'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
From now until 25 December 2015, visitors to the Enoshima Aquarium in Kanagawa, Japan are immersed in a field of digital nature projected onto the Big Sagami Bay tank filled with aquatic life. The installation Flowers and Fish by Japanese studio teamLab depicts botanical forms, leaves, and petals slowly floating across the surface of the water tank, blooming and collapsing in response to the passing fish inside. A series of additional installations placed throughout the aquarium include Resonating Spheres and Night Fish, a series of orbs which change color in response to human touch; Sketch Aquarium, which allows physical drawings to be transferred to a digital wall; and Small Resonating Sea, which changes the color of a fish tank when people approach.
teamLab is an artist collective comprised of approximately 400 'ultratechnologists' including but not limited to artists, mathematicians, architects, designers and engineers. Based in Tokyo, with outposts in Singapore and Shanghai, teamLab was founded by Toshiyuki Inoko in 2001 with the aim to change the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit. teamLab believes in digital technology's ability to expand the possibilities of art and experience. The collective's work is characterised by the creation of immersive installations in which the physical and the digital world merge together.
In each unique installation, teamLab attempts to alter the viewer's perception of space using technology. The collective takes advantage of light, sound, kinetics and even smell to draw the viewer into their fabricated world. In the exhibition DMM.PLANETS Art (16 July-31 August 2016), which covered around 3000 square metres, teamLab focused on the presence of the viewer's body in the space and their capacity for sensorial experience and interaction. The installation was made of different 'planets', and each planet had its own unique environment, including smell. Such immersive installations allow the viewer to live out different experiences of space and go beyond normal perceptions of the world.
By the infinite possibilities made accessible through digital technology, teamLab's art aims to break free of physical confines; in the digital realm, an artwork can be as big and as imaginative as is within the creator's power. However, teamLab does not only utilitise the full range of the digital realm, it also digs back into history, adopting a wide range of influences—the collective draws on both traditional and contemporary structures of representation and performance. For example, for the 2013 Singapore Biennale (26 October 2013-16 February 2014), teamLab presented the immersive installation, Peace can be Realised Even Without Order. To view it at the Singapore Art Museum, one needed to receive admission through a door. Inside, the room beyond the door was lit only by the work—an interactive animated set of holographic dancers in traditional Japanese clothes. As the viewer walked through the dancers, motion sensors allowed the installation—the dancers—to react according to the movement. The viewer became participant in the dance as well as observer of it.
Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and Kohei Nawa discuss the artist's recent sculptures and installations, including Throne, on view under the Louvre Pyramid until January 14, 2019.
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