Daito Manabe's Untraditional Canvases
There’s barely a genre that Tokyo-based artist Daito Manabe hasn’t dabbled in. As a programmer, designer, DJ, VJ, and composer, he has an oeuvre overflowing with synaesthetic, diverse, and quirky projects, including his Electric Stimulus human body drum kit and LED smiles, both of which he’s wearing above during a performance with Ei Wada at Transmediale 2011.
All his work involves technological computations of some kind, but instead of actualizing his work through a virtual platform, the artist chooses to use physical interfaces… and often times his own body as a canvas. Using tech combined with real-life objects, Daito’s work leans towards the realm of performance art, which is why we’ve snagged Daito to VJ during our upcoming event in Lyon at the Nuits sonores festival. He’ll be performing along with Takcom and the Dadakingz collective.
The lightness of Daito’s work comes from his playfulness. I always get the sense that it isn’t so much that cyborgs are weird, just that his cyborgs are a little weird. When he uses the face as a solenoid of sorts, an actuated surface, it’s very similar to things that architects and material engineers design for and dream of. Just made ever-so-slightly weird. Another word might be “quirky”. But that minimizes what I think is the importance and the curiosity of the things that Daito makes. More than anything else, his work reminds us that the promise of hyper-surfaces and hyper-actuated technological skins, is at the moment only delivered by us and our bodies with all the strange, funny, and sometimes uncomfortable corollaries that implies.
Take a look below at some of our favorite installations, projects, and performances that place Daito on the forefront of “post-screen” work, or take in his whole Transmediale performance above. And if you should happen to find yourself in France next week, you can try to catch him live in Lyon.
Particles with Motoi Ishibashi (2011)
This installation is a spiral-shaped rail construction, where balls embedded with LEDs freely roll about, blinking at different time intervals. In the dark, the balls look like suspended, choreographed light particles.
Using the structured-light technique, a 3D portrait of your face can be scanned, digitized, archived, and projected onto a screen.
Laser Fade Out with Motoi Ishibashi (2010)
After painting a wall with phosphorescent paint, Daito and Motoi illuminate a projection and create a light painting with a lazer pointer.
Nike Music Shoe (2010)
These “instruments” give a whole new meaning to walking with a bounce in your step.
Pa++ern with Motoi Ishibashi (2009)
Pa++ern lets you design your own T-shirt by Tweeting your design to their embroidery machine.
Photo by Jonathan Gröger / transmediale.
[via Creative Applications]