"Art with mobile! Free the arts from the museums! --AOZORA ART's way to connecting the world via the internet!"
記事 (日本語) / Text [Japanese]
記事 (英語) Text[English]
Mobile, Summer 1999, Keizaikai Publishing
Free the arts from museums! Aozora Art's way to connecting the world via the Internet.
In front of a Tokyo museum, a group of people cheerfully surround a woman with a beret and bright-colored outfit. They seem like working on drawings and having a good time together. Isn't a museum a place to visit and see someone else's masterpieces? At a nearby corner, another woman sits amid a digital camera, a PC and PHS (Personal Handy-phone System; a faster and less costly alternative to conventional cell phones, particularly in densely populated areas), trying to access the Internet. What in the world is going on here?
A VISITOR FROM PLANET ART ARRIVES AT THE MUSEUM !
It encourages museum goers to use drawings, rather than words, as means of expressing their reactions to paintings on display. While most museums in Japan forbid copying in an exhibit area, use of a pencil and notepad for taking quick notes is often overlooked. Every set of rigid rules has its exceptions to betaken advantage of, and Unlike Fake Tour is a typical guerrilla strategy a la Aozora Art.
LIVE WEBCAST! BUT REALLY---IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOKARON !
As each participant completes a drawing, the image and author's comments are uploaded to the group's homepage. The Internet has been an integral part of Aozora's activity since as early as the fall of 1995. "Back in 1995, we had many problems uploading images to the Internet in the outdoor. It was very difficult to get connected to begin with, since PHS did not have as many antennas as it does now. We often ended up using a Gre-Den (a nickname for digital payphones, due to their ubiquitous color grey) for that purpose. A digital camera wasn't really cooperating either especially during the winter time because it often stopped working due to the temperature. Honestly, the single essential piece of equipment for us back then was a Hokaron (a drug store brand chemical heating pad) that we had to use to resuscitate the camera!," recalls Rica Takashima.
As the mobile environment has advanced over the recent years, so has Aozora Art's take on high-tech gears
Currently, Aozora Arts uses a Hitach PC "Flora-NL1" and an Epson digital camera "CP-500." The two equipments had been connected via a cable until the artists got fed up with inconvenience and purchased a flash card and its adapter.
"All the ease at dealing with the Internet really amazes me now, considering it was just three and a half years ago that we struggled so much to incorporate it as a part of our projects.
Even as we chat, e-mail arrives from someone who is watching the web cast of "Unlike Fake Tour." "It seems a lot of fun what you guys are doing over there!
AOZORA ART GOES TO THE WORLD STAGE !
Rica Takashima has a more extravagant ambition. "I wish a new technology were developed so that I could draw directly onto a PC monitor. It would be way too cool if each stroke of an artist's brush was shared with audiences in real time via the Internet!"