[Discussion 3] Questions and Comments about “The Information Society, Technology, Design, Arts, Culture and Industry” By Inoko Toshiyuki

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Discussion 3
Questions and Comments about
“The Information Society, Technology, Design, Arts, Culture and Industry” By Inoko Toshiyuki
OCTAMIN, Media artist and UI designer of Galaxy S series of Samsung
I enjoyed your presentation so much that I almost lost track of time. Thank you for your wonderful presentaion. Actually, the games you refered to, Super-mario and Drangonquest were my favorites. I even spared no pains to translate the Japanese manual just to fully enjoy Drangonquest. In retorospect, I lost my interests about the games after they were changed in 3D graphics.
I first encountered TEAMLAB after seeing Sword Dance and Shadowgraph on the Youtube this summer and became to know better about the company through your presentation. I was very impressed by TEAMLAB’s projects that allow the audience to interact with and enjoy works more spontaneously by integrating people’s univeral experiences with technology.
Five to six years ago in Korea, interactive media art was so popular that it was highly expected to become the mainstream of the art world. Contrary to expectations, it has been shunned by galleries since then and now considered only a subcluture. This is of course partly due to the burdensome maintenace and repair of interactive media works. But I think the main reason is that most works have provided monotonous interactions or experiences and failed to deliver clear message because artists cannot successfully combine concepts with technology due to their lack of understanding of technology. This means that artists and engineers fail to cooperate with each other in a harmonious way. As an artist, I had also tried to work together with engineers before. But I found it so difficult and painstaking to reach common ground on issues during the process of the project, whether it is profit-seeking or not, so I decided to work alone.
In TEAMLAB, however, experts from various fields seem to enjoy the process itself finding something new and applying the new findings to subsequent works just like the main characters in a Japanese cartoon, “One-piece” who enjoy their adventure itself despite its uncertain goal. I want to know specifically how the experts of TEAMLAB collaborate one another. I’d like you to give us an example of projects by TEAMLAB regarding the process where planners, desingners and engineers work together on a project interacting across the fields. There might be an interesting episode, I think.
When you showed us some projects by TEAMLAB based on Japanese paintings, I felt a little uncomfortable. I think the expriment and logic on space recoginition through Japanese paintings is quite new and intriguing. But I believe Japanese things are not about Japanese paintings or Samurai but about the Japanese culture that I have experienced in person in my life such as Gundam, Streetfighter, Yomiuri Giants. In this regard, the works by Murakami Dakasi (1962-) were quite Japanese but did not make me uncomfortale at all. I agree in a way that something uniquely Korean can be global. But even in Korea, people rarely enjoy Korean traditional paintings or musics nowadays. So I think reflecting old‐fashioned Korean cultural factors in the industry could make people from different culture feel exclueded or uncomfortble rather than achieve global competitiveness. Before Android OS was launched, cellphone makers including Nokia, Samsung, Sony Erickson, Motorola had their distinctive UIs with layouts and interacton reflecting their own philosophy. But as Android OS became a norm, almost every maker’s UI got to look almost identical and users got used to it. And now if a maker tries changing interactions based on Android OS in order to reflect its own philosophy, it might rather lose its competitiveness.