Last month, creative agency Party held an exhibition in Tokyo featuring eight interactive artworks that look like they were lots of fun, and also offer a glimpse of what our future may look like…
The theme of the show, displayed at the Ginza Graphic Gallery, was ‘Not There’, and it aimed to explore the way that digital technology can be used to take us into environments or events that are happening elsewhere, and become part of them, even if, as the title suggests, you are absent. It also showed some of the ways in which digital technology will soon be further liberated from screens and appear across all facets of our lives.
There is definitely something ‘Tomorrow’s World’ about the artworks. They included a Toilet Bike, designed by Toto, that is, yep, powered by poo. Visitors could sit on the bike and turn its handle to project moving images on the wall of the space.
In another installation, a wall-size photograph of Party’s offices was displayed, empty of people. When viewed through a set of binoculars though, it came to life with a live-feed showing the space in real time. Step away from the viewfinder, and it’s just a photograph again.
Elsewhere, there were cute if disorientating pieces such as the Three Sacred Faucets, featuring three taps. When visitors place a cup underneath and turn them on, nothing comes out, yet the sensation of the cups being filled with various objects (water, marbles and gravel) can still be felt in the hand.
Another work makes playful use of 3D scanning, by secretly making a 3D scan of every visitor at the entrance to the show. The individual portraits then appeared when each visitor looked in the mirror of the artwork titled The Sink. Spooky. And a further installation encouraged visitors to ride a bike (not the Toilet Bike this time) to trigger moving images to appear across the walls. This would certainly enliven workouts at the gym.
A further artwork featured a live feed of someone’s apartment, and allowed visitors to interact with the inhabitants. The film below gives details of all the works that featured in Party’s exhibition.
In its exploration of how digital technology and the internet will soon have a more physical presence in our lives, the Party exhibition shared some similarities with Google Creative Lab’s ‘Web Lab‘ exhibition at the Science Museum in 2012, which demonstrated how the internet works through a series of physical interactive installations in the gallery.
As Party says in the press info accompanying the exhibition, “digital technology may still have a long way to go”, but Not There gives a hint of some of the ways that it will continue to transform our world in the future.