The 22nd Japan Media Arts Festival just concluded, where the latest in a diverse range of both Japanese and international media arts were given a platform. While festival categories include crowd-pleasing manga and animation, the award-winning art exhibits were equally stimulating and thought-provoking. These exhibits may have passed, but next year the festival will be even bigger and better. Check out these neo-futuristic art exhibits that you can see only in Japan!
This darkroom exhibit features a wall of assorted speakers with attached LEDs that activate when their respective speakers give off a sort of percussive industrial buzz. Over time the speaker and light display cycles through different encapsulating patterns that are oddly calming.
This exhibit also takes place in a darkroom, but the silence is deafening. 5 low-hanging lights around the room each illuminate lone feathers that dance delicately with the room’s light air circulation. These “feathers” are actually comprised of dandelion fluffs that have been artfully sculpted and bonded together with some sort of cohesive substance. Certainly, anyone appreciative of the Japanese concept of fleetingness would appreciate this contemporary rendition.
Another darkroom exhibit, Lasermice is exactly what it sounds like and more! Dozens of “mice” with lasers attached to their heads work their way around confined floor space. The mice communicate by reading the lasers of other mice in order to avoid running into each other, vocalizing each time they read a laser. The organic swarming algorithm is fascinating and adorable to all visitors.
Perhaps the most bizarre exhibit of the bunch, SPARE (not mine) is a mechanized tire that continuously runs into a white wall, leaving a pattern of black marks as it slightly deviates in path each time. Intended as satirical commentary on automation, the curator of this exhibit excitedly described it as “cute,” although I’m not convinced!
Whether you are a modern art enthusiast or prefer a lighter interpretation of these exhibits, these only skim the surface of the plethora of fascinating works of art showcased at the annual Japan Media Arts Festival. Mark your calendar for next year’s Japan Media Arts Festival to experience unique works of art seen only in Japan!