17th Art Division Critiques

In Pursuit of Art Piercing the Depths of Consciousness

The entries this year once again used a range of materials and techniques. These stimulate artists and havethe potential to be important components of an artwork. But an artist cannot merely introduce new materials and techniques. Unless the artist determines from all possibilities the one method for dealing with the materials and techniques, and engaging with the imagery envisaged and assembling it as something unique, then it ultimately will fail as an artwork. What are the Media Arts? Surely "something" which, through technology, shows a cross-section of the world never seen before. This year's Award-winning Works in particular are very sophisticated in their use of technology and in how they are put together as original artworks. For example, Carsten NICOLAI's crt mgn converts invisible magnetic force into the auditory, MIHARA Soichiro's the blank to overcome interprets bubbles as a "blank" inexpressible by words, and Dronestagram uses social media to reveal the disharmony in the relationship between network technology and surveillance, violence and war. The SKOR Codex, meanwhile, throws up new perspectives on time in its attempt to engage in dialogue with the future, taking contemporary culture, scrambling it into binary data for processing on a computer and storing to memory, and then mounting this onto an old form of media, a book. In this way, we are able to see things never seen before, expanding the resolution of viewers' senses. And by becoming able to see what until now could not be seen, I could feel in many of the entries a subtle disconnect with the world and that this subtle disconnect might actually be leading to a great transformation of our consciousness.

Born in 1963, TAKATANI began creating performances and installations in 1984 as a member of the art collective Dumb Type. Later individual projects included visual direction for SAKAMOTO Ryuichi's opera LIFE in 1999, participation in the 2007 Arctic expedition of the UK-based Cape Farewell project on climate change, and a collaborative installation that same year with SAKAMOTO at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, LIFE-fluid, invisible, inaudible... In 2008 he created and staged the performance La Chambre Claire at Theater der Welt in Germany. In 2010 his installation in collaboration with NAKAYA Fujiko, CLOUD FOREST, was produced at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, and in 2012 he created and staged the performance CHROMA at Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts.