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Open “Dakota” by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries
The earliest snapshot of YHCHI’s website by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine was in August 16, 2000, listing “The Struggle Continues” as the first of 5 works with numerous translated versions. As they added to the list of works, the order of the works varied, shifting according to logic that is difficult to discern. The February 2, 2001 snapshot is the first appearance of “Dakota” both on the site, and at the top of the list, where it has remained to this day.
Why is this important?
Because, as revealed in their interview, it “is based on a close reading of Ezra Pound’s Cantos I and first part of II.” The significance of this is that they are aligning their work with the first part of an important Modern epic, which in turn is referencing a scene from The Odyssey in which they invoke the spirits of the dead to speak to them.
The message is clear: Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries wrote “Dakota” to signal that they are launching an epic with their website, and are invoking Ezra Pound, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Ellman, Art Blakey (whose ritualistic “Tobi Ilu” piece graces the soundtrack) and other dead cultural icons to inform their project. After all, every epic must begin with an invocation of the muses…