While regine might be enjoing the transatlantic fun, just a small update from Tokyo. A recent Digital Stadium show featured this installation piece called Uku-Fuyu (Floating Winter).
Kosei Komatsu has been making esthetically appealing artifacts using feathers and this is his latest using geese feathers.
The feathers in the twenty five acrylic pipes fall straight down. They are "creme de la creme" feathers that Komatsu could find only a few in a mountain of feathers. Then he also developed air filters that create "straight wind" in the pipes. Digital technologies play an important role in controlling the movement of feathers. But Komatsu's efforts for perfecting non-techie part of this installation seem to have been substantial.
here's a movie clip.
via digital stadium
The Little Japan vehicle was developed so that its creator Kazuya Kanemaru and any volunteer could travel to towns and villages on it. They were searching for a place to launch the attached balloon that was shaped like Little Boy, the nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945.
More atomic art:
"Monalisa: shadow of your sound," by Norihisa Nagano and Kazuhiro Jo, is an installation that allows one to interactively "watch sounds and hear images." It's currently exhibited at the renovated ICC Museum in Tokyo (if you want to know more about the museum's recent happenings, see the PingMag article "Rebirth of Japan’s Media Arts Centre ICC." I (manekineko) recently went into Monalisa to hear the sound of my face. Then, I sang to it to modify my face.
The main component of this interactive installation is the software application called Monalisa that melds sounds and images using Monalisa-Audio Unit and Monalisa-Image Unit plug-ins. The audio unit processes sounds using image processing mechanisms and the image unit processes images using sound processing mechanisms – for example, one can rotate a sound sequence using an image rotation tool and likewise one can manipulate an image's frequency levels using a sound processing tool.
I asked Kazuhiro (K) and Norihisa (N) questions to know more about the ideas behind Monalisa.
What motivated you to create Monalisa? I could view Monalisa as a machine that produces very unique sounds and images. I could also view it as an environment that provides opportunities to think about the image-sound relationship.
K: I surely want people to hear those sounds and the images, but one of the intentions of showing it as an installation is to allow people to think about the relationship between image and sound through interactive experiences.
By rolling out the image-sound-image conversion process in a physical space, we can let users see and hear parameters; I mean the parameters for changing characteristics of cameras, speakers, a room, and microphones. They are used to transform images to sounds and then to images. In my opinion, this seems interesting as a method for presenting media, visually and audibly.
Were you aiming at making a new musical instrument? Is Monalisa designed as a musical instrument that users can play with fluency?
K: When we made Monalisa, we thought about its aspect as a tool, perhaps like a musical instrument or a paint brush -- not just as an art installation or a machine to make people think. But it's made as a specialized tool for possible user population, maybe one in ten thousand people – it's not made as a tool that anyone can use fluently.
N: "Bridge," "method," and "anti-these" are the keywords for thinking about what Monalisa is. We can call it a musical instrument or a tool since it makes sounds, but it is also a "method." That is, Monalisa is a bridge that connects images and sounds – they are treated differently even though they are both internally zeros and ones on a PC. And Monalisa provides a bridging method. Also, it's my own way of showing the inevitability of using computers for reasons beyond "computers are useful"
It's very interesting that Monalisa converts images to sounds and then back to images. This makes me think about an infinite loop that repeatedly merges bits and atoms in a Jimi Hendrix style. Along this line, is Monalisa designed for personal, immersive experiences rather than multi-user, social experiences?
K: We are making the Monalisa software available for download. Currently Monalisa-Audio Unit and Monalisa-Image Unit plug-ins are available and the Monalisa's main application will be released soon. We also plan to update the installation at ICC.
N: In the future, I'd like to show the "method" that the three software applications enable.
N: In the Monalisa installation, what people see and hear are the same. It's not just synchronization of sounds and images. Reflecting on this situation of seeing and hearing the same thing at the same time, I'd hope to gain some hints for the next ideas about what computers can do.
The poster gallery.
Can't remember how i stumbled upon this gallery. Wikipedia provided me with the information i needed to understand what these posters were about. Tokusatsu is the Japanese term for special effects. Live action productions (sci-fi, horror, monster movies, etc.) that primarily feature the use of special effects are also called tokusatsu. Toho is a large Japanese film studio that has been a leader in the genre. In the West, it is best known as the producer of many daikaiju movies (like Godzilla), the Choseishin series, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and the animated films of Studio Ghibli.
The posters on the website are a bit tiny, so i cheated and used an image from "Toho Amusement Park" to illustrate the post.