23rd Entertainment Division Critiques
Innovation in Content over Technological Breakthrough
Last year, I pointed out that we were long past the season of enjoying technology for technology's sake. As a new era in Japan began in 2019, what has become even more noticeable is the greater enrichment of the content side of technology. I feel that, rather than aiming for major discoveries or inventions in hardware, we are being asked to find the best ways, through a combination of existing technologies and social conditions, to make an innovative impact while retaining visual aesthetics. The Grand Prize-winner Shadows as Athletes is a beautiful video that focuses on shadows that have apparently remained in existence since the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The dynamic movement of athletes competing to win can at times highlight their agility more than just provide an overview of the athletes' physicality. This video deals more with content discovery than technological invention, as a sense of wonder is derived from a world of inverted light and shadow. This one is a hands-down winner. The Excellence Award winners New Logos Order and SEKIRO: SHADOWS DIE TWICE, through their somewhat more grotesque character, may not have been acceptable forms of entertainment a few years ago. I felt, however, that their approach was quite contemporary. Among the multiple submissions of work that involved AI, Ogiri AI and ChiharaEngineer was most striking. The AI of the work, that once appeared in a particular music TV show, had mixed reactions and the dividing line rested on questions of whether or not we wanted to create new songs even after the singer's death, whether or not we have any messages we want to communicate to future generations' use of new technologies, and whether or not there is someone on whom we can rely for script and direction. Verifying the intention of someone providing the teaching materials required for specific skill building while they are still alive becomes crucial. Creators must keep in mind that media art is consistently accompanied by delicate issues for which rules have not yet been formulated. The witty nature of Buddience, which analyzes Buddha statues deified in contemporary times in a lighthearted way, like paying a whimsical visit with friends to a fortune-teller, is brilliant. It leads us to wonder, do we want to take something that's light and make it heavy, or vise-versa? In the content creation phase, one needs to think through the subject matter and direction with this in mind.