Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion


September 7 - 11, 2022

Ars Electronica Festival (2022)


About the festival

The Ars Electronica Festival is a Festival for Art, Technology and Society. It is one of the largest in the world that does so. This year’s event will take place in Linz, Austria, with the theme, “Welcome to Planet B – A different life is possible. But how?”

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the past two years of this event have been a hybrid of online and offline. However, this year will be held onsite only for the first time in three years. Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion will exhibit award-winning works and works by award-winning artists on location and invite two artists to Linz to join the festivities.

Ars Electronica Festival 2022
Date: September 7-11, 2022
Venue: Johannes Kepler University and others in Linz (Linz, Austria)
Festival Theme:「Welcome to Planet B – A different life is possible. But how?」


Japan Media Arts Festival at Ars Electronica

The festival has appointed an art director and curator, YAMAMOTO Mayumi to oversee the this year’s festival project. Two works of art will be exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival venue: YAMAUCHI Shota’s Maihime, YAMAUCHI’s other work, Yamahyo Crossing won the Art Division Excellence Award at the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival (JMAF), and HIRASE Miki’s “Projection for the next three thousand years,” which won the 25th JMAF Art Division New Face Award. There will be performances for Maihime (subject to weather conditions).

Organizer: Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
Director: YAMAMOTO Mayumi (Curator/Art Manager/Artistic Director at Kyoto Arts Center)

Chief Manager
Cultural Policy Coordinator, Kyoto

Developed and supported young artists through international projects and exhibitions since the center opened in 2000. Worked as chief program director at Kyoto Art Center (2016-2021) and art director for the KYOTO STEAM―International Arts × Science Festival 2021. Curations include “Culture City of East Asia 2017: Asia Corridor Contemporary Art Exhibition” and the online “Corona chakai” (2021). Started the Kyoto Interchange in 2022, an institution fostering interchanges that follow shared ethics.

Curatorial Theme:
「next to me, next to you」

With natural disasters, COVID-19, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our sensibility and ways of thinking have shifted, giving us more opportunities to be considerate or concerned about others’ influence. You may have realized that we all influence each other: family, friends, acquaintances, all life on Earth, and our environment. The world is undoubtedly connected.

So where can we go, with everything linked and everyone working side by side, like in Buckminster FULLER’s (1895-1983) Spaceship Earth? Unfortunately, we may have lost sight of where we’ve been heading, but our ship hasn’t sunk just yet.

Instead of pressing “reset” or giving up, communication through imagination may be a hint in moving forward with those next to and close to us. And what’s indispensable are “humor,” which could be the wisdom we’ve acquired to survive, “curiosity,” the origin of imagination, as well as room in our hearts and whimsy that create these. Now that technology has made the world much smaller and everyone in the world is physically our neighbor, we hope society can more easily converse, whether it be a simple “Have a seat next to me,” or “May I sit next to you?”

All the works this time display humor and curiosity with elements that will make you imagine someone or something different from yourself and could open a circuit of communication with others. Through the works, imagine looking at what’s next to you or taking a seat next to someone else. We feel hopeful to re-start from there.

Director, Art & Entertainment Division
Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion

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[Summary Report]

Exhibition works:

“Maihime” YAMAUCHI Shota

Footage of a human-skin-wearing gorilla and a poem will be projected on a large, displayed sign outside. During the performance, a performer wearing a suit with motion capture will connect with the gorilla on the sign. It will be a show that synchronizes both the performer and the footage.
Photo by TAYAMA TatsuyukiReview:
Synchronizing and facing off performers’ movements with technology personified as a human-skin-wearing gorilla will clear a path to new vantage points regarding the relationship between humans and technology. It is possible to compare the interdependence of humans and technology with close relationships such as romantic love or love for one’s children. Technology often aids communication in modern times, and the things in front of us or the things near us begin to ask questions.

Work “Maihime”
Artist YAMAUCHI Shota
Production Cooperation Programming: SONE Koki
3D Modeling: OISHI Yukino
Costume: Kurage
Sound: KOMATSU Kazumichi
Venue Johannes Kepler University, Sound Park
Performance Times (CEST) September 7-9, 2022 ① 15:00~ ② 18:00~ (30 min show)
September 10, 2022 ① 15:00~ ② 19:00~ (30 min show)
*Subject to weather conditions.
Related sites Creator’s File, YAMAUCHI Shota
Ars Electronica Festival 2022 official website “Maihime”

“Projection for the next three thousand years” HIRASE Miki

In this work, iconography is laser-engraved on a mirror-polished stone. Using light and reflection, the engravings are projected onto a wall. The work addresses the normalization of viewing iconography on electronic devices, and the energy crisis, by devising a way to reproduce today’s iconography and viewing methods in a hypothetical future without electricity.
The use of stone as a recording medium makes us imagine the past when electricity did not exist, the present-day energy crisis, and a possible future with no electricity. The primitive recording method of engraving, and interacting with the engraved records, makes us reflect upon many people and many things.

Work “Projection for the next three thousand years”
Artist HIRASE Miki
JMAF Awarded Title 25th Japan Media Arts Festival Art Division New Face Award
Venue Johannes Kepler University, Science Park 4
Related sites Creator’s File, HIRASE Miki
Ars Electronica Festival 2022 official website “Projection for the next three thousand years”

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[Summary Report]

Creator’s File 2022 (Art & Entertainment Division):

These are six chosen artists and their works that have aligned with Ars Electronica Festival’s 2022 theme, “Welcome to Planet B – A Different life is possible. But how?” and Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion’s theme, “next to me, next to you.”

Selected creators YAMAUCHI Shota
Related sites Creator’s File 2022 – Art & Entertainment

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[Summary Report]

Summary Report

Ars Electronica Festival 2022 was held on-site only for the first time since 2019. It was celebrated at 11 locations in Linz, Austria including Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) as the main venue, and it lasted for five days from September 7th – 11th.
We recruited YAMAMOTO Mayumi, an art director and a curator, as Director this time. With the theme, “next to me, next to you” in mind, we sent two artists, Shota Yamauchi and Miki Hirase, winners of the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival Art Division, from Japan to participate with their art creations (performance and art exhibit).

Ars Electronica Festival 2022
Participating artists:953
Cooperating partnars:337
Number of events:425

Comment from the director

I had cleared the venue and was about to leave there when the festival director, Martin HONZIK, approached me. He said, “JMAF (Japan Media Arts Festival) has become a legend. Congratulations!”
It was such an unforgettable hands-on experience. I actually put my feet on the venue and was physically so close to the displays created by artists from around the world. I was able to learn the newest trends.
The exhibits by HIRASE Miki and YAMAUCHI Shota drew much more attention than we had expected. This brought such pure joy. I felt that the audience from all over the world had high expectations of Japanese media art. This inspired me to go beyond their expectations. I was fortunate to have such an unexpected and irreplaceable experience.
It is important to maintain the good relationship that was built over the years among the people involved in this project. I hope that this relationship will help bring many valuable opportunities for more artists and curators in the near future.

Exhibition work: “Maihime”

“Maihime” was performed using large digital signage at the Sound Park with lush green grass and trees at Johannes Kepler University Linz. An interactive image of a gorilla figure in “human skin” on a large screen and loud music caught the attention of the people who walked by. One by one, they stopped walking and seemed glued to the performance. We saw many people showing strong interest and asking questions to the artist.
It was performed seven times in total in between the rains during the festival. As many as 300 people gathered at a time, and they were all fascinated by the performer’s movement that was linked to the gorilla’s movement on the screen. It was one of the most eye-catching exhibitions this year.

Artist: YAMAUCHI Shota
Location: Sound Park, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Performance dates: September 7, 9, and 10, 2022 (7 performances in total)
Artist comment: YAMAUCHI Shota

The success of “Maihime” at such a major festival, Ars Electronica, gave me the confidence that my art can be appreciated outside of Japan as well. It has become the energy and motivation for future work. Most importantly, it became a major milestone in my career as an artist. This was made possible thanks to the support of Mr. SONE, the programmer, Ms. YAMAMOTO, the curator, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, VIPO (Administration office of Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion), and Mr. KANOMATA, the project manager. I truly appreciate their support.

Exhibition work: “Projection for the next three thousand years”

“Projection for the next three thousand years” by HIRASE Miki won the Art Division New Face Award at the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival. The three items including the newest were exhibited at Science Park 4, which was the venue for Ars Electronica Gardens Exhibition.
Her work was displayed in a small, enclosed telephone booth because it needed to be in a dark space due to the nature of the art. The space allowed only one or two people at a time. Consequently, the visitors were able to appreciate the art quietly without distractions from others. Next to this exhibit was art with bright light and lively sound. This contrast probably helped them to appreciate her work even more and left them with a strong impact in the dark, solitary space. We couldn’t see how they reacted to the art inside the booth, but many people came to ask about how the idea of this art started and the background behind it.

Artist: HIRASE Miki
Location: Science Park 4, Johannes Kepler University Linz
Artist comment: HIRASE Miki
I didn’t think this art would fit in for the Ars Electronica Festival because of its nature. In retrospect, I believe that it goes well with the theme and the content curation this time. Looking at other artists’ exhibits prompted me to reevaluate what I’d like to express with my art and its significance in the world of art.
By watching the visitors appreciate my exhibition at the festival, I started to think about participating in other art festivals outside of Japan.

Other exhibit locations in the city of Linz

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