The 4th Edition of MUTEK.JP, which took place from December 11 to 15, 2019 was loaded with 5 days of audiovisual experiments, sonic explorations, deep dive into new educational models, and community building efforts in both familiar and innovative ways.
The biggest change in 2019 was the relocation of the festival back to Shibuya. Many things have changed in and around Shibuya with progressive forms of energy brewing under the direction of Shibuya City to become not only Japan’s hub but as well as Asia’s technological and creative core. Beyond a doubt, the time was ripe to circle back to where it all began in 2016.Edition 4 by numbers
- More than 7,500 festival entries during 5 days
- Presented a diverse range of 25 programs at 7 venues in and around Shibuya, Tokyo incl. night time performances, day time discourse program, workshops, an exhibition and several public art installations
- 55 artists from 11 countries incl. 23 local Japanese involved in audiovisual and live performances, and the exhibition program
- Supported by 41 partner organizations
Akiko Nakayama JP / Alexis Langevin-Tétrault CA/QC / Alternative Machine JP / CD HATA x Koyas JP / Chloé Juliette FR/JP / Daito Manabe + Kamitani Lab JP / Dramian MX / Fake Eyes Productions JP / Falaises CA/QC / gadara JP / Hiroaki Umeda JP / Intercity-Express & Push 1 stop JP+CA/QC / KATIMI AI JP / Ken Furudate JP / Kode 9 & Koji Morimoto UK+JP / Konx-om-Pax UK / Kuniyuki x Soichi Terada x Sauce81 JP / LADA (Dasha Rush & Lars Hemmerling) RU+DE / Line Katcho CA/QC / Mari Sakurai JP / Masashi Hirao x Saskiatokyo JP / Mayu Amano JP / Myriam Bleau CA/QC / nor JP / Norimichi Hirakawa JP / Oslon KR / Öspiel FR/KR / Peter Kirn US/DE / Push 1 stop & Wiklow CA/QC / RAMZi CA/QC / Rhizomatiks Research × ELEVENPLAY × Kyle McDonald JP+US / Risa Taniguchi JP / Robert Henke DE / Rrose US / rubi DE / Rutger Muller NL / Ryoichi Kurokawa JP / Sakura Tsuruta & asagi JP / Saskiatokyo JP / Sebu Hiroko JP / Seiho JP / SO JP / Toe on net JP / Veronica Vasicka US / VJ Manami JP / vōx US / Yosi Horikawa JP / Yuzo Koshiro & Motohiro Kawashima JP
We inhabited the Stream Hall from Wednesday to Friday for three nights of Nocturne followed by a little switch up for the all-nighter at Liquidroom on Saturday. The Nocturne series builds the backbone of the festival’s exaltation of live contemporary electronic music and audiovisual performance in its multitude of forms.
The massive screen draping the Stream Hall wall and the high-quality projector served as the perfect playground for audiovisual experiments. Acts captivated the mind’s eye such as Daito Manabe’s collaboration with Kamitani Lab “dissonant imaginary”, Ken Furudate’s sinewave-based performance, Akiko Nakayama’s organic ink visuals and even the Japan premiere performances by our beloved Canadian artists such as Push 1 Stop & Wiklow and Myriam Bleau.
Stream hall also became the main space for the explorations of new collaborations from up-and-coming artists such as Tokyo underground producer Sakura Tsuruta & AR artist asagi, bonsai master Masashi Hirao & live musician saskiatokyo and a fresh commission involving Intercity-Express and Canadian visual artists Push 1 stop.
On top of these, Nocturne also showcased unique collaborations between established artists such as the legendary British beatmaker Kode 9 and Japanese animator Koji Morimoto, the trio of groove that is Kuniyuki, Soichi Terada and Sauce81, and video game music legends Yuzo Koshiro & Motohiro Kawashima.
The only all-nighter at Liquidroom saw the likes of techno veterans Dasha Rush and Lars Hemmerling, also known as LADA, avant-garde producer Rrose, local rising talent Risa Taniguchi topped of with Veronica Vasicka’s selections of the obscurest forms electronic music!
For the two nights of A/Visions we cozied up to the immense space at the new LINE CUBE Shibuya theater on December 14 and 15.
After 3 days of Nocturne at Stream Hall the festival took on a whole new dimension with Ryoichi Kurokawa and Rhizomatiks Research x ELEVENPLAY x Kyle McDonald performing to a full house on Saturday.
For the closing night of the festival on Sunday, Falaises, Hiroaki Umeda and Robert Henke delivered a set of performances more than worthy with visual fireworks of transcending dance, mirror reflections, projections and lasers.
Digi Lab, our free day program, is a platform for exchange and building knowledge around digital art and sound. The main activities of Digi Lab took place at our friends at EDGEof and were dedicated to the development of projects and exchanges of tools and insights to produce digital art and music, as well as to nurture the dialogue and connections between artists, agents, audiences, and channels of circulation. Further Shibuya QWS has proven to be the perfect place for our annual TouchDesigner workshop.
The peak of our educational program in 2019 actually took place in November and was the MUTEK.JP AI Music Lab, which took a group of artists, curators, researchers, and engineers on an adventure into the deep realms of artificial intelligence, machine learning and its application to the creation of sound and music. The results were showcased at the festival and have surpassed any expectations we had when we jumped into this endeavour. We are looking forward to more explorations of this kind this year.
Sabrina Ratté & Yoshi Sodeoka「Chromosphere」
In collaboration with Chromatic and MASSIVart, and FRAMED, UltraSuperNew Gallery and MUTEK.JP, presented a 100% screen-based duo exhibition featuring a series of recent videos by Canadian artist Sabrina Ratté and Japanese artist Yoshi Sodeoka. The exhibition took place from December 1 to 12, 2019 at UltraSuperNew Gallery in Tokyo.
Invisible Art in Public Vol.2 Synthetic Landscapes
The installation Synthetic Landscapes turned the public areas surrounding the Stream riverside and Shibuya crossing into an Augmented Reality museum.
Canada Goose × Hirakawa Norimichi in collaboration with MUTEK.JP
In collaboration with Canada Goose MUTEK.JP presented a screen-based installation work by Norimichi Hirakawa exploring the concept of the geographic “North” in various forms. The installation was presented both at the Canada Goose flagship store, as well as at Stream Hall.
Nor - dyebirth_observation
'dyebirth' explores organic patterns through a controlled variable involving digital computa- tions. Inspired by the works of Ilya Prigogine, a Belgium physicist, who proposed a theory called 'dissipative structure', a concept that theorizes life as an exchange between energy and matters within its surrounding.
Alternative Machine - "ANH-00"
A prototype of the soundscape generator "ANH-00" applying the genetic algorithm that is build on the same dynamics engine "ALIFE EngineTM" originally employed in the Android "Alter3".
Notes on Blindness - VR
Notes on Blindness : Into Darkness is an immersive virtual reality (VR) project based on John Hull’s sensory and psychological experience of blindness released alongside the feature film.
Ayahuasca - Kosmik Journey - VR
Directed by Jan Kounen Ayahuasca is a visionary experience through the realms of the medicinal plants, led by indigenous Shipibo traditional healer in the amazon rainforest.
This is Québec
This is Québec is a unique international series to introduce the vibrant digital creative industries of the Canadian province to local and international partners. A delegation of Québec producers will share their work through an immersive showcase. The digital creative fields include VR, interactive installations, innovative storytelling, and creative technologies at Hikarie Hall A, December 11 to 13.
Considering MUTEK’s native roots in Montreal and foothold in 6 different countries, MUTEK forms a collaborative paradigm with Xn Québec to bring forth a joint conference program during the showcase and festival next month. The conference brings together Canadian and Japanese representatives from renowned companies, organizations, and institutions such as Moment Factory, KDDI, Sony CSL, Square Enix, YAMAHA, MUTEK, Elektra, Phi Centre, the Society for Arts and Technology, the University of Tokyo, the City of Montreal and many more! The topic areas will cover The Future of Entertainment, Digital Arts, Immersive Environments, and the Cities of Tomorrow.