bososoku

cyclopian oil-coolerThe nipponese metropolitan nights not only know the yakuza—there are the bososoku, too: “Studies of the bososoku motor cycle gangs of Japan have shed light on a population that engages in illegal and reckless biking stunts that endanger, injure, and kill thousands of gang members and innocent bystanders every year.” ( sirtomas) Those gangs are on the road—preferrably after midnight—not only with motorcycles, but also with tuned cars. One goal of the tuning seems to be making the cars as loud as possible, in order to lift the sleeping citizens straight up from their futons by means of exhaust-pipe symphonies. ( akagisan.de)

nipponese gran turismoNow endo tells me that there is a car-tuning concept or style called bososoku: “[…] this strange concept born from biker gangs. Mad Max meets 70s japanese touring. | actually the funny part is that the Western car modders think it’s gay.. | but to be honest it represents a lot of japanese thinking.. functionality over the look | but at the same time there is an opposite side…. the japanese tuners that want to be more american.. so they make stupid looking cars copying the american trend of all show and no go | well… in japan at least they do improve the performance before the kits :P” (via IM) And of course this concept is taken up by 3D-modellers—see the GTApex thread on Bososoku started by endo, a modder modeling modded motorvehicles.

One might say: so what? But I sense something here—a strand of associations being a part of modding- and/or gaming-culture. At a LAN-party I was shown some flics of the ‘Ghost Rider’, a scandinavian outlaw clad in black leather and helmet, riding a black racing motorcycle with a cubic capacity that easily could swallow half an ox, doing wheelies at 200+ km/h and generally making fools of the police, ‘owning’ them and there by making the highways his own. Then there are: games like “Need for Speed – Underground”, “Midnight club”, and of course the famous “Grand Theft Auto” series … gamemodders being graffitti-artists and having a background in the connected illegal activities, having artistically appropriated metropolitan structures … gamemodders being skater-artistes athletically appropriating the city-landscape.
    As with Open Source I do not think that we are dealing here with a so-called revolution, but with resistance. Resistance in the subtle form of appropriating what those entities, which are stylized as enemies, have created and maintain. Yes, they all ‘break the rules’, and do not obey to order. But obviously the sprayer needs concrete walls, and the skater needs ramps, stairs, and especially handrails to grind on. Finally, what would the bososoku be without the cities inhabited by ‘normal citizens’? They could not exist without ‘normal society’, as they are defined as its counterpart, its nighttime opposition (for a minute putting aside the phantasmagories from beyond the thunderdome). ‘Normal society’ and the spaces created by the very same are these groups’/cultures’ natural habitat. Rebellion maybe—revolution? No.

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