queens and bitched, I appreciated the Deco and left. Florida has done horrible things to my sex life. I used to get laid every day a year ago. What the fuck, right? Something good is in store. Went for coffee this morning and a hotass 17 year old told me he liked my Adidas shirt. Its a start. Maybe its time to only buy hookers or become one. The ego thing in the Gays is killing me. Courting is killing cruising. Waiting on my bloodtests to see if I can keep eating Mexican burgers, just had one by the way thought of you. So when I spoke of the Podcast with BEE earlier, I was only talking about the Podcast in general. Actually listened to it last night. Haa! A riot, so fucking fun. You sound great, a lot of crazy cool stuff going on with your voice. I heard some Burroughs, a strong arm, a couple variations of style, some volume. You kind of sound like Sonic Youth or something when you talk lol. California boys sound neater skeeter. They sound cooler than Cali girls IMO. I think the Podcast was a great success. You and Bret both really shined. Casting a little spell, well see how it goes. I think Im going to start calling tails, heartbreakers. Writing today and then the beach. The Canadian grandsons are looking pretty fresh.

  4. Bill

    Good to see this one again. I love how the photos push into abstraction. Lots of ideas for me to steal here. That second image from the top reminds me of Belmer’s portrait of Unica Zurn, tied up.

    Very nice interview on Bookworm, Dennis. You and Zac sounded like you were enjoying yourselves.

    I was actually admiring the new Chiem novel before seeing yesterday’s post. Will probably have to wait, since I’m getting ready for a long trip and have to manage my reading projects obsessi… umm, carefully.

    I don’t know how I came across this, but:



  5. Corey Heiferman

    Wow I’ve never seen anything like this. Thanks Jeff!

    A Jewish proverb says that the best kind of student is like a sieve (as opposed to a sponge, funnel, or strainer), so special thanks for the compliment.

    I’ve gotten obsessed with this video. It brings me pure joy:

  6. Steve Erickson

    The Mark Cousins interview went very well, although the phone call got cut off after 12 minutes – just as I wanted to challenge his claim that Godard’s work is emotionless – and he had to call me back again to continue it. I’ve transcribed the first third (we talked for half an hour.) His thoughts about auteurism, the canon and how YouTube has made it to see the work of female filmmakers (the subject of his current 15-hour work-in-progress) were very interesting, especially given that he’s both deeply interested in bringing directors from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East into the spotlight and he just made a documentary about Orson Welles. It should be published a week from tomorrow.

    I’d hoped to interview Olivier Assayas entirely about music for Rough Trade Records’ in-store magazine when PERSONAL SHOPPER was released in the US. It didn’t work out due to editorial weirdness on Rough Trade’s part (the magazine folded soon afterwards.) Now NON-FICTION opens here in May, and I approached its publicist about doing the same interview concept and managed to find another outlet to publish it. However, he’s now in production on his next film and doesn’t even have time to do a phone interview. To quote the end of Cronenberg’s CRASH, maybe the next one.

    If Corey is reading this, there’s one other option for free streaming that just occurred to me, but I don’t know if it’s accessible to viewers outside the US: It’s operated as a service to college students and public library members, and in the US anyone with a library card or college ID can watch 5 films a month on it. They have a range of classic Hollywood films, documentaries (including every Frederick Wiseman film) and recent releases from several indie American distributors.

  7. liquoredgoat


    Came in too late on the last post so I repeat myself here: Dennis,

    Hello! The last six months have been pretty rough, so I’ve been quiet on all fronts. Finished up my MFA and now I’m back in CA looking for a job, and writing, and reading a lot. This novel looks awesome. I’ll have to check it out. Also, I’ve really been into the books Amphetamine Sulphate has been putting out, especially Simon Morris’s output.

    I hope you are well!


  8. js

    2401 Seth Thomas Rd.

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