The Aozora Art staffs together with the participants collaboratively created a piece of artwork in the motif of the palms of the participants’ hands. The cutting-edge technology related tools such as digital cameras, printers, scanners, and PCs along with other non-technology related drawing tools such as watercolors, crayons, color penciles were used (employed) in producing artworks.
There are two ways to participate in the “Art Palmistry” workshop: “Digital Participation” and “Analog Participation.”
The participants were asked to take a photo of the palms of their hands by a digital camera and send its digitized image to the Aozora Art staffs by E-mail. The participants were also asked to fill out the questionaire (asking for their brief background (of themselves) and things they like to do) and send it back to the Aozora Art staffs (over the Internet) to facilitate a communication flow between the participants and the Aozora Art staffs. The Aozora Art staffs were then to bring a work of “Palmistry Art” to completion by adding digital images to the photographic image of the palms of the participants’ hands being sent over the Internet. The finished work of “Palmistry Art” was immediately printed out, and the comments concerning the palm reading were written in back of the paper to be given to the participants as a souvenir.
The participants had the Aozora Art staffs paint the palms of their hands with acrylic colors (of their choice), and had their palms pressed against a drawing paper as if they were affixing a stamp so that the shape of their palms was to be molded. The participants were then asked to complete a questionnaire asking for their brief backgrounds (of themselves) and things they like to do. Based on the questionnaire being completed, the Aozora Art staffs exchanged a joyful conversation with the participants, and drew images in the margins of the drawing paper in which shapes of the palms of the participants had been marked (bringing a drawing to completion.) The Aozora Art staff had a picture taken of a finished palmistry drawing by a digital camera, and immediately printed it out on an A3 paper. Consequently, the comments regarding (about) the palm reading (fortune telling) were written in back of the paper, and the palmistry drawing was given to the participants as a souvenir at the end.
The on-going activities of the “Palmistry Art” were web cast live on the Intranet being set up at the event (exhibition) site as well as on the Aozora Art’s website. The works of “Art Palmistry” were all printed out on a large-size digital printer, and were put up on the walls of the event hall all over. Rica Takashima succeeded in incorporating not only advantages (merits/strengths) of the analog approach to Art but also that of the digital approach into her exhibition at the Networking Fair of 1997. It was quite rare to ran a live webcast on the Internet at that time, and the Magazine “Plug in” decided to cover a story on the “Palmistry Art” activities at the Fair over 7 color pages.
The feedback from the participant:
“You (They) are doing the Aozora(blue sky) Art activities indoors? What kind of art is it by definition? (What kind of art should we think it is?/How do you define this sort of art?) Should we call it as an interactive art? Unlike the art events that you often see lately proclaiming (declaring) “an incorporation of Internet Technology into Art,” the Palmistry Art” introduced a digital technology into Art by a very humanistic way and has filled me up with an inner peace. The good majority of the booths held an exhibition (which was) strictly related to personal computer at the Networking Fair, and the booth of “Art Palmistry” was one of the few booths which successfully integrated no computer related activities in their exhibition. Accordingly, having stopped by the Aozora Art’s booth sort of gave me a chance to breathe a sigh of relief (breath) and made my visit to the Fair more interesting and fun. /Editor A.M.