25th Art Division Critiques

Message to the Applicants Who Unfortunately Missed Awards

My first message as a new member of the jury is that
those who missed the awards should not lose confidence or become more impatient than necessary. The
Japan Media Arts Festival has a history and its own
unique magnetic field and context. As a jury member,
I sincerely faced the entries, had serious discussions,
and reached conclusions, while respecting that context. However, in not a few cases, the jury might have
failed to fully take into account the assumptions and
conditions of the entries, which were created and presented in their own specific contexts, and not for the
purpose of the Arts Festival. There might be a work
that would not receive an award, or conversely, win an
award if even one member of the jury had been different. For those who were not selected, I sincerely hope
that they will continue to work passionately and present
their work to the world.
An unexpectedly big hurdle in the judging process
was that many entries, such as VR and site-specific
works, could not be experienced in person. Despite our
desperate efforts to gather information and supplement
it with our imaginations, there were many frustrating
Meanwhile, a little more effort from the applicants might have helped in avoiding some issues, such
as those related to the composition of the work, especially the technical information (materials, mechanisms,
level of implementation, etc.). In fact, quite a few works
were rejected because they lacked such descriptions
and were unable to be evaluated. Although it is understandable that some artists intentionally avoid detailed
descriptions of the composition when exhibiting the
actual works, proper provision of technical information
formed a very important basis in the judging process.
Nevertheless, I have gained many insights and
learned a lot through the screening of this year’s abundant entries. I am grateful for the opportunity and look
forward to another chance to encounter ambitious
works that will further “show off” the multifaceted nature
and potential of Media Arts.

Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University
Born in 1971. IWASAKI is a life science researcher and formative artist. While conducting research into “the mechanism by which life spontaneously creates rhythm and form” using photosynthetic bacteria, he has also created three-dimensional works using abstract paper cutouts as well as art using living matter such as organisms and cells (bio media art). He is interested in diverse modes of representing and describing “life” such as scientific perspectives on life and how they play into cultural and everyday perspectives, along with representations of life in the arts, especially the innate resonance between referring to, experiencing, and creating life and referring to, experiencing, and creating art. He is the director of the biological/bio media art platform metaPhorest and a professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waseda University.