Explore Rhizomatiks: It’s Not Just A Music Video “ Perfume ”
How will our perceptions and sensitivities about humanity and society change in the future with the evolution of technology and the convergence of the real and virtual worlds?
Rhizomatiks, a group of creators, shows us what is possible in terms of technology and expression. They are known to produce and develop futuristic technology videos for Perfume, a techno pop group. However, the activities and expressions of the creative group extend even further.
To commemorate the 15th anniversary of its founding, an exhibition of “Rhizomatiks_Multiplex»Held at the Koto District Museum of Contemporary Art in eastern Tokyo (closed until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency) and online.
Visualization of invisible things
Rhizomatiks is made up of expert programmers, engineers and designers under the leadership of Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi. They are responsible for the entire project process, from hardware and software development to project implementation.
What makes Rhizomatiks projects valuable is the way they make invisible phenomena in our society – such as large, complex data – easier to grasp and visualize.
For example, during the event titled “TradersPresented at the museum in 2013, Tokyo Stock Exchange trading data was converted to real-time audio and video, allowing viewers to see unexpected stock alignments more clearly at a glance. In this way, invisible networks and trends could be felt “live”.
His recent project, “NFT and CryptoArt experience»Concerns the hot topic of« crypto art ». NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens, which are units of data stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. They certify that a digital asset is unique and therefore not interchangeable.
By attaching NFTs to digital art, it ensures its durability and “uniqueness”. The unique value of digital art that is otherwise easily reproduced is protected using blockchain mechanisms, allowing its value to increase to the point that it is not unusual for such art to evolve over time. values equivalent to millions of US dollars. This new venture features a video visualization of the status of these heated cryptoart transactions.
Yuko Hasegawa, professor at Tokyo University of the Arts who organized the exhibition, said: “In a new mechanism that we had never imagined before, we ask ourselves questions like: what high-priced trades? Who is buying? What is the resulting value? ”
In the age of change, Rhizomatiks tries to make it easy to understand something that is difficult for many people to understand. “It is an art to share with a large audience what is happening now, and the judgment is left to the individual.” she said.
In search of a ‘new body’
Rhizomatiks has constantly explored the boundaries between the real and the virtual and the “new body” that merges with technology. “Mantra of the mouthIs one of her groundbreaking music videos that features world-famous Icelandic singer Björk, seen with her own mouth. This work probably reflects the interest of both parties to integrate the body into digitization.
The highlight of this exhibition is “Multiplex“, A joint project with ELEVENPLAY, a Japanese dance troupe directed by its director and choreographer MIKIKO. It is an installation that combines the movements of living dancers with motion data, moving box-shaped robots and video projections.
The boundaries between the real and the virtual are blurred by a multi-layered projection that the audience can capture. It seems to overlap with our recognition of reality in the post-corona era. With remote meetings and cocktails a part of our lives, Rhizomatiks strives through trial and error to create an online communication platform more rooted in real human behavior and emotions.
What makes Rhizomatiks different?
“Artists usually come up with concepts first, then think about ways later. But “the process is the opposite for the Rhizomatiks,” explained Professor Hasegawa. “He’s thinking about what can be done using new technology and new media. Of course, it’s a series of delicate and intimidating situations, ”she added.
It’s also worth seeing the group’s archival material and videos, including a number of valuable groundwork created over a 15-year span. Through serious research and development, Rhizomatiks will undoubtedly come up with new tasks involving new technologies, aesthetic sensibilities and critical thinking.
This exhibit is scheduled until June 20, but is currently closed to visitors for the duration of the 3rd state of emergency declared for Tokyo and other cities. Tickets cost ¥ 1,500 for adults, ¥ 900 for college and vocational school students, and those over 65, and 500 for high school and high school students.
However, this is an exhibit that can be enjoyed both in a real and virtual format, so while the museum is closed why not visit its “online place“free of charge?
(Find access to the original Sankei Shimbun report in Japanese at this link.)
Author: Ayako Kurosawa