Festival Platform Award
Geo-Cosmos Category

Sphere Novel

Video installation

YouYouYou [Japan]


A work that projects text passages from a novel onto the Geo-Cosmos to fully capture narrative scenes in the same way that 360° imagery, such as VR, achieves full capture of surrounding views. Book pages here take on the form of “layers,” like those of an onion, with the peeling off of one layer revealing the story’s continuation. Those who are reading are offered views from a choice of different locations. These include the 1st floor directly beneath the globe, the 3rd and 5th floors facing the atrium with lateral views, and the Oval Bridge encircling the sides of the Geo-Cosmos. Each page contains a number of different events, all occurring simultaneously. Readers can each continue through the story from the position of their choice. Unable to get a complete view of the text displayed on the massive sphere, though, they are denied access to the novel’s full contents. Gazing at the sphere from their respective standpoints, multiple readers can together share in the experience of the same story at the same time, even while imagining differing scenes.

Reason for Award

All entries received were of high quality, making for an exceedingly difficult jury process. The concept statement for the category this year included discussion on freedom from the “limitations of two-dimensional planes” to “grasp the new visual expression of spheres (three-dimensional space).” In keeping with this, we made our consideration with an emphasis on the significance of employing spherical representation, and the degree of effort put toward a new mode of expression. Accordingly, we selected Sphere Novel. Overcoming the challenge of presenting the contents of a novel in spherical form opens the possibilities of expression beyond the longstanding media form of text. This piqued our jury’s interest and anticipation. Furthermore, the descriptions of the reading process, “not to be flipped through like the pages of a rectangular book, but to be peeled like the skin of an onion,” and of readers sharing “an experience of the same story at the same time, even while imagining differing scenes,” are quite revolutionary. They suggest a worldview oriented toward making beneficial use of the unique characteristics of the sphere. This unified concept and message made us want to see even more of the work. Its projection generates a great deal of anticipation of witnessing how the image of the world depicted in this spherically-represented novel may evolve. (MIZUTANI Hitomi)