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From the Interview of January, Eyeball introduces of co-curators and director of 2010 Seoul International Media Art Biennale.

Eyeball_Tell us about your career.

Fumihiko_I studied art history and write a thesis on avantgardes movement in 50s. Then I worked at the office for preparing new museum in Kanazawa, ICC (NTT Intercommunication Center) and Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. I was a director of International Festival for Arts and Media Yokohama 2009. My interest is going to overall activities of contemporary art, but have focused on relationship of art and society, specially media technologies.

Eyeball_If there were exhibitions that you have been curated focusing on media art, tell us about.

Fumihiko_There are several exhibitions related with media art. One of example is "Possible Futures". It was a research on Japanese postwar art and media technology. http://www.ntticc.or.jp/Archive/2005/PossibleFutures/index.html
It explores the historical works of contemporary art, experimental film and computer graphics and tries to make bridge between them.

Eyeball_You were the director of Cream 2009, As I know, it looks kind of moving image festival not focusing on the media art. It has introduced many moving images, such as animation, film, single channel video, etc., What do you think?

Fumihiko_I emphasized not only on technology but rather on how media is connecting us with society. Media Art is based on self referential idea of modern art. But we should be more aware of its function which connects different region, ideas and genre of arts.

Eyeball_As a co-curator of the 6th seoul international media art biennale, what's your key point to curate it?

Fumihiko_I strongly believe that the relationship between art and media is in transition right now. Media technology becomes everyday life communication tools. It was something innovative so only certain people could produce content for media communication. But it becomes cheeper and open so many people starts to use them, not only to become audience or consumer. It becomes like a pen we use in our everyday life. It is not something special any more but we still need to investigate this particular tool because our life is relying on media technology more and more. I would like to introduce artists who can unveil its nature and function.

Eyeball_ In the 90', media art center internationally has begun to open. Japan also has some media art center. Do you think Japan's media art is getting better through these centers. and If there is Japan's media art trend, tell us about.

Fumihiko_NTT Intercommunication Center where I used to work had opened in 1997. It played an important role in media art scene. I think most of the traditional museums could not deal with media art at that time so it was very important to have such a space dedicated only for media art. But it also made media art isolated and detached from other arts. I think it is a time we should think its historical context with may practices of visual arts.

This is also the character of Japanese media art scene that it developed its own field, not crossing over with other arts. Many of European media art has its critical attitudes towards media and society but since Japanese media artists lacks its focus on more broad range of activities in society they focus more on functions and entertainment aspect of media technology.

blast_theory,_can_you_see_me_now_at_shibuya,_2005

blast_theory,_can_you_see_me_now_at_shibuya,_2005

Eyeball_If you know korean media artist, or special genre, I wonder your opinion on korean media art.

Fumihiko_I think my knowledge about Korean media art is still limited. I would expect more chances to investigate it this time. But I have an impression that many Korean media artists have critical idea about current society and media. Media technology is a tool for people to change the traditional way of thinking, such as old media like photograph or film had changed our view of the world completely, so I expect conceptual approaches that leads us to imagine something different from what we all know since Korea is the country which experienced the dynamic change of the society.

Eyeball_Can you tell us the world media art trend and who is your favorite media artist and work ?

Fumihiko_My own interest of media technology is going towards locative media, it involves technologies like GPS, mobile phones or PDAs. They are mainly based on artistic approaches towards people's movement and space. Many of them asks audience not just watch but also to participate in order to explore history, politics and urban environment with in their projects.
Blast Theory, a group based in UK, is one of a good example.

Interviewer_Eyeball
Interviewee_Fumihiko Sumitomo, Co-curator of 2010 Seoul International Media Art Biennale

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Posted by EYEBALL_Media Arts Webzine


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