I was involved in the Japan Media Arts Festival around 2013-15, and I thought being a jury member for the Art Division would be tough because of the large number of entries. This year, I finally got to be a jury member for the Division. The judging process was not as tough as I expected, maybe because it has been improved over time, yet I found another difficulty. Since I believe giving frank opinions is a role of a "newcomer," I will write it here: the difficulty of judging experience-based works. Currently, the judging for the Art Division is based on documents and online videos. The video for judging must be within a limited time in the interest of fairness, and it is not easy to discover the characteristics and originality of the work within that short time. The fact that many works in the Art Division are experience-based makes things even more difficult. An installation work is hard enough to judge through a video, but when it comes to an interactive work or even a VR work, understanding the essence of the work is extremely challenging. However, judging is essentially like this: submitted works are reviewed, ranked and awarded by a given method within a limited time. The jury did our best to make a fair judgment by fully exerting our individual experiences and knowledge. But still, it cannot be perfect. All the same, it is true that we would have been able to judge with more certainty if we could experience the works firsthand or view them in person. Some readers may have noticed, but this is a message for the artists who did not win the awards. This may sound like an excuse, but you are not losers. The five jury members are not the Almighty. Our tastes and expertise are all different. Luck also plays a part. If your work was an excellent one, we are the ones who lost. Nevertheless, award-winning works definitely had something outstanding or had provided an opportunity to experience the work properly. I admit that it is currently difficult amid the coronavirus pandemic, though I still hope that you will find some way to exhibit your work or provide an opportunity for firsthand experience. I hope I will see your work there again and that it will make me have regrets. Thank you very much for submitting your work.
Media artist. After graduating from the Faculty of Image Design at Kyushu Institute of Design (presently Kyushu University School of Design), he worked at a consulting firm. Later, he founded PetWORKs Co., Ltd., where he continues to work today. His works are often functional devices, and include communication tools such as Inter Dis-Communication Machine and PostPet as well as AirBoard, a skateboard fitted with a jet engine, and OpenSky, a project to build a real-life model of the Möwe aircraft from a Japanese animated film. HACHIYA has served as an associate professor of the Department of Intermedia Art of the Faculty of Fine Art at Tokyo University of the Arts since October 2010.
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