23rd Entertainment Division New Face Award
MAEKAWA Azumi / MATSUBARA Seito [Japan]
This work uses a motion tracking camera and robot hand to computationally generate the “experience of hitting a target.” Its system keeps track of the positional relationship between the object and the target and continuously calculates the flight trajectory of the object. In doing so, and in accordance with human arm movement, the robot hand releases the object only at the precise moment when it finds the ideal trajectory; the object is then thrown toward the target. Although a human is flinging the arm, the decisions on the timing of the release and its execution are made by a machine. As such, people who fling the robot hand experience a strange sensation of not quite knowing whether they or the machine performed the throw. This work synthesizes a single action by merging human and machine movements, thereby exploring the respective boundaries of their motor behavior and mutual interaction, while also stepping into human psychological sensations.
Reason for Award
This work is an extraordinary embodiment of the philosophy that the classics of information science called cybernetics aim for, while attempting to gain a unified understanding of humans and machinery by seeing them as a single control system. The project is remarkable in that the line between what is of voluntary human will and what is entrusted to machines is made ambiguous. It allows you to explore, through the enjoyable experience of tossing an object, the feeling of your own somatic sensations expanding. It will not only let people experience success but will also arouse a sense of game-like challenge while they attempt to outsmart the machine and cause it to fail. The system that hones in on the boundary between R&D and entertainment will make you want to give it a try. (NAKAGAWA Daichi)