Archive for December 2013

“DAYDREAM by Nonotak Studio is an audiovisual installation that generates space distortions. Relationship between space and time, accelerations, contractions, shifts and metamorphosis have been the lexical field of the project. This installation aimed at establishing a physical connection between the virtual space and the real space, blurring the limits and submerging the audience into a short detachment from reality. Lights generate abstract spaces while sounds define the echoes of virtual spaces. Daydream is an invitation to contemplation. The frontality of the installation leads the visitors to a passive position.”

NONOTAK Studio is a French audiovisual art duo made up of artist/illustrator Noemi Schipfer and architect/musician Takami Nakamoto .

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Japanese technology art artist Mariko Mori currently has two  major exhibitions, in Tokyo and New York.  I like the way how Mori illustrates fundamental human experiences by creating high-tech, polished  science fiction-like environments and installations. And being one of the genuine superstars of tech art, she has to be included in this blog. So a post on these new works of Mori to focus some attention on her and her recent art work:

Mariko Mori started her career as a fashion designer and model in the late 1980s. Not surprisingly, Mori’s early works use her own body as the subject and she costumes herself as a  technological alien woman in everyday scenes, loosely playing on Japanese pop culture and the cyborg theme.

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As more Japanese artists do,  Mori liked to juxtapose Eastern mythology with Western culture, often through layering photography and digital imaging. Her early work was rooted in Manga, kitsch and urban cyber culture, often depicting Mori herself as a cyborg from an alternate, pop-futuristic reality. In her early photographs, such as Subway (1994) and Play with Me (1994), Mori appears as the cyborg heroine of a film who navigates the streets of Tokyo:


However, from 1999 onwards Mori departed from the use of her own image and instead began to create entire environments to facilitate the viewer’s own transcendental experience. Her work did expand beyond the colorful hyperreality of Play with Me to include a fascination with ancient cultures. Among cultures explored in Mori’s work are the prehistoric Jomon culture in Japan and Celtic traditions in Europe, investigating a more abstract minimalism and celebrating the enlightening and expansive qualities of technological innovation and its interaction with its surroundings.  

Her theme “has shifted from the body to (human) consciousness” in her own words*. In one her most well-known works,  Wave UFO (1999–2003) which was exhibited at the 2005 Venice Biennale, viewers enter a biomorphic pod and are fitted with brain-wave electrode headsets capable of projecting images of the wearer’s brain waves. As extra-sensory information is transformed into visual imagery, the participants enjoy a novel form of communication for a few minutes before Mori’s animation Connected World appears on the rounded ceiling of the inner chamber of the pod:

By juxtaposing divergent cultures and disciplines such as Buddhism and science, or traditional tea ceremonies and Manga, Mori creates an aesthetic vocabulary that points simultaneously forward and backward. And so does her new work “Primal Rhythm” which is a land art piece created on Miyako Island, near Okinawa in Japan. The first part of it was built in 2011, the next part still has to be completed:

The work is part of an exhibition called Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori  at the Japan Society in New York which contains 35 sculptures, drawings, photographs, sound and video work which together  deliver a narrative of birth, death and rebirth—a continuous circle of life force that Mori observes on a cosmic scale.

Simultaneously, Mariko Mori also exhibits in the luxurious Espace Louis Vuitton in Tokyo. This exhibition is called  ‘Infinite Renew’ and amasses sculptures and installations in a series of works that -again- metaphorically reflect the never-ending circulation of life and death. The sculptures are interactive and react to the movements of the viewers: the lights of the sculptures change according to the energy level of the visitors according to Mori:

I missed the 2007 survey exhibition Oneness of Mariko Mori in the Groninger Museum (which by the way apparently became the world’s most visited contemporary art exhibition with 538.328 visitors) and New York or Tokyo are too far away for a visit. Therefore, lots of links to additional sources of online information on Mariko Mori’s art below instead:

* Art Review September 2006

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Reblogged from the Midnightsciencefictionfeature blog: an interesting post on Ryoji Ikeda and the concept of “visual music“.

As an example of Ikeda’s work here is a link to a Vimeo video of  his work Superposition, which I watched during STRP 2013:

http://vimeo.com/49873167 .



Some interesting visions on music, moving images, sounds and noise have graced me lately. On the one hand due to professional interest, on the other hand because of past experiences. When prompted to explore the expansive field of ‘visual music’, I oncemore familiarized myself with the works of Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda. While I was exposed to his music before, this time the focus was more on the visual aspect of his artworks, which accompany his music (or is it the other way around). The term visual music is a very broad term to describe the combination of image, sound and music, especially in an art-environment, in the form of film installations. But visual music as a concept can take many forms. I’d like to think it stems from expanded cinema.

We define expanded cinema as the use of moving image and sound expanded beyond the boundaries of the black box…

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DROMOS is a audiovisual performance created for the MUTEK 2013 festival held in Montreal in May and June 2013. The performance is based on  the work of French thinker Paul Virilio. Several years ago, after noticing the impact of speed in the organisation of our societies, he developed the concept of dromology (the science of speed in human society). Virilio sets the grounds for a new paradigm around new technologies, the way we interact with them and he starts questioning our future.

Artists Maotik and Fraction use these ideas on dromology  to create Dromos, an audiovisual universe where the so-called “mediatic” speed is the main factor of interaction between media.  They immerse the audience in a sensorial landscape undergoing constant construction and deconstruction leading to aesthetics accidents, mutant movements and poetical moments. The audience experienced each part of the show through the flow of granular textures, broken (unstructured) beats and generative visuals.

BTW: watch the Vimeo video in full screen mode on your screen!

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Found through the Feminatronic blog: some articles, videos etc. on  Louis and Bebe Barron, two American electronic music composers  who made the score for the classic sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet in the 1950’s:

The Barrons didn’t get the credits as music composers of the score of this classic movie, however. This article on the NPR Music website from 2005 explains why and how they became “forgotten pioneers” of electronic music. But all was not lost: Louis and Bebe Barron continued to compose electronic music up until the turn of the century and thus were not completely forgotten. They now even have their own Wikipedia article, which saves their work for future generations…

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December 2013

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