Along the bottom of the posters and flyers in tiny type appeared the words: "Sick and tired of the same ol' gaijin sex fantasy? Tell me about it! Return the gaze. firstname.lastname@example.org"
In response, geisha_crossing received a number of e-mails at this anonymous address. Selected messages and my replies are linked below:
>So-called "western geisha"
>University art historian
>Journalist from Nichi Bei Times
>Japantown community member
Prompted by this dialogue + photos of the action, the local paper of record chose to cover the story, leaving the Museum with no choice but to respond:
From : ST
Sent : Monday, October 4, 2004 11:40 PM
To : email@example.com
Subject : request for posters
Hi - I saw your Geisha exhibit posters around Japantown and am wondering if there's a way I could get a few copies. I like what you did with them.
I'm a reporter with a Japanese American newspaper and am wondering if you have some time to talk about your project.
Thanks a lot.
From: "geisha crossing" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 05:03:38 +0000
Subject: RE: request for posters
Thanks for your interest in the Geisha project. I greatly value any feedback to the work. I'm incredibly busy this week with a big deadline, so I don't know if I'll have time to talk, but would like to engage in an e-mail dialogue, if you are willing.
I'm wondering if you could tell me as specifically as you can what it is that you like about the posters or their placement, what it is that you connect with. Since you work at a Japanese American newspaper, I'm guessing there's a good chance you are Japanese American. If so, or even if not, how do you relate your appreciation of the poster to how you see yourself, if at all?
Also, if you are aware of any reaction from the community, as a community-based reporter or simply as a member of the Japantown community itself, I'd really appreciate hearing about it.
Very truly yours,
From : ST
Sent : Thursday, October 7, 2004 6:00 AM
To : "geisha crossing" email@example.com
Subject : RE: request for posters
Hi - Thanks for the reply. When did you start making the posters? Who are you targeting them at? Where have you distributed them? How many did you make?
I saw some in store windows in Japantown. I was looking for my own copy, but couldn't find one. Where can I get one?
I'm hoping to see more around the city.
An interesting touch with the glasses. Could you explain that?
I'm not sure how many people know about the posters, which is partly why I'm getting in touch with you. If you could clue me more into your mission for the project and the process of creating them, I'd like to write something up on this. From the people I've talked to who have seen the poster, the response has been positive. Have you got any response from the museum?
Ok, hope to hear from you soon.