19th Entertainment Division Critiques

Works That Foreshadow the Future

How should a museum curator, with limited proficiency in cutting-edge technology and technological trends, be involved in the screening process for the Entertainment Division? As the preferred format for the information society shifts to smartphones, the Internet, and SNS, the "connection" between human and new media seems to still remain imbalanced in many ways. Human thoughts and behavioral patterns are becoming increasingly homogenous, and various problems arise when these tools are used for communication. Works submitted to the Entertainment Division utilize various media platforms, and since the concept of "entertainment" is ambiguous, the division presents itself as a "department store" for Media Arts. For these reasons, the only help I could offer was to discover works that make us reconsider and question the current situation surrounding the relationship between media and human from different angles. Putting themes and concepts aside, and disregarding the difference in production budgets and technical range of quality, we attempted to extract works that deal with digital media on a higher level, and reflect a balanced relationship between human and media. In hindsight, the number of works that associate with the infinite consciousness of those who live in the current times, and delicately respond to their needs, far exceeded our expectations. Problems that arose in 2015 surfaced as a number of common keywords that cut across genres of expression, revealing the fact that we are going through a large-scale transition, and that both human existence and the media environment are also in the midst of an extensive transfiguration. Since "entertainment" is destined to exist alongside consumption, the subject inevitably connotes the present moment. Ultimately, awards and recognition went to works that foreshadow the future within their captured sense of the "present moment". While the awarded works all share a sense of fascination that evoke instinctive pleasures, we hope that, within such colorful expressions, the audience will seize the opportunity to think about the future relationships between "self", "others", and "media".

KUDO Takeshi
Curator, Aomori Museum of Art