Category Archives: home

mobility of your existence

I was asked for my home address today – I could only say “I don’t have one at the moment, except my temporary address.” Have you realized the limited access to services you will experience when one of these is taken away, lost, or invalid: Home address, mobile phone number, governmental identification, credit/bank card?

The world is often not designed for, or accommodating to those who do not have a regular place to live. Or opted out of using the means that are typically used to prove where you live. When I wanted to register to eBay.co.uk while I lived in UK, it offered two options to confirm my existence so that I can become a member: A landline phone number or a credit card. I never had a landline phone number myself since 1998, and one and only credit card from Japanese bank was of course not accepted since they could not verify the address for the card, which was in Japanese.

Recently I stayed in South Korea for a while. Even though I am a citizen, I found myself constantly relying on other people’s identity: mobile phone, residential address, and credit card. With Korean Internet services, it becomes more evident – I felt like an underground citizen not having a mobile phone of my own. So the role of residential or ‘permanent’ addresses is becoming a shared one with the mobile number. Ironically, or naturally – our digital being is only acknowledged when it is verifiably linked to our physical being.

Socially and systematically our digital birth is not acknowledged. It only becomes valid when our physical and proven existence is linked to it. Will this change? Will we – digitally or physically – be freed from our permanent residence when so many of us are no longer in a position to claim a permanent residence?

Living out of suitcases quite often, my attention is always attracted by how people manage to live in the minimal space and things. Here are some taken in Osaka, Tokyo. I indulge in the clear visibility of what is essential for the living. The digital life of this home owner? – I am left to wonder.