For it’s 3rd edition MUTEK.JP returned to Tokyo’s Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation held November 1-4, 2018. In addition to the famed museum the 4-day festival extended its program into the heart of Tokyo, returning to its inaugural venue WWW / WWW X and an all-nighter at UNIT in Ebisu.
Edition 3 by numbers
- More than 8,000 festival entries during 4 days
- Presented a total of 20 programs on 8 stages across 5 venues in Odaiba and around Shibuya, Tokyo incl. audiovisual performances, discourse program, workshops, and exhibitions
- 95 artists from 23 countries incl. 45 local Japanese and 40 international involved in audiovisual and live performances, and the exhibition program
- Supported by 40 partner organizations
Aïsha Devi CH / Alexandre Burton & Julien Roy (artificiel) CA/QC / Atsushi Tadokoro JP / Ben Frost & MFO IS+DE / Betty Apple TW / Colleen FR / Can Büyükberber TR / Cornelius JP / Daisuke Tanabe & Nobumichi Asai JP / Daito Manabe & Satoshi Horii (Rhizomatiks Research) JP / Electric Indigo AT / ELLLL IR / Evala JP / erica JP / Still Be Here ft. Hatsune Miku JP / Fatima Al Qadiri KW / Filastine & Nova ES+ID / Hiroaki Umeda JP / Intercity-Express JP / Iori JP / Jan and Naomi JP / Joanie Lemercier & James Ginzburg BE/FR+UK / Kazuya Nagaya & Ali Demirel JP+TR / Kyoka JP / Laurel Halo US / Lemna JP / machìna & Shohei Fujimoto KR+JP / Martin Messier & YRO CA/QC+FR / Masayoshi Fujita JP / Michela Pelusio IT / Mold JP / Naoto Tsujita JP / Nicola Cruz EC / NONOTAK FR/JP / Paul Jebanasam & Tarik Barri UK+NL / Pepe Mogt MX / Rashad Becker & Ena DE+JP / REALROCKDESIGN JP / Ryo Murakami & Tatsuya Fujimoto JP / Satoshi Otsuki JP / Sapphire Slows JP / SCHARRØNE DE+ES / SIT (Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia) RO / SO JP / Sofheso JP / Sol del Rio AR / Sonja Moonear CH / Sugai Ken JP / Synichi Yamamoto + Seiichi Sega & Intercity-Express JP / Synth Sisters JP / toe on net JP / Unknown Me JP / VJ Manami JP / X-102 (Jeff Mills & Mike Banks) US / Yone Ko JP / ZVIZMO JP
The A/Visions program explores the essential relationship between image and sound through surprising audiovisual pieces conceived as a whole.
For the opening concert Martin Messier returned to Japan for the Asian premiere of the audiovisual performance ASHES, a project conceived together with French multidisciplinary artist YRO, which puts microscopes in the focus of attention. Michela Pelusio showcased her impressive audiovisual string work SpaceTime Helix for the first time in Japan. The two acts were joined by local audiovisual duo ZVIZMO and a special collaboration between sound artist Kazuya Nagaya and visual artist Ali M. Demirel.
The A/Visions series then ventured in to the immersive full-dome environment at Miraikan presenting works by Turkish media artist Can Büyükberber, Joanie Lemercier & James Ginzburg’s Nimbes, a full-dome adaptation of Hiroaki Umeda’s Intensional Particle. Finally long-time collaborators Synichi Yamamoto, Seiichi Sega & Intercity Express simultaneously presented an updated version of their work Noesis in the dome theater and Miraikan’s very own Geocosmos.
For the 3rd Edition of MUTEK.JP 3 days of the Nocturne program at Miraikan’s exhibition hall built the core of the festival. The Nocturne series presents the centerpiece of MUTEK.JP’s festival program showcasing the most impactful and experiential live performances exploring the intersection of electronic music, digital art and technology.
On Friday evening Local mainstay Sapphire Slows opened the Nocturne 1 program with her eerie, drone-like vocals. The audiovisual trio Synichi Yamamoto, Seiichi Sega, and Intercity-Express presented a special adaptation of their audiovisual piece Noesis on Miraikan’s very own Geocosmos. Japanese magician Cornelius delivered one of his rare live performances delighting the audience with a unique visual and sensorial experience. Closing the night Iceland-based sound artist Ben Frost and German visual artist MFO delivered the Japan premiere of their immersive and breathtaking audiovisual performance.
After the program at Miraikan concluded the festival ventured to Shibuya. In collaboration with Resident Advisor the festival took over WWW X presenting the likes of industrial bass music producer Lemna with visual artist Naoto Tsujita, the return of Rashad Becker and Ena to deliver one of their rare live collaborations, American artist and Hyperdub associate Laurel Halo for a heavy DJ set and experimental producer Sofheso while Club der Visionäre Yone-ko ended up closing the night. Downstairs at WWW Taiwanese performance artist Betty Apple was followed by Spanish-Indonesian duo Filastine & Nova. Hailing all the way from Argentina Sol del Rio joined the festival for the first time and MUTEK regular Intercity-Express presented a reworked version of triggering. WWW closed of with a rare collaboration of Shigeo & Reymond.
The Saturday Nocturne program opened with Montreal audiovisual collective artificiel represented by Alexandre Burton and Julien Roy, followed by Daito Manabe who returned once again for a special collaboration with Satoshi Horii. British composer Paul Jebanasam & visual artist Tarik Barri immersed the audience in their audiovisual performance Continuum and local sound artist evala made great use of the quadraphonic sound system under the Geocosmos For the closing of Nocturne 3 Jeff Mills and Mike Banks will take us on a journey back to the 90s with a special performance as X-102 presenting Rediscovers the Rings of Saturn. In unison with their 1992 album the Miraikan’s Geocosmos to resemble the yellow-brownish gas giant Saturn.
For the second all-nighter of Edition 3 the festival ventured to Daikanyama UNIT / Saloon in Ebisu. The night ventured deep into the clubbier areas of electronic music with a live performance by Romanian duo SIT (Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia), and a heavy-hitting DJ set by Songa Moonear. The international artists were joined by local mainstays erica, Satoshi Otsuki, SO and Iori.
The closing night of Edition 3 at Miraikan was opened with the special “Still be here” performance by Japanese avatar and idol Hatsune Miku, in collaboration with Laurel Halo. Swiss multitalent Aisha Devi will dug deep into her repertoire of spiritual and transcendent live performances with French visual artist Emile Barret providing the appropriate visuals. Nonotak will present their new performance Eclipse enshrouding the audience in their typical fashion. Finally Ecuadorian artist Nicola Cruz will bring the night to an uplifting ending with his indigenous inspired music in collaboration with visual artist Fidel Eljuri.
The Play series is a laboratory for established and up-and-coming artists to endeavour in audible and visible experimentation strongly grounded in the intersection of art, science, music and technology.
Play 1 featured Austrian DJ, producer and founder of the female:pressure network Susanne Krichmayr aka Electric Indigo, who took us on a quadrophonic sound journey with the Asian premiere of her audiovisual live performance 5 1 1 5 9 3. Veteran Kyoka known for her chaotic and direct musical approach, will deliver her experimental but always danceable live set. They were joined by MUTEK.MX regular Pepe Mogt and a synth-laden performance by the Synth Sisters with visuals by 100LDK.
For Play 2, Atsushi Tadokoro presented his livecoding performance simultaneously generating audio and visuals on the spot. MUTEK.JP 2017 participant Nobumichi Asai teamed up with local musician Daisuke Tanabe to premiere their commissioned audiovisual performance, followed by Korean-born, Tokyo-based vocalist modular synth geek machìna is joined by visual artist Shohei Fujimoto presented yet another audiovisual premiere at Miraikan’s Innovation Hall. Closing the Play 2 program was Kuwaiti music producer and artist Fatima Al Qadiri, who presented the long-awaited Japan premiere of her audiovisual piece Shaneera.
The closing night of the festival saw the premiere of a new ambient focused program during which the calming tones of Masayoshi Fujita’s vibraphone took the lead. Sugai Ken’s ambient sounds inspired by traditional Japanese Matsuri (local Festival) music will shrouded the audience in mysticism. They were joined by French composer Colleen, who impressed with her tactility and local ambient group Unknown Me performed one of their rare audiovisual ambient sets.
Driving to expand and manifest its day time program as an equal part to the festival’s night time performances, MUTEK.JP established the International Conference of Digital Creativity (ICDC) as a new component that will be running alongside the Digi Lab program. While the Digi Lab focuses on questions of artistic practices and societal discourse, the ICDC aims to act as an intermediary between the digital creative sphere and the business environment. The ICDC will see a range of keynotes and panel discussions on topics such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Robotics, all addressed through the lens of Digital Creativity.
Digi Lab is a digital art and technology symposium, hosting a range of artist Q&As, panels, presentations and live demonstrations. In 2018 the Digi Lab program put a special emphasis on exploring questions of diversity, and gender equality and equity, in the spotlight highlighting female-identifying and non-binary artists and projects in the process. This saw a wide-range of panels on topics such as “LGTBQ Communities and Events in Japan” and “Diversity in East Asia’s Electronic Music Scene”, and keynotes like “20 years of female:pressure” by Electric Indigo and “Still be Here: Voice, Gender and the Power of Transformation” by Mari Matsutoya.
On the practical side of things the Digi Lab program saw old and new collaborations with another rendition of the annual TouchDesigner workshop, a Creative Lab with Ableton that invited artists Akiko Kiyama, Sapphire Slows, and machìna to give insights into their creative processes.
From October 19 to November 1, 2018, MUTEK.JP and UltraSuperNew Gallery co-hosted the Digi Salon exhibition in a lead up to the main festival activities The exhibit will featured the installation and a corresponding collection of prints called ‘dyebirth,’ designed and constructed by artist collective, nor. ‘dyebirth’ explores organic patterns through a controlled variable involving digital computations. In addition, several artist talks, live music events, and panel discussions were held throughout the exhibition period, which explored the creative interpretation of new technologies.
The Digi Jam invited 5 of the leading music technology brands Ableton, Adam Audio, Elektron, Native Instruments and Teenage Engineering for a showcase of the latest industry trends. Beyond a jam area where the audience was able to get hands on with the most innovative music gear out there, the brands invited the audience for unique presentations on workflows, and techniques around their hardware incl. synthesizers, drum machines and music-making software.
KDDI × MUTEK.JP da Vinci ers "BLOCK UNIVERSE #001" - An immersive XR exhibition that was developed together with KDDI Lab for R&D in digital art.
Avex × KDDI I\I I I\I IE feat. FAMM'IN - A special AR experience developed together with Avex Inc. and KDDI.
Intrinsic Music "NO-ON" By KONEL - An interactive art experience presented at 1F of Miraikan.
"Lights / Sounds" toe on net - Greeting the audience at the main entrance of Miraikan, toe on net yet again developed a light installation using the Miraikan pond as reflection surface.
"Pulsed graphics" Drill × Invisible Designs Lab. -
MUTEK.JP × Panasonic "HOMOLOGY" by Wakita Akira - Media Artist and Researcher Akira Wakita joined forces with MUTEK.JP and Panasonic to present his piece Homology on the 7F of Miraikan using Panasonic’s Ambient Media Player devices.