Laboratory for New Media 4th Exhibition “The Smiley Transisters”

The Laboratory for New Media is an exhibition space that introduces the possibilities of expressions using cutting-edge information technology. Exhibits are upgraded approximately 3 times a year. The 4th Exhibition will exhibit works that provide fun in our daily lives as they create new forms of communication. Through these works that apply information technology and mechatronics, we will ponder possible change in methods of communication as machines and devices stimulate human emotion.


Bit-hike is an animation BBS using 8x8 dot 512-bit data. The name was derived by combining the words “haiku” - a poetic form expressing an infinite variety of emotions with just a few syllables - and “bit” - the smallest electronic unit.
People can find natural movements and significance in pictures created with even the simplest of elements.
What's the relationship between “feeling” something and the volume of data? Invisible, inaudible digital media takes on an analog meaning, and speaks to us.


The Vomoder is a pseudo videophone. The face on the screen is always grinning, adjusting its expression to the voice of the person on the other end of the phone regardless of the content of the conversation.
As the fake courtesy of the message on the ATM screen saying “We're sorry, but your card cannot be used” shows, computers are unable to converse with much range of expression. On the other hand, humans have great difficulty in putting aside their emotions and coldly conveying the matter in hand only. What sort of person is this speaker with a computer-synthesized expression and natural voice?


Throw or roll this ball and, according to the movement, it makes noises reminiscent of the world of comic books. When we are little we create our own fantasy worlds to play in, worlds of miniature cars and stuffed toys. But we lose this creative ability as we grow up, and cannot immerse ourselves in a world of fantasy without the aid of high-tech gadgets.
Try throwing the HeavenSeed. You may find that you can rediscover, and share with others, that sense of fantasy in the real world.


The Duper/Looper is a gadget that imitates a rhythm drummed out on a table top.
Imitation is sometimes described as one of the four elements of playing, and copying (or being copied) is one of the first keys to both understanding and making ourselves understood. And for some reason, there is something essentially pleasing about resemblance and sameness.
If the rhythm drummed out appeared on a musical score, it wouldn't seem as though it was being imitated. When our emotional communication is turned into data it can end up becoming invisible or dull.


Conversations that rattle along despite being at cross-purpose, arguments with differing hypotheses that never get off the ground. PLX is a competitive game modeled on these hopeless obstacles to communication.
The players manipulate the light that falls from the top of the screen. Although they are playing together, because the pictures they can see on their screens are actually different, they are in fact experiencing a completely different story.
Meanwhile, the computer - the third participant - continually processes a story-less (!) game.


Affix the Nicodama, and a face appears.
The artist says that when he was a child his mother decorated the top of his packed lunches so that they looked like a face, but he was then unable to eat them. The face is a shape that people have a special perception of, and even manmade objects can look like faces depending on the arrangement of their patterns. Once something starts to look like a face, one develops feelings towards it.
If the objects around us that we don't usually pay much attention to suddenly started to grow faces, what would they try to tell us?


Tails are something that all humans lost as mankind evolved.
Other animals use their tails to express their emotions, or assist their movements. What would it be like if we still had tails? What would happen to the world? What else did we lose when our tails disappeared?
Let's rediscover them with SiliFulin.


Cooperation: Nanase Toyoshima, Atsushi Horiguchi, Reiko Yamaguchi

Term May 20 (Wed.), 2009 – September 28 (Mon.), 2009
Exhibitor Ryota KUWAKUBO
Media artist
After studying modern art and media art, in 1998 he began to use electronics to produce works that examine the varied phenomena occurring on the borders of the analog and the digital, man and machinery, sender and recipient.He was awarded prizes at Ars Electronica in 2002 and 2003, and won the Grand Prize in the Arts Division at the Agency for Cultural Affairs' Japan Media Arts Festival in 2003. His best-known works include Bitman (a collaboration with Maywa Denki), Video Valve and PLX. He was involved in the development of Block Jam, a project of the Sony CSL Interaction Lab.
Ryota KUWAKUBO Web Page (Japanese Only)