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Jury Critiques

A Showcase That Reflects the Times

KAWADA Tom

AR3Bros.(Three Brothers of Augmented Reality)

It seems to me that the season of enjoying technology for technology's sake has passed. It is now work in which technology blends naturally with stories and real life that grabs center stage. It is when the seams and bindings of technology are invisible that the viewer has a sense of immersion. Whether the artist has the skills and the ideas to connect contiguously with daily life is the focus.In a curious coincidence, this shift comes at the same time as the Heisei era ends, and it seems to me that submitting artists are feeling freer to express them- selves. An app like TikTok regards video as a mode of communication. The message is ephemeral, without the inherent and lasting social commentary seen in video works submitted in the past. This turning point is some- thing that, as jurists for the Japan Media Arts Festival, we could not ignore. It is also notable that a television show like Chiko Will Scold You! was selected as the Grand Prize winner. It was precisely because of the seamless, invisible use of technology mentioned above that the character's behavior is so charming and the show's approach feels so modern. The piece by Per- fume and the production team, a regular Japan Media Arts Festival entrant, is a special case. This piece easily could have been a candidate for the Grand Prize if it had been their first submission. I admire how stoically the group continues to update their work even while bask- ing in attention both in Japan and overseas. The piece functions well as entertainment without crossing too far into art. Neither is it merely coincidence that LINNÉ LENS and KABUKI-CHO DETECTIVE SEVEN, at oppo- site ends of the digital-analog spectrum in multimedia production, were both selected for Excellence Awards in the same year. The ingenuity we saw this year in terms of software was inevitable. Works chosen for the Jury Selection focused on offering new perspectives and creating texture. All of these works were captivat- ing and unique and left one wanting to see what comes next.I hope that the Japan Media Arts Festival continues to function as a gateway or showcase of media arts for you, the reader of these comments, and for myself, as viewer and jury.

Profile

KAWADA Tom

AR3Bros.(Three Brothers of Augmented Reality)

Born in 1976 in Kumamoto Prefecture. KAWADA went to work for a sewing machine manufacturer in 1999. At his interview with the company, he presented a "Future Resume" that outlined a multitude of achievements that he eventually accomplished, including designing the company's servers and overall web environment, creating a system capable of handling parts orders throughout the world, and devising patented technology to connect sewing machines to the internet. He left the corporate world in 2009 to become the eldest of the AR3Bros. (Three Brothers of Augmented Reality), an innovative team of developers. He has appeared on TV shows such as Waratte Iitomo! (It's Okay to Laugh!), Jonetsu Tairiku (Passionate Continent), and Kagai Jugyo Yokoso Sempai (Welcome to the Extracurricular Lesson, My Senior). His recent works include the Hoshi ni touch panel gekijo (Touch Panel Theater in the Stars) at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, and the Warp suru romen densha (The Warping Streetcar) in Hiroshima. KAWADA is breaking new ground to augment real space through such efforts as the launch of Techno konto (an event for comedians to unveil new skits) in Shibuya. He hosts the critically acclaimed radio show "INNOVATION WORLD" on J-WAVE on Friday nights at 22:00. His genius does not recognize the bounds of genre or media.

( 2019 )

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