Archive for the ‘art’ Category


Android Dreams, time-lapse video by Samuel Cockedey

November 20, 2012

Samuel Cockedey has produced a number of absolutely breathtaking time-lapse videos of Tokyo and other places in Japan. Android Dreams, which was published last year, sets evening and nighttime shots of central Tokyo against the soundtrack to Blade Runner. The end result is fantastic.


“Senseless Drawing Bot” Graffiti Robot Video

June 11, 2012

Artist/engineers So Kanno and Takahiro Yamaguchi have created a graffiti-tagging robot that produces its own unique designs as it trundles back and forth in front of a blank wall.

An original work produced by Kanno and Yamaguchi’s device.

Titled the “Senseless Drawing Bot,” the device is mounted on a motorized skateboard that jostles forward and back in order to set the can of spray paint in motion. By using a double pendulum arm, the robot’s swinging motions, and thereby the designs it produces, are chaotic and completely unpredictable.

The Senseless Drawing Bot was on display this past February at the National Art Center in Roppongi as part of the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival.


Braun Tube Jazz Band Videos

January 19, 2012

I just recently found this video of Ei Wada, of Braun Tube Jazz Band, from a 2010 performance at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. Using old CRT-style TVs, he creates an audio-visual feedback loop that he can play like a giant synthesizer by running his hands across the screens. Toward the end, he brings up a member of the audience to place his hand on one of the screens, and then begins ‘playing’ him.


and a more melodic piece performed in Zurich in 2011:




New Handsome Ken’ya Videos by Kosuke Sugimoto

September 8, 2011

Once again, I’m putting up videos by Kosuke Sugimoto, of whom I’m a huge fan.


Recently, Sugimoto has been producing music videos for Handsome Ken’ya, a Kyoto-based (and evidently very modest) pop-rock artist who goes beyond the standard guitar-bass-keyboard-drum style set.

The first was “Kore Kurai de Utau (Sing in My Own Way)”, a fully-drawn animated work based around the different outcomes that arise as the singer makes different choices. Like “The TV Show” this one contains dozens of tiny background details that Sugimoto manages to consistently develop through the video.


The next was “Mushi no Tameiki” (Sigh of the Insects), which uses cut-out animation to show Ken’ya as an unwitting king of the ants in an insect war.


Most recent is “Kesshin Sokudo” (Speed of Decision), which combines stylized live action and typography into a high-energy portrayal of the singer’s thoughts and anxieties.


I look forward to more from both of them.


Animated Eco-warfare Electronica in Nobukazu Takemura’s “Sign”

July 4, 2011

Osaka-born musician and composer Nobukazu Takemura has been producing works since 1993 that defy easy categorization. Covering a range that extends from jazz to chamber music to electronica, his creative style and many collaborative efforts have made him an influential figure in the Japanese experimental music world.

“Sign”, released on a 2000 EP of the same name, came packaged with the video below, animated by Katsura Moshino. It features a robot who, after discovering nature, goes on the attack after a greedy factory owner poisons and guns down the people of the local village, all set to very melodic glitch electronica.


IdN 100 videos from Japan

July 3, 2011

Late last year, creative design magazine IdN published their 100th issue, and invited artists from around the world to produce videos on that theme. Two Japanese artists who contributed were Kosuke Sugimoto (with music by Takayuki Manabe):


And Teppei Maki (with music by Omodaka/Far East Recording):


Japone Panic 2: Assembling Japanese Sub-Culture, at the Design Festa Gallery

June 20, 2011

This week, June 19-25, the Design Festa Gallery is hosting Japone Panic 2: Assembling Japanese Sub-Culture, a new collection of young artists that explore some of the underground movements that have been developing in Japan.

Japone Animal

Part of the “Japone Animal” (ジャポネあにまる) exhibit by Doi Saori

Matagura TaiikukanPart of the “Matagura Taiikukan” (股座体育館) exhibit by Hinomaru Darkness

Oiran 666, by Black Happy“Oiran 666”, part of the “Dive to Black” exhibit by Black Happy

Part of the “Dainiji hoshino Teikoku Ten” (第二次星之帝国展) exhibit by Anna Hoshino

Although the gallery is tucked away into one of Harajuku’s many side streets, once you find it, there’s no mistaking it:


Design Gallery Festa, photo by JM Rocher via Flickr

Entrance is free and the gallery also hosts a very nice bar and cafe with outdoor seating, making this a great place to stop by as you explore one of Tokyo’s more offbeat neighborhoods.


And on an unrelated note, today (June 19), marks 16 years since I came to Japan.