Deadline: September 9, 2015 (18:00 Japan Standard Time)
The Japan Media Arts Festival is a comprehensive festival of Media Arts (Media Geijutsu) that honors outstanding works from a diverse range of media – from animation and comics to media art and games. The festival gives awards in each of its four divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animation, and Manga. Since its inception in 1997, the festival has recognized significant works of high artistry and creativity, and in addition to a yearly Exhibition of Award-winning Works has held other events, such as symposiums, screenings, and showcases.
Entries are sought from professional, amateur, independent and commercial creators across the globe. Works completed or released between September 3, 2014 and September 9, 2015 are eligible for entry in the four divisions – Art, Entertainment, Animation and Manga.
Entry Period: Tuesday, July 7 – Wednesday, September 9, 2015 (18:00 Japan Standard Time)
Announcement of Award-winning Works: Late November 2015
Awards Ceremony: Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Exhibition of Award-winning Works: Wednesday, February 3 – Sunday, February 14, 2016
Venue: The National Art Center, Tokyo (Roppongi, Tokyo) and other locations
Entry Outline / The Four Divisions (Art, Entertainment, Animation, Manga)
Works of art created with new media and digital technologies: Interactive art, media installations, video works, video installations, graphic art (digital illustrations, digital photographs, computer graphics, etc.), internet art, media performances, etc.
Works for entertainment created with digital technologies: Games (video games, online games, etc.), video / sound works (music videos, independent and advertising videos, etc.), multimedia productions (including special-effects videos, performances, projections), gadgets, electronic devices, websites (including web promotion, open source projects), application software, etc.
Animated feature films, animated short films, animated series, etc.
Comics published in book form, comics published in a magazine (including works still being serialized), comics published online (for computer or mobile), self-published comics, etc.
Works must be completed or released between: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 and Wednesday, September 9, 2015.
For each division, one Grand Prize, four Excellence Awards, and three New Face Awards will be awarded on the basis of artistic quality and creativity. In addition, a Special Achievement Award will be awarded on the recommendation of the Jury to a person or group having made a special contribution to Media Arts in any of the four divisions.
Grand Prize: Certificate*, trophy, 600,000 Japanese Yen
Excellence Award: Certificate*, trophy, 300,000 Japanese Yen
New Face Award: Certificate*, trophy, 200,000 Japanese Yen
Special Achievement Award: Certificate*, trophy
Other outstanding entries will be chosen by the Jury as Jury Selections.
Notable works at the 18th edition of Japan Media Arts Festival, 2015
Drone Survival Guide by Ruben Pater
A pamphlet containing the silhouettes of the 26 most common types of unmanned aircraft, or “drones”, indicating their purpose and nationality, and also including a survival guide for protection in case of coming under their surveillance or attack. From a special website, a printable version translated into 32 langauges can be downloaded, while it is also possible to order a print on paper with a refl ective metallic coating that is supposed to inhibit the monitoring sensors of drones. According to a report, by 2032 the number of unmanned aircraft flying over America will climb to 30,000. Drones have a wide range of applications, from surveillance and attack missions to spy on or even kill people, to humanitarian and disaster relief missions that can help people survive. This work aims to familiarize us with these aircraft that will become ever more commonplace in the near future. Under what conditions will these unmanned aircraft be permitted to fl y over our skies, and how will accidents be avoided? In spreading knowledge related to drones, this is a work which suggests the necessity for a more intimate discussion about this situation. © Ruben Pater More information
Profile: Ruben Pater studied at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam, and currently teaches at the Design Academy in Eindhoven. Tackling political themes, he develops visual works that have narrative aspects. In raising the consciousness of the public through his visual approach to political and social themes, he contrives to construct new relations between design and journalism. (2014) More information
Award Reason: Today when security cameras are installed everywhere, and communications are exposed to interception and hacking, it may be that even in the near future we will have to live with the anxiety of being detected by drone sensors. I also hear that drones are often equiped with Japanese-made lenses. This project followed Double Standards – Somali Seajacks 2010-2012, one of the Jury Selections, which Ruben PATER compiled as a result of his Master’s thesis. The knowledge he offers for protection, such as hiding in the shade of trees or using decoys, appears to be serious while also retaining humor. A guide downloadable for free from the artist’s website that advocates from around the world have translated, and the act of distributing at a cost an artwork made from highly reflective materials used in jamming is also unique. Proposed to a society he has closely studied for infringements on safety brought about by developments in science and technology, the work stirs action and a consideration of the right to protect life through creative humor and counter-intelligence. The work was judged to be a bold undertaking in which a countermeasure close at hand is devised, the reality of crisis quickly diffused, and cognitive and critical awareness raised. (OKABE Aomi)
Goldfish Liberation Movement by Tomoya Ishibashi
A project attempting to take a goldfish cultivated through selective breeding of a crucian carp, and return it, through reverse selective breeding, to its original state. This process is proposed as the “Goldfish Liberation Movement”, an animal welfare activity to recover the “wild nature” of pets, who struggle to survive in natural environments. This contradiction of “liberation” through reverse breeding questions the nature and morality of expressive media that uses living organisms. © Tomoya Ishibashi
Profile: Born in 1990 in Saitama Prefecture. Pursues creative activities on the theme of nature. (2014) More information
Nyloïd by Cod.Act (Michel Décosterd / André Décosterd)
A sound sculpture consisting of a six-meter long nylon tripod carrying a sound device linked to the movements which, as if like a giant creature, generates complex and organic movements and sounds. Influenced by the rotation of a fixed engine set on the ground, the tripod bends considerably, twisting shape. Due to diverse mechanical constraints, and its amplified strength yielded by the reactivity of its plastic matereal, at times it appears to draw out a large arc as if dancing, striking the ground as if in anguish. In the ceaseless combination of movements synchronized to the source of the sound – a deconstructed human voice – a mixture of emotions, from tension to anger and intimacy, are evoked in the viewer. The combination of raw materials, mechanical and sound perfection results in a kind of hypnotic and dramaturgic choreography, from which arise, in a paradoxical way, perfectly random kinetics. © Cod.Act More information
Profile: Combining their know-how, André and Michel DÉCOSTERD have together developed performances and interactive installations. At the root of their approach is a reflection on sound and movement and the possibility of their mutual interaction. Since 1999 the complex devices they have produced have evoked an industrial universe of economy and function. The devices created by Cod. Act translate physical movement into an acoustic phenomenon. (2014) More information
Award Reason: Cod.Act received the Grand Prize both in the 14th and 16th Japan Media Arts Festivals. That this work is made by a unit consisting of siblings who have backgrounds as a musician and architect is always enthralling, but Nyloïd is an excellent work in which, seen as an extension of Cycloïd-E which won the Grand Prize in the 14th Japan Media Arts Festival, one can observe their insatiable curiosity. The movement of the three six-meter long “limbs” of this sound sculpture carried by a prodigious nylon tripod also resembles that of biological movement, yet in being extremely restrictive perfect control is impossible. With the addition of electronic sound to this irregular movement, it somewhere inspires a sense of depravity and awe while at the sametime possessing suppleness, sensuality, and strength. While rooted in advanced technology, which is also characteristic of new media art, Nyloïd is important as a work that can bring about spatial awareness and somatic sensations through its range of movement and sound. (UEMATSU Yuka)
Sensing streams – invisible, inaudible by Ryuichi Sakamoto / Daito Manabe
An installation work in which, through detection (or sensing), electromagnetic waves imperceivable to humans are made visible and audible. This work was developed in two locations found in Sapporo City: Sapporo Ekimae-dori Underground Walkway (Chi-Ka-Ho), and a glass pyramid within Moerenuma Park. An antenna installed in Moerenuma Park collected electromagnetic waves, and the data was then made visible and audible in real time through a massive self-luminous, high-definition screen and speakers. The viewer is able to change the wavelength frequency with a controller, allowing the experience of various simultaneously existing electromagnetic waves through visuals and sound that are perpetually changing. In addition, by contrasting these with the electromagnetic waves recorded in the Chi-Ka-Ho, the significant differences between electromagnetic waves depending on the location and time becomes clear. In the present day when electromagnetic waves have become an essential part of infrastructure, this work makes us aware of a phenomenon that usually goes unnoticed – the flow (streams) of a multitude of electromagnetic waves – while also reflecting our active involvement through mobile phones and smartphones. © SAKAMOTO Ryuichi / MANABE Daito More information
Profiles: Ryuichi Sakamoto – Born in 1952 in Tokyo. He made his debut with Thousand Knives in 1978 and in the same year he formed YMO. Since the band’s breakup he has been active in many other fields. He won an Academy Award for the soundtrack for Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, and a Grammy Award for The Last Emperor. He often works with environmental and peace issues, establishing the forest conservation organization “more trees”, among other activities. He was Artistic Director of the 10th Anniversary Program of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in 2013, while in 2014 he took on a more active role in the art world as guest director of Sapporo International Art Festival 2014. (2014) More information
Daito Manabe creates work by combining familiar phenomena and materials perceived anew from different perspectives. His focus is on the essential attraction that phenomena, the body, programming, and computers possess, discovered through their careful observation. (2014) More information
Award Reason: This work was produced for the Sapporo International Art Festival 2014 by SAKAMOTO Ryuichi and MANABE Daito. Focusing on electromagnetic waves, their proposal took the form of a collaboration following the concept of visualization and audibility. In what form do the electromagnetic waves of different frequencies emitted from mobile phones, radios and televisions exist in daily environments? On a daily basis, we are thinking, judging, and acting based on information obtained from our eyes and ears. What is interesting about this work is the overlaying of these waves and the water veins or “streams” flowing beneath Sapporo, and the transformation into perceivable information of their existence which, while invisible, certainly affects the lives of humans. In making it appreciable by anyone, it encourages new awareness of an existence that was beyond recognition. In addition, employed within the massive screen, 4K VIEWING® used in the work are 1 mm SMD (surface mount devices) placed within a 1.9 mm pitch, not only allowing superhigh definition image resolution, but also making possible a new textural surface quality and form of expression. (TAKATANI Shiro)
Temps mort / Idle times – dinner scene by Alex Verhaest
Temps mort / Idle times is an experimental film relating the story of a family embroiled in an age-old family drama. The story is spread across a wide range of distinct works, each depicting a scene and each attempting to engage the viewer with interactive elements. Spectators are encouraged to form bonds between these disparate facets. The project explores the mechanics that drive the medium of film, and in its realization the artist has raised the question: How does one create a narrative, or a character? What role does editing play in this process? How does one move an audience to enter into the illusion? How could interaction extend an illusion? 9 min. © Alex Verhaest
Profile: Her work is largely focused on language, stories, and the impossibility of communication. The basis of each project is a highly narrated script around which VERHAEST creates a body of work. Her strongly pictorial work operates on the juxtaposition of painting and video, each project investigating contemporary technology. (2014) More information
Award Reason: By using the contemporary technology of interaction through the use of video and telephones, and while using genres of European classical painting such as group portraits and still life, this work gives the added dimension of time to the Romantic theme of death. It is an ambitious work allegorically suggesting that, with the appearance of recordings through various media such as video, time today does not advance in a linear way. With the greater occurrence of works that defamiliarize phenomena in the present age by referring to the history of art, I have expectations for the sort of developments VERHAEST will show us in the future. (SATOW Morihiro)