Connected through media and the human body
This group exhibition was conceived based on the idea of "interfaces of the future" that encourage interaction by opening the user/viewer's body sensation and perception. Going beyond "interactive design" as applied in websites and digital signage, the exhibition introduced works from various genres including video, photography, animation, sound, architectural sculpture and product design, selected from the viewpoint of YCAM's originally developed combination of "art and body expression". On display were works by eight artists from Japan and abroad, built around interfaces that appeal directly to bodily sensation.
Interfaces as a foundation for reflecting on communication
Emphasis was further placed on navigation design as a type of "interface for establishing a new kind of relationship between work and viewer," resulting in the development and implementation of a totally new kind of navigation system guiding visitors around the exhibition, designed in combination with the latest information technology.
The experience of the displays and the navigation around them created an interest in the process that emerges between artworks and viewers, and in the underlying system, while at once indicating the potential of interfaces in terms of establishing a new relationship between information and representation.
- November 1, 2008 - February 8, 2009
- Studio B, Foyer, Gallery second floor
- Special Site
- Poster & Flyer
on the fly
Shunji Yamanaka + Hisato Ogata (LEADING EDGE DESIGN)
Information on the exhibition and individual works is displayed when visitors place flyers on navigation tables set up at three locations inside the venue, and use their fingers to shut one by one a total of 16 holes punched into each flyer. This system is based on high-precision shape detection technology that recognizes a flyer as soon as it is placed on one of the tables, regardless of position or direction, and instantly triggers the display of information.
In an age characterized by a mixture and competition of myriad types of media, this work re-evaluates the feeling and presence of "paper" as a primary medium, and explores new possibilities of navigating through exhibitions by combining it with cutting-edge information technology.
Reactable (Japan Premiere)
Sergi Jordà + Martin Kaltenbrunner + Günter Geiger + Marcos Alonso
This is the installation version of the electronic musical instrument "Reactable" that gathered significant attention when used on stage during Icelandic singer Björk's "Volta" concert tour.
Multiple objects placed on a round-shaped illuminated table are assigned various functions, such as looping, oscillating or filtering sounds. By moving or rotating single objects, the user can design the relationships between them, and thereby manipulate sounds or visuals, whereas the images projected onto the table define the objects' functions and parameters as needed. The device's modification for this installation version made it possible for multiple users to play it at the same time while learning playing styles intuitively and collaboratively.
Pureφ - Abstract Painterly Interface (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Interface projected as a painting onto a large screen.
Four digital cameras installed in front of the screen continuously monitor the movements of visitors in a tiered field. While movements caught by these digital cameras are normally vectorized on a computer, and dots on the screen are randomly fluidized based on those data, here human bodies and faces are reconstructed like perfect mirror images as soon as they are recognized by the computer. Furthermore, the lights illuminating the field change their colors in response to visitors' movements, which at the same time affects also the projected images on the screen.
Shunji Yamanaka + Hisato Ogata (LEADING EDGE DESIGN)
This is a work that highlights the microscopic texture of a water surface as an interface between water and air. A four-legged structure resembling a water strider holding a small, magnetized needle is made from a single sheet of paper coated with superhydrophobic material. When putting this onto a calm water surface, it slowly begins to rotate responding to geomagnetism, until it settles in a position with the needle pointing to the north. In this exhibition, a computer-controlled rotating magnetic field installed underneath the water surface is used for synchronizing multiple "floating compasses".
Card play (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Zachary Lieberman + Theodore Watson
In this installation, various "magic tricks" can be performed using a deck of cards as interface.
Set up in the exhibition space is a table on which visitors arrange playing cards, and a screen onto which the scenery on the table is projected. Nothing happens as long as the cards are facing down, but as soon as a card is turned up, the tabletop on the screen becomes a stage on which clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades come off and start flying around freely, accompanied by music. Happening here one after another as if perfectly normal are a variety of things that can never occur in reality. Through this work utilizing image-recognition augmented reality technologies, visitors can enjoy playing tricks like magicians.
Liquid Space 6.0 (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Organically shaped architectural object.
When a visitor approaches this object, a sensor installed in a spherical body at the top of the object measures the visitor's position and distance, and triggers operations of three legs that modify the structure's configuration by expanding and contracting like an aquatic animal, according to the measured values. At the same time, LEDs in the legs and the spherical body begin to emit variously colored lights, while sounds become audible from the object itself. By walking close to, or even through this giant object, the visitor can experience interactive transformations of individual shapes and the entire exhibition space alike.
H2Orz (Commissioned by YCAM / World Premiere)
Animated film inspired by ningyo-sukui (doll scooping game), a popular attraction at community events.
Animated robots, witch girls and other characters appearing in all kinds of stories are all mixed together in a tank of water, and as a result of a continuous transmutation process, they eventually turn into anonymously symbolic male and female figures, while their original narratives are dissolved.
- Tour Information
December 15 - 26, 2009
Venue: Art Court Gallery (Osaka)
November 1 - 29, 2009
WAKUWAKU JOBAN-KASHIWA PROJECT 2009
Venue: former Kashiwa Cinema Sunshine (Chiba)
June 12 - July 12, 2009
What Is Real? - The 9th Photo Festival
Venue: Gana Art Center (Korea)
This audiovisual installation is based on, and samples characters from the animation "JSCO", which illustrates boys' and girls' early childhood memories revolving around plastic models. While visuals without sound are projected onto a giant screen installed in the foyer, this event's main venue, different synchronized soundtracks are played back in the patios on both sides of the foyer. Visitors choose from which patio they want to watch the images on the screen inside, separated by a glass wall.
This installation consists of an animated movie extracting everyday life sceneries and elements of post-1980s Japanese subculture in a mixture of illustration and 3D computer graphics, together with actual three-dimensional objects assembled based on design drawings for 3D models that appear in the animation. Animated film is proposed here as an interface that depicts reality by connecting various techniques and means of spatial expression in the realm of imagery.
The movie is basically about a girl from the countryside that meets a boy in the city. In the latter half of the story, the girl's plastic toy robot breaks into pieces. An odd new robot made from building materials arises out of the old one's ashes, representing a dismantlement of designed symbols. The film ends when various items and characters that make up the story appear in front of the girl protagonist as uniformly and equivalently small-sized 3D data. The title of this work is derived from the name of a popular Japanese shopping mall, and symbolizes at once a "love-hate sentiment toward consumer society," a "concern about closed, self-contained narrative spaces composed of preset patterns as shared by a certain generation of Japanese citizens," and a "sense of distance between the city and nature."
Delicate Boundaries (Japan Premiere)
This work masterfully utilizes sophisticated sensing technology to focus on junctions/boundaries between real bodies and virtual objects on a monitor. Images of what look like a small, wriggling insects are projected onto a monitor set up in the exhibition space. As soon as a viewer stretches out his hand in the direction of the monitor, the insects gather around that hand, jump down from the screen and onto the hand, and finally crawl up the person's arm. The experience of this work makes viewers aware of their tacit personal expectations and understanding of interfaces and interactivity.
Depth of the Field - Processing Photography Blink Series (Revised version / World Premiere)
By focusing on the very act of viewing photographs, this work proposes new relationships between photographs and their appreciation, and between images and the line of vision. Every time a viewer blinks while standing in front of the work, the blinking is detected by a sensor, and the slide show jumps to the next picture.
The work consists of two different slide shows that are projected onto screens of two different sizes - one onto a large screen, the other onto the monitor of a laptop computer. The accordingly varying amounts of information and affordance can be used for comparing how image sizes affect the appearance and viewing experience of photographs.
Through the tours, participants discovered together with YCAM educational staff, most attractive features of the exhibition. (16 times during the event period)
Workshop "Hand Made Mouse"
Workshop designed to improve understanding of physical computing and interface design by disassembling and rebuilding a commercially available computer mouse into an individually customized device. The workshop was an occasion for recognizing the differences between computer and human during the process of considering a mouse's usability, and practically studying the meaning of "human interfaces" designing informational environments according to human characteristics.
- January 4, 5, 10, 11, 2009
- Workshop Room
- Facilitator: YCAM educational staff
- Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with:
- Yamaguchi City
- The Board of Education of Yamaguchi City
- Fukuoka American Center, Public Affairs Section / American Consulate, Fukuoka
- Agency for Cultural Affairs
- Color Kinetics Japan Incorporated
- Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]