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Symposium on Tokyo Performaning Arts Market 2010 in which I participated a few days ago, was very interesting. There were five artist group participated in the symposium, including three from UK and two from Japan. Every participants performed their works or projects in a public space.

 

In general, because the locative media such as mobile phones or GPS, etc. are relative to people’s action for their mobility, they bring artistic production out from the existing art spaces so-called a gallery or a theater. For this reason, the works which are largely related with urbanity, capital, politics, traffic, history and the events of society are tend to be created.

First, the work which I participated was as if it were the last time (a Subtlemob)" of Duncan Speakmansubtlemob.com.  In the works refer to Subtlemob, the people who have no relation and are gathered at the place which day and time are specified showed a performance to audience as in  flushmob( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob), which were not splendid and showy. Instead, in this piece, mp3 data which have been pre-downloaded, was to be played at the designated place. People were attracted so that they listened carefully to the tone or the sound that was listen to their head-phones, and that its story were focused to the inner side of their own mind.         They were in the crowded street, but the space that was left alone, was gradually made.  In addition, they took the action instructed: walked little by little; looked in the window of a shop or restaurant and smiled on a passerby. In such a casual way, the silent performance or the drama, etc. was played by participants with no experience of acting.  



Matt Adams of Blast Theorywww.blasttheory.co.uk/, introduced their project Riderspoke.  He asks participants to got around a street by bicycle, and they recorded his own message to answer to the question from the PDA on his bicycle.  Also, as he/she reaches to the place which other participant has recorded some messages, he could hear another’s message coming from there.  Thus, they rediscover their relation to the site and landscape with the messages from the other participants.  

 

Although they use new technology, their performance shows in common that anybody can participate by their easy accessibility. The premise of these works is that the participants with different gender, age and nationality, and its subject matters are in this diversity not in its attraction to the new technology. And really important matters were that narratives or the interface of a game was introduced to seduce personal feelings in urban public space.     The participants gradually built their own space, for example, by a involved in a story or a game, or according to defined rule in city, as a result, the urbanscape around them is seen to totally different one.      

 

Exonemo(www.exonemo.com), Japanese artist unit who started from Net Art, created the project that participants make their own portrait, going around here and there in the middle of the street in which the participants were gathered. In recent years, they have transferred the place in which they have been active, from internet to the physical spaces. It enables them to encounter with the more unexpected things happen than programmed virtual space. The discussion then focused on “how can we keep the freedom of the participants?”, or “which much does artists can control the game?”

 

ContactGONZO(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE6169lckoA), the popular group that play the dance similar to martial arts, played the performance that they started in the neighborhood park or in the premises of train station or in the mountains.    They made a video with the performance at first and uploaded it into website so that many people could see the video.      The video in website will be only way that people who live in other city can see the human bodies of which express pain and weakness in the landscape of center of the city and in parks or in mountains.             We can say that they chose the non-site, namely internet, entirely unlike theaters which the relation with audience is fixed.    



Coney(youhavefoundconey.net), a team of the participants, made an attempt that crossed the area of literature, art, music, movie and drama, while they introduced games and the elements of street culture in it, which was seen distinctively.      

It may be natural because they went out onto the street.  Is it happening in coincident with the fact that we gradually looses our connection with neighbors as we have more access to mobile technology?     

 

Their project reexamine the relationship of our body and memory with the urban landscape by paying attention to the ordinary scene to the people who  cannot stay away from mobile phone and internet.

In other words, the game they produce is not so simple play as kid’s. Rather it should be an art to learn how we can find out something to trust in this very complicated society by depending on the temporal rules to be shared with others.



Fumihiko Sumitomo

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Posted by EYEBALL_Media Arts Webzine


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