18th Entertainment Division Critiques

From the Intelligent to the Physical

Media art methods and expression has passed through all manner of experiments of trial and error from the second half of the twentieth century to the present. Eventually it has been consumed and in recent years suddenly arrived at commercial use. Now many things are being produced which attempt to attract attention through gimmicks on a grand scale.
On the other hand, under the surface we can clearly start to see signs all over of new endeavors by individuals and small groups. This is a new phase by those who do not distinguish between digital or analog, who share openly, the generation for whom the Internet and mobile communication technology has been with them from the start.
This year's entries reflect that situation today. And many of the most notable works share something. What was it? Grand Prize-winner Ingress, while taking the form of a game where you attempt to win territory, also integrates actual geography and information spaces, becoming a medium for drawing people into the real field actualized with in.
Kintsugi, 3RD, Noramoji Project and handiii are also themed around how we treat reality, and likewise the three New Face Award winners present a kind of physical substance or the reality that exists there.
Against the circumstances of the times, we are starting to return human behavior, feelings, and creation to a reality rooted in the physical. Even if primitive in terms of mechanisms, we are heading from demonstrations of how to use new technology towards expression in the true sense of the word.
While the definitions and boundaries between art and commercial media are becoming ambiguous and meaningless, much of contemporary art today, in complicity with the gallery system, is transforming into gadgets that satisfy our material desires in the same way as classical visual art. And yet here many "new somethings" have been presented. It was both exciting and hopeful.

Designer and Creative Director
Born in Tokyo. After studying engineering, he began a career as a designer. The aim of his work is to make original objects. Bridging several fields of design and science, engineering, art, and physical expression, he is concerned with innovation and solutions for problems in wide-ranging contexts. Since serving as director of the Sensorium Project, which won a Golden Nica Award in the network division of Ars Electronica in 1997, he has created many experimental installations indifferent countries. For the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), he developed a Hands-On Model of the Internet. His other projects include stage design work for the FIFA World Cup 2002, concept models for KDDI's AU design project, JAXA's moonbell, and so-called “emotional physical interfaces.” From forms of expression that refer to street music, dance and video to total design concepts, he continues to work on communication design projects of all scales. He loves fast things and high places.