Should you find yourself in Tokyo this month—I hear it’s lovely this time of year—you really ought to visit the midtown city center, where there’s a psychedelic rager with digital vegetables taking place through November 5. Perhaps you’re taken aback by how casually I just wrote “digital vegetables” and acted as if that were a totally normal word pairing. Well, it certainly isn’t in America, which is why we all need to get on Japan’s level, stat.
PARTY, a group of super-creative Japanese artist types, built a light-up, touch-sensitive greenhouse in which a different sound blares whenever you handle a particular piece of produce. Touch a tomato and you’ll trigger a violin, pet a pumpkin and you’ll hear a clarinet, or caress a carrot and you’ll be serenaded with a trumpet. (In case you’re wondering, cabbages also correspond with oboes, radishes with flutes, sweet potatoes with pianos and eggplants with harps.)
Ray Kunimoto, PARTY’s sound designer, says he recorded real sounds of “rubbing seeds,” “touching leaves” and “eating fruits” and then mixed them with the sounds of orchestra instruments on his computer.
Touching the veggies also activates intricate displays of LED lights, making for a serious mindtrip that’s maybe supposed to get us talking about agriculture, according to The Spaces. That’s a very noble intention, but if I’m going to see this thing, I’m going for one reason and one reason only: to concoct a sweet potato symphony in a multisensory sea of neon.