We are heading for the second decade of 21 century. Looking back to the first the decade, we can recognize the drastic changes in the ways of communication and sharing the huge amount of information, realized by the ICT. The rapid growth of digitalization made us easily receive, create and actively send the information globally, but at the same time, the heavy dependency to the virtual environment caused the serious imbalance of society such as in economy, people’s mentality, etc. It’s time for us to re-examine the role of digital technology. By grasping the characteristic potential of digital and analogue, we would combine or articulate them depending on the situations.
The age of global networks is the age of global awareness. The global awareness is based on the “multi-identities”, reflecting the world and in additon, the feeling of being inside of the world. We live in the age of global networks and multi-reflections and are responsive to the world in complex ways. The circulating information flows – in telecommunications, natural environment and inside of us emerge as the potential resources that would interact dynamically.
In the age of interconnecting various information, we can also locate ourselves as responsible entities for the substantial shift of world – socio-cultural, geo-political, economical, scientific, among others – beyond systems established in modern era. The “world” here includes us as active players being involved in the fluctuating flow of information for new emergencies beyond existing fields and separations. It means that each of us autonomously contributes to the world on various levels by taking responsibility, at the same time mutually collaborating by choosing the way flexible in ever-changing conditions, where sensing, analyzing, and re-interpreting things would appear as creative process.
I would like to raise the perspective to the world, shifting from the “Camera Obscura” model to the “Projectors” model. Both are based on the same system – a box with a small hole, the former fixes the reversed static image by the light coming inside the box. That is a linear and rigid system without the time axis. In the latter, the light from inside of the box projects broadly outside, opens up the dynamic process between the space and things there including the movements and perception of the viewers, participants and other reflecting media in the space, causing a reflective process and further a chain reaction in reflections. Here, the “worlds” appear by the active perception
and involvement of the people and various media in the space.
It is the shift from the “receiver” to the “sender-reflector” model, welcoming the new network of things and information as ever-changing phenomenon triggered with/by us. The “information” here is hybrid, dynamic and open to the unpredictable accidents, welcoming the creative interventions and even playing with them. For creating the proto-culture, we need to have space for such interventions, and it will be only achieved throughout the active research and practice by connecting art, science and technology in the way never done before. Media artists take important roles to interface and stimulate the relation between the world and us and to show new perspectives for the future. Media art has a mission to visualize the invisible dynamics of the world beyond nature and society, beyond art and science to make us notice the world as a dynamic, interactive system, and opening the realm.
In envisioning the future, I would like to add the idea by Felix Guattari in 1989, in “Three Ecologies” – the ecology in nature, society and spirit — where humans and technology, nature and artificial, art and science would interrelate mutually.
Yukiko Shikata is a senior curator of NTT ICC, specially-assigned professor at Tokyo Zokei University, guest professor at Tama Art University.
Curated many exhibitions including:
“Amodal Suspension” (YCAM, 2003),
“open nature”(ICC, 2005),
“Light InSight”(ICC, 2008).