18th Art Division Critiques

What are Media Arts (*Media Geijutsu*) ?

For the past three years, I have served as a Jury member of the Art Division within the Japan Media Arts Festival. However, as I expected from the outset, I still do not know what Media Arts (Media Geijutsu) are. For me, to create an artwork means to use "media" in some form or another. Whether this medium takes the form of a photograph, or a computer, it has a meaning in the sense that it is used as an extension of the faculties I possess. This is true of all works of art, and the artist will necessarily use some form of medium in order to create work.
And so, for me the question in the title, "What are Media Arts (Media Geijutsu)?" has the same meaning as the question, "What is art (Geijutsu)?" Taking this as my yardstick, I have reviewed work in the Japan Media Arts Festival as a member of the Jury for the past three years.
What I have sensed during that time is that, in attempting to locate works with new feelings of awareness by relying solely on submissions of diverse works in various forms, it is possible that the raison d'etre of the Japan Media Arts Festival will be lost. It is already a matter of course that works displaying such new senses of awareness can easily be found by searching on the Internet without much effort. If one wants to present something, by publishing it online it becomes possible for anyone to access the work with ease. And so, what should be done in such an environment? After giving this some thought, I have finally come to think that, in order to provide opportunities to uncover works producing new senses of value, and to create new directions toward which we should ben navigating, the development of the Japan Media Arts Festival is essential.

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.