Tokyo is establishing itself firmly on the global map as a centre for the most cutting edge contemporary technological art. The Media Ambition Tokyo fair which launched on the 7th February and continues until the 30th March is sending out ripples that will continue to draw savvy artists and collectors back to the Japanese capital long after the final champagne cork is popped at this year’s closing party.
“Welcome to Crazy Technologies,” reads the slogan. The natural synergy between technology and art becomes increasingly apparent when we consider what technology actually means, beyond its immediate associations in our everyday life. According to 20th century philosopher Stiegler, it is: “the pursuit of life by means other than life“, and “organised inorganic matter.” Another pointer in this direction comes from Albert Borgmann, who writes in his essay Technology as a Cultural Force that: “Technology can be viewed as an activity that forms or changes culture.” And this is what the Tokyo Media Concept is all about. Sixteen artists are currently showcasing their unique spin on the fine line between genius and insanity, using hi-tech electronics, video, music, lighting, and materials to bring their artistic vision to life – expressing life through this vision.
The fair’s highlights include media artist Kosei Komatsu’s new installation entitled “Lifelong Glider”. The poetry of feathers in motion unfolds through a remarkable device which controls this natural phenomenon. In March, renowned light artist Hiroyuki Moriwaki exhibits an installation that creates a spinning whirl of parallel realities through his treatment of illumination.
As night falls, DJs, VJs and multimedia magicians bring installations to life, and transform the gallery spaces into a shared launch pad for innovative live audio-visual performances. If you’re visiting Tokyo over the next few weeks, this is the place to be!
Media Ambition Tokyo also aims to bring together gallery owners, the creative international press, and the creators of this technological art culture whose works penetrate like laser beams into countless visions of a possible future. As a networking event it has the potential of catalysing creative synergy that was Made in Tokyo, but destined to transmit Japan’s unique technological culture to the rest of the world.
The event is divided between two venues, which perfectly embody the spirit of the exhibition itself. Intersect by Lexus in the Aoyama district is a unique concept, launched by Toyota’s luxury brand in November 2013.
It’s no ordinary car dealership. In fact, it isn’t a dealership at all since no cars are sold here. Instead, it’s a swanky three-storey multifunctional social space designed by Wonderwall’s Masamichi Katayama, which conveys the Lexus experience through art, fashion, culture, design, technology, music and film. This pioneering project is also being launched in a few more select global cities, first in New York and then Dubai.
Tokyo City View, on the 52nd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower offers breathtaking 360’ panoramic views across the city. It is part of a spectacular urban property development centre which is populated with soaring skyscrapers, leisure facilities micro-managed for maximum efficiency, and even a park or two. As night falls, the distant city lights merge eerily with the exhibition pieces creating a unique and very powerful experience of contemporary technological art.
Yes, Japan has long been associated with the technological revolution. And now it’s calling its talent back home and giving them a platform from which they can make the rest of the world sit up and notice what’s going on, whilst connecting the past to the future, and art to technology. A must see in our books!
Written by: Francesca Hector
More info: Media Ambition Tokyo
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