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Seiko Mikami "Molecular Informatics Version 2.0" (1996, DEAF 96, Rotterdam)

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Siko Mikami "Molecular Informatics Version 3.0" (1998, Maison des Arts de CRETEIL & Le Manège Maubeuge)

LabACT vol.2
Seiko Mikami "Eye-Tracking Informatics"

Date/Time :
2011-12-04 (sun)-2012-03-25 (sun)11:00-17:00
Venue :
Studio B /
Admission :

free

Masterworks of media art reincarnated through joint development at YCAM
The visualized line of sight stimulates interactive communication with the virtual world.


The Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] has launched the "LabACT" series of exhibitions showcasing from a broad point of view creative and social values generated through a dialogue between science and art. Following the currently showing "The EyeWriter", in the upcoming second installment artist Seiko Mikami is going to unveil her new installation titled "Eye-Tracking Informatics". This piece is a remake of one of Mikami's most representative works from the 1990s, in which two participants communicate and navigate within a three-dimensional virtual space through movements of their own visualized lines of sight, updated and enhanced at YCAM by reflecting the latest technological trends. This rather exquisite yet at once dynamic reincarnation in terms of imagery, sound, hardware and other aspects, presents an opportunity for visitors to enjoy a totally new form of spatial sculpting by means of eye-based communication and visualized traces of the eyes' movements

An experience of haptic communication as generated by the visualized line of sigh

In her artistic work, Seiko Mikami is consistently pursuing the connection between information society and the human body as a central theme. In "Molecular Informatics", one of her most well-known works made in 1996, the eye movements of participants wearing eye control devices are visualized as sequences of molecules in a virtual space, resulting in three-dimensional shapes drawn "with the eyes". At a time when eye control technology itself was still new and uncommon, this attempt to introduce such technology into the realm of art had a major impact on the international art scene as soon as it was unveiled, and was subsequently showcased around the world in repeatedly upgraded versions. However, as it was not developed to correspond with the rapidly advancing information technology, the work as such was not publicly exhibited for several years. This exhibition presents "Eye-Tracking Informatics", a technically updated and enhanced remake of this distinguished work of media art.

Seiko Mikami "Eye-Tracking Informatics"

Based on the ideas of "observing the act of observation" and "consciously and unconsciously established lines of vision", this installation generates traces of two participants' respective lines of sight. The participants experience an almost "haptic" kind of communication based on their own visualized lines of sight in a three-dimensional virtual space. In this process, their respective lines of vision enact a complex, organic architectural construct that could be considered as "bioarchitecture".
In this remake, the implementation of the open-source project "The EyeWriter ver 2.0" made it possible to utilize eye control technology wi thout wearing any device, and to navigate unrestrictedly within the naked eye's broad field of view. Thanks to the contributions of such noted artists as evala and Norimichi Hirakawa (collaborating as guest programmers), elements of imagery, sound and interactivity of the original work were updated to such an extent that this new version can be regarded as a completely new piece of art.

Organized by: Yamaguchi City Foundation for Cultural Promotion
In association with: Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi City Board of Education
Cooperat ion: Tama Art Universi ty Media Art Lab., NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC]
Corporate sponsors: Color Kinetics Japan Incorporated
Co-developed with: YCAM InterLab
Produced by: Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]
Sound Programming: evala
Visual Programming: Norimichi Hirakawa
Curator: Kazunao Abe (YCAM)
Technical director: Takayuki Ito(YCAM InterLab)