©2015 Takaaki Yamamoto
Photo: ITO Daisaku

19th Art Division New Face Award


Calculation method, Performance

YAMAMOTO Takaaki [Japan]


The neologism Sando refers to a way of exploring the universe of calculation. To expand human consciousness, the artist developed a system called the “logical abacus calculation”. It can be used to perform the four basic arithmetic operations, but because it can also be used to perform conditional branching and repetition, it is a computationally universal system with the same theoretical computational capacity as a von Neumann computer. The “logical abacus” attempts to unify the concept of calculation with the body by combining the symbolic characteristics and materiality of abacus “beads”. Today, we can translate any object into a symbol using information technology, and symbols are on the verge of becoming actual entities. Knowing how to use information gives us with a new perspective on our coded world.

Reason for Award

This is a valuable work. Struggling with questions like, “What is information?” and “What does it mean to process information?”, which form the basis of mental activity, philosophy will finally produce a computer through mathematics, not only in the case of LEIBNIZ, but also the artist. While referring to the electric calculator, which does not allow us to see the calculation process, the artist invented a “non-electric abacus” and a usage that enables us to see the process as it is performed. By the way, why this approach is valued so highly not only in the field of truth, but also in the field of beauty among “the true, the good, and the beautiful”? It is not merely because the work is connected to perception and the body. The question is one that the audience must ask themselves, but it is also one that is closely connected to the artist’s potential for growth. (NAKAZAWA Hideki)