Art Removes The ‘Bug’ Of The Mirror World: Ask The Curator Of ‘GEMINI LABORATORY EXHIBITION: Scenes Of Debugging’

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    Change Perspective

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The exhibition “GEMINI EXHIBITION: Scenes of Debugging”, in which six contemporary artists express the world view of “GEMINI Laboratory”, will be held from October 14th (Friday) to 25th (Tuesday), 2022 in Tokyo. It will be held at ANB Tokyo. In addition to exonemo, who has been active on the boundary between digital and virtual for over 20 years, Taichi Sunayama, who conducts a wide range of research in the fields of architecture and media, and Yasushi Sakai, who studies urban consensus building at the MIT Media Lab, a diverse group of members will exhibit their work under the theme of new scenes in the “mirror world where the digital and the physical coexist.”

The year 2022 is also called “the first year of the Metaverse,” and many companies have entered the digital space. The digital fashion market, such as avatar skins, is rapidly expanding as new technologies such as virtual currency and NFT advance. “GEMINI” is a project by Toppan Printing that aims to implement social value in such an expanding Metaverse. “GEMINI EXHIBITION: Debug Scene” is an effort to implement the possibilities of the mirror world in the exhibition space through collaboration with artists.

The exhibition will be curated by Kento Tanbara, who is also an artist himself. Tanbara is known for his activities in the frontiers of technology and art, such as curating Japan’s first NFT art fair “Meta Fair”. Tanbara says that when thinking about the concept of the exhibition, it was impressive that he could catch a glimpse of “everyday life” in the world view that GEMINI is aiming for.

Photo: Bikitoru Nomoto (METACRAFT) Provided by: e-vela.jp

“For example, the act of tapping an app on a smartphone and looking up transit information. We are seldom aware of the kind of infrastructure that enables this action, which is repeated every day. What will happen when the technology to achieve a mirror world becomes a part of daily life, and what kind of values will become the norm when a child who grew up in a world where it was taken for granted becomes an adult? I thought it would be an opportunity to face such a fundamental question.“

Analog media such as “timetables” that once existed have been digitized into “smartphone apps” before we knew it. For many people, this transition was unconsciously made, but it is also affecting the values of the generation called “digital natives.” In the mirror world that GEMINI is aiming for, as a result of the progress of digitization of space, the boundaries between reality and virtual, digital and physical become more ambiguous. Tanbara says that it is meaningful to pay attention to what kind of spread this “ambiguity” has.

“Suppose someone is being beaten in front of you. You may think it hurts, but no matter how much you imagine it, it is only a secondary experience. If we were able to experience it in the VR world, the boundaries between the experiences of others and our own might become ambiguous.・ Boundaries that have existed for granted may become more and more unnatural. For example, it may also affect the concepts of death, friend and enemy.”

Boundaries are blurring in the art world as well. For example, as a result of the emergence of interactive art in which the output changes with the intervention of the audience, the concept of “work” is no longer static like that of sculpture or painting. Now, with the advent of the mirror world, the boundaries between the digital and the physical are blurring. What can be done at an “exhibition in a real space”?

Photo: Tomohiro Tateishi

“Most people still live their lives in the physical world. That is why there should be something appealing to visitors by expressing intervention and fusion from the virtual world there. The exhibition of works in real space has a history of accumulating things such as the design of conductors and guidance of the line of sight, etc. I think that making the most of this can become an attempt to illuminate the changing boundaries from the physical side.”

As an example, Tanbara mentioned Taichi Sunayama’s work under construction with the theme of “Z-Fighting”. Z-Fighting is a bug-like phenomenon that occurs when two objects exist at the same position in digital space. Sunayama’s work, which attempts to generate this phenomenon in real space, may give us questions to consider the future mirror world from the reality side.

Also, in the work by exonemo, a digital pet exists in a cage on a monitor, which can be purchased by visitors. You can keep the purchased pet as it is in your smartphone, but you can also throw away the 3D model, strip off the texture, and convert it to NFT as a 2D image. At the venue, physical materials that look like NFT pet “leather” will also be exhibited. It can be said that this is a work that shakes up the concept of “ownership” in the real world, that is changing in the digital world.

Also, Tanbara says that the mirror world is by no means a silver bullet for realizing a bright future. Many social problems that can be called “bugs” in the real world are likely to accelerate as digitalization progresses.

“Simply copying the real world into a digital space and connecting it to the real world will not solve the problems of poverty and discrimination that we face today. Rather, while social structures such as gender will be preserved, the expansion of the digital realm may also increase the impact of problems.This is why I want to include the context of ethics, gender, and history, which is becoming apparent in real life,throughout the exhibition.”

Sexual harassment and slander against homosexuals have already occurred on the metaverse, and the platform side is being forced to respond. In addition, biases such as white male supremacy hidden in the tech industry responsible for development are often the subject of discussion. Instead of replicating the problem, the digital world will need to update the solution itself.

However, Tanbara emphasizes that social problems exist in everyday life. That is also the reason why issues such as gender were not the theme of this exhibition. Without a connection to everyday reality, no social problem has any reality.

Photo: Bikitoru Nomoto (METACRAFT) Provided by: e-vela.jp

“I didn’t want the exhibition to show how amazing the mirror world has solved the problem. Artists who pick up everyday insights and use them as clues to tackle major problems are the ones who can play an active role in this era of the rise of the mirror world and the turmoil of many things. I think

─ Listener: Shinya Yashiro

Exhibition Information

  • GEMINI Laboratory Exhibition

    GEMINI Laboratory Exhibition

    2022.10.14 (FRI) - 10.25 (TUE)
    Venue:ANB Tokyo
    12:00-20:00
    Artists:
    Exonemo, Yasushi Sakai, Sputniko!, SUNAKI, Ayumi Kanno, Misato
    Curator: Kensho Tambara
    Admission Free
    *0ct 14 18:00-20:00 By Invitation Only

Event Information

  • GEMINI Laboratory Kickoff Event

    GEMINI Laboratory Kickoff Event

    2022.10.6(THU) 14:00-18:30
    Offline Venue: SHIBUYA QWS(Invitation Only)
    Online Venue: YouTube LIVE (Free)

    Speakers:
    Kevin Kelly, Mitsuhiro Takemitsu, Keisuke Toyoda, Tomoya Mori, Yasushi Sakai,SUNAKI, Exonemo, Kazuki Takakura, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Ou Sugiyama, Natsuyo Chinsho, Keiichiro Hirano, Kyoko Tominaga, Arina Tsukada, Mariko Nishimura
    And More

Co-created by

  • Kensho Tanbara

    Kensho Tanbara

    Writer, Curator. Born In Tokyo In 1992. Graduated From The Department Of Art History At Harvard University. After Working As A Writer In Boston With A Focus On Performances About Rites Of Passage And Rituals In Contemporary Communities, He Returned To Japan In 2017 And Works As A Writer And Curator In Japan. Focusing On Creating Site-Specific Works And Exhibitions, This Work Aims To Induce Changes In The Viewer's Gaze. While Working As An Artist, He Curates Exhibitions At Galleries, Is The Founder Of The Art Space Shin-Okubo UGO, And Is The Representative Director Of The Open Art Consortium. From December 2009, He Will Be The Program Director Of "Sono Aida #New Yurakucho". Major Exhibitions Include “Future And Art” (2019, Mori Art Museum, Under The Name Of Another Farm), “ENCOUNTERS” (2020, ANB Tokyo, Curator/Artist), “Dream Play Sequence” (21, Toyama) Museum Restaurant "BiBiBi & JURULi", Curation), Meta Fair #01 (22 Years, Sono Aida #Shin-Yurakucho, Planning, Management, Curation), Etc.

  • Shinya Yashiro

    SYYS LLC

    Shinya Yashiro

    SYYS LLC

    Editor. Became Independent In 2017 After Working For Cork Co., Ltd. And The Japanese Edition Of WIRED. Participated In The Founding Of Tobu Classroom, A Limited Liability Company, Engaged In Manga Editing/Original Work, Book Editing, Research/Branding, Etc. Founded SYYS LLC In 2019 And Established A Base In Kyoto In 2020.

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What Is
“mirror world”...
What Is
“mirror world”...
What Is
“mirror world”...
What Is
“mirror world”...
What Is
“mirror world”...

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