Photo: Tomoyuki Sugiyama

24th Special Achievement Award

KUSAHARA Machiko

Media Art and Media Archaeology Researcher / Curator

Profile

Born in Tokyo, 1948. Working as a curator since the early 1980s, she has contributed to the development and international exchange of media art through exhibitions, lectures, writings, and education. Her wide ranging activities include: involvement in the Tsukuba Expo ‘85, the World Design Expo ‘89, and the Kobe Mirai Expo 2001; the launching of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum and NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]; cofounding of Digital Image, an independent organization of CG artists; publishing Computer Graphics Anthology (Bunkensha, 1989) among others; overseas exhibitions of Japanese works at IMAGINA and the Berlin International Film Festival; and service as a jury member for domestic and international competitions including Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria). She has lectured and published internationally, and her writing on media art exploring artificial life and Device Art, and the history of Japanese visual culture, including texts on utsushi-e and mitate, are used in academic education worldwide. She has taught at the Tokyo Polytechnic University, the Institute of Advanced media art and Sciences [IAMAS], University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Waseda University, among others. She is Professor Emeritus at Waseda University and holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Tokyo.

Reason

She has made a major contribution to the development of media art both in Japan and in the world. The broad historical and cultural scope of her media research, trans-disciplinary activities (evidenced by the diverse journals in which her papers are published), and her keen perspective on reality are all worthy of emulation. In particular, the concept of “Device Art,” advocated together with Professor IWATA Hiroo at the University of Tsukuba and others, not only links media art with traditional Japanese culture, but also demonstrates that playful artworks are capable of transforming society by permeating everyday life as commodities. It is also noteworthy that she has sent many young talents out into the world. (AKIBA Fuminori)