16. Hi-nikki (Non-diary Diary) (FondationCartier pour l'art contemporian)
One doesn’t have to go far quotes from Araki concerning his thoughts on digital camerasand photography- none are all that positive- - but he’s shot digitally in the past. Indeed, his first purely digitally captured (and perfectly titled) book, Arakitronics, came out in 1994- way before most anyone reading this had ever even actually touched a digital camera.
Hi-nikki: Non-Diary Diary is the result of an invitation by the Cartier Foundation for Araki to provide snapshots for a weekly posting for their website. The book features 1,250 images, taken between March and May of 2014. Despite often sharing identical subject matter, the pictures are startlingly different than his usual film-based work.
The compact Pentax consumer digital camera which Araki used flattened everything into form rather than feelings. Gone is the emotional depth of his dealing with eros and thanatos- digital media has little capability to transmit eroticism- so if the camera has always been an extension of his heart and eye, here with so many digital snaps of actual photographs, it’s more like a pair of scissors- indeed, this book often reads as an artist’s scrapbook than a “proper” photobook.
This approach makes it a valid and fairly interesting addition to the ever-growing Araki bibliography.