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Jury Critiques

The Era of Media as a Tool

SATO Naoki

Art Director and Professor, Tama Art University

As infrastructure and gadgets have changed, media too has changed and evolved. It continues to be said that expression in media, especially in terms of the role of art, lies in exploring the potential of the medium and ways of pushing it to evolve. The distinction between art and entertainment has become increasingly ambigu- ous, leading us to speak of art, as well, in commercial terms. This is also evident in this year's Entertainment Division award winners, which show signs that the surge of media advancements is levelling off. It is not that the audience is too immersed in digital or that they have forgotten about the medium of television. They crave a physical experience, a viewing experience. Past predic- tions that media would "disappear" and that all would be "consolidated" in virtual space have not played out. Instead, before we knew it, media that has gradually evolved over decades and media born of recent ad- vancements in device tech had come to be seen on equal terms. We are now in an age when these different types of media are being mixed. This implies that media lumped under the buzzword "technology" and consid- ered unpredictable is now seen as neutral and as a tool for the creator. Unlike art, entertainment is something meant for all people and presented in a ready-to-use form. This is a form that encourages easy absorption of complexities and context with the premise that enter- tainment equals fun. Rather than merely focusing on the novelty of recent technology, the backcasting approach asks what technology artists need to express what they want to express and what technology consumers and markets are looking for. Media merging with entertain- ment is indeed a massive step forward. Now, when the relationship between artist and consumer is closer than ever and more and more people are able to express themselves through media, how will entertainment evolve from here? Predictions are difficult, but I think that people will increasingly seek out experiences in the future. It is natural for human beings to seek experience that creates personal memories, and I can't help but feel that technology will make those experiences even stronger and transform them into something new.

Profile

SATO Naoki

Art Director and Professor, Tama Art University

Born in Tokyo in 1961. Professor at Tama Art University and instructor at Bigakko. After graduating from the Hokkaido University of Education, he studied the sociology of education and language at Shinshu University, and also studied painting under KIKUHATA Mokuma at Bigakko. In 1994 he became the art director for WIRED magazine's launch in Japan. In 1998 he founded ASYL DESIGN inc. (current Asyl). From 2003 to 2010 he produced Central East Tokyo (CET), an art, design and architecture event. In 2010 he was involved in the establishment of 3331 Arts Chiyoda. His work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, receiving awards from Japan and overseas. His artwork There, it has grown has been exhibited in Trans Arts Tokyo 2013-, Odate/Kita-Akita Arts Festival 2014, and other locations.

( 2017 )

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