Under the Influence: A Traveling Library of Books that Inspire Artists
Artist: Aki Onda
b.1967, Nara, Japan
Lives and works in New York, NY
Book Title: Movie Journal: The Rise of a New American Cinema, 1959- 1971
Author: Jonas Mekas
Jonas Mekas’ Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania changed my life in Tokyo in the eighties at his first screening in Japan. I was deeply inspired by his diary films and the avant-garde cinema of his generation and wanted to learn more. In 1999, I visited Mekas at Anthology Film Archives and over the following years, I spent countless hours having my body touch movie seats, absorbing New York underground cinema culture and beyond. This experience helped me to develop my cassette practice as an artist. This book, Movie Journal: The Rise of a New American Cinema, 1959-1971, is comprised of Mekas’ weekly column for The Village Voice and therefore a chronicle of the scene. It served as a compass for me to dive into that world.