A Conversation with Curator Eric Nakamura on the Fourth Giant Robot Biennale

ABE AHN Hyperallergic

AA: It seems like Giant Robot was the first of its kind that presented voices that hadn’t been represented in that scene before.

EN: Yeah, that’s probably true, but you know, there were more political zines that were Asian American and also having fun. There’s one that I always cite called Gidra. It was a zine from the Vietnam War-era late sixties and seventies. I look at that and think, wow, these guys are doing something similar in the 1970s. It was all political and you see Asians with long hair. [laughs] It looked very rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, they looked like hippies who were fighting The Man. There were illustrations and comics that were hilarious.

One of the coolest things is that I met one of the guys who worked on many of the issues. He knew Giant Robot and told me, if you were there, you would’ve been with us, working on this. I was just like, oh, my god. [laughs] That was the greatest compliment I’d heard. We weren’t anything as good as those guys were. We were writing about pop culture; they were writing against the war and putting it out there. That was really powerful.