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Jury Critiques

Fluids Seeping Through the Skin of a Studious Worker

UKAWA Naohiro

Genzai (Contemporary) Artist and Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design and Representative, DOMMUNE

This was my third consecutive year to be part of the jury. It was a significant experience in which we witnessed the transition of the technological trend firsthand, a moment that was unique to the Entertainment Division. The 2045 problem on technological singularity is a popular topic of the current times. Yet, today is also a great time to inquire about the beauty that we, as human beings, must create, especially since artificial intelligence is now taking on creativity. The Grand Prize of this year is Best way for counting numbers by KISHINO Yuichi. KISHINO is an utterly studious worker who questioned the society by re-interpretating of marginal music through activities like "K-HIN Bros. Co." and "Manual Of Errors". He rediscovered the mischief of Japanese vinyl records as the pioneering un-official club DJ in "Gira Gira Night", and liberated the female sexuality that lies deep within male roots through improvisational performance in Hige no Mibojin (The Mustached Widow). For nearly thirty years, KISHINO and I have maintained a camaraderie, working on countless activities that contribute to the underground culture. While recommending a friend inevitably requires careful consideration, I had absolute confidence in his work. I would like to applaud this achievement with great admiration. My evaluation on Media Arts is based on whether the work captures the "intense struggle between technology and human capacity", a quality that pulsates in KISHINO's Best way for counting numbers.
The street-performance-like shadiness, and the world in which alternative stand-up comedy explodes to renew the context of Tiny Tim and Pee-wee Herman, reminds us of Japan's experimental children's TV-shows. These include the silent innocence of the character Noppo-san in Dekirukana (Can we do it?), twisted inventions by the character "Waku Waku-san" in Tsukutte Asobo (Make and play), new wave experiment in Curriculamachine, and Ugo Ugo Ruga, which also functioned as a platform for graphic technology experiments. Although projection mapping or virtual reality technology do not appear on KISHINO's stage, it is overflowing with all the corporeal energy of this studious worker. This is Media Arts!

Profile

UKAWA Naohiro

Genzai (Contemporary) Artist and Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design and Representative, DOMMUNE

Born in 1968. A multi-talented artist known for his wide range of activities as a video artist, graphic designer, music video director, VJ, writer, college professor, and Genzai (Contemporary) artist, among other roles. In March 2010, UKAWA founded the live streaming channel DOMMUNE, which immediately attracted a record-breaking number of viewers for its daily programs, and was greatly discussed both inside and outside Japan. DOMMUNE was chosen as a Jury Selection at the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival.

( 2016 )

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