Art Commodities from Japan: Propagating Art and Culture via the Internet.
Digital Media art and artists make ground using the Internet, which instantaneously brings their work into an international art venue. Many of the most recent New Media artists of Japan are producing technologically curious objects that are purchased by consumers because they have popular appeal. These are distributed via consumers at local electronic and hardware stores, but also over the Internet. This provides two different venues, which reach local and international participants in an interactive distribution method.
Maywa Denki is a term used by the artists Nobumichi and Masamichi Tosa, and represents their art product company, which distributes concept-based “art” devices over the Internet.
Exonemo is an art phenomenon that carries out interesting concepts via the Internet. These include art and technology objects, programs, installations, performances and even pilgrimages. The latter concept was realized via a bus trip documented in an interactive map on the Web. The Internet audience participates by downloading and printing out an origami version of the bus for their own use.
Takashi Murakami’s recent exhibitions shows his efforts at merging aspects of traditional Japanese culture of Zen Buddhism and the Tea Ceremony with popular arts like the Daruma doll – variations on an object seen throughout contemporary Japan’s consumer society. In this and other ways, Murakami aims to merge high art and culture with popular consumerist society.
For recent New Media artists of Japan, using the Internet and digital media enables artists to reach people of every strata of society within and outside of Japan. This has been a major aim of avant-garde artists groups in Japan in the 20th century. Now in the 21st century, the Internet facilitates this on a universal scale.
Keywords: New Media, Japan, Avant-Garde, Internet, Device Art, Interactive Art, High Art, Low Art, Universal Art, Local Art
Dr. Jean Ippolito
Assistant Professor, Humanities Division