Device Art 2019

PhD. Program in Empowerment Informatics, University of Tsukuba

Thu Sep 5, 2019, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Fri Sep 6, 2019, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Sat Sep 7, 2019, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Sun Sep 8, 2019, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
All times are given in Central European Summer Time (CEST / UTC +2).
POSTCITY, First Floor

Curator: Hiroo Iwata (JP)

Device Art is a new form of art that brings out the essence of technology through new materials and mechatronic devices. This concept challenges the traditional paradigm of art by merging technology, art and design.

Device Art possesses three main characteristics:

(1) The device itself is content. The mechanism represents the theme of the piece. Content and tool are no longer separable.

(2) Artworks are often playful and can sometimes be commercialized into devices or gadgets for use in everyday life.

(3) Refined design and playful features are traced back to the Japanese tradition of appreciating tools and materials. Traditional Japanese culture, such as the tea ceremony or flower arranging, uses sophisticated devices. These devices are the roots of device art.

The Device Art project was launched in 2004 together with *CREST* project funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. Hiroo Iwata leads the project, its formal title being, *Expressive Science and Technology for Device Art.* The concept of *Device Art* spread throughout the world, including artists from UCLA and a curator team from Croatia/Slovenia. Many people have been inspired by the concept of Device Art.

Ten years after, in 2014, Hiroo Iwata launched the PhD Program in Empowerment Informatics, or EMP for short. It is a five-year PhD Program at the University of Tsukuba supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This program aims to help students develop their careers and consists of the following three areas:

(1) Supplementation: Supplementing the reduced physical and sensory functions of elderly people or people with disabilities.

(2) Harmony: Harmonizing the engineered systems that people encounter in daily life (advanced mobility, etc.) so that they integrate with people.

(3) Extension: Drawing out and extending people’s latent creative abilities. It is closely related to Device Art.

EMP has a special “Empowerment Studio,” which is a combination of laboratory and gallery. Many Device Art works, including *Big Robot*, have been created in this studio. Based on the achievements of EMP, the Device Art 2019 in Ars Electronica has been planned for celebration of its 15th anniversary.


Overview of projects




The project leader of Device Art is Hiroo Iwata, who has been exhibiting works at Ars Electronica since 1996. His activity includes Device Art Exhibition in 2009 and 2014 as well as University of Tsukuba Campus Exhibition in 2011. Based on these achievements, EMP is beginning a collaboration with Ars Electronica FutureLab for human resource development. The staff of FutureLab will mentor the students of EMP to create exhibitions for the Ars Electronica Festival. This is a great opportunity for EMP students.