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"The Future of Media x Art" ICC Tokyo 04/19

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Soh-Yeong Roh (Nabi Art Center, Seoul)
"Can't we drop that "media" and call it all art?"
Masaki Fujihata
"It's only called 'Media Art' because we had to come up with some name to calm down the confused art collectors."
Alex Andriaansen (V2_)
"I did not use the word 'Media Art' at all in my talk. OK, OK, once."

Seiko Mikami
" I am an artist. I don't care how you want to call it. That's their problem not mine.
I hope we can all get along, tho."

Soh-Yeong Roh:
"Many interactive installations are nothing but arcade games. All that button pushing. Let's face it: Most of them have no serious content and are pretty boring !"
Masaki Fujihata:
"In Japan's art world there is one big fundamental problem - and it is a historic and cultural one: There is no distinction between 'individual' and 'private'. In Japan this is considered one and the same. [...] Hence, it is impossible to be an artist in Japan."
Seiko Mikami
"In 1995 I did this... in 1996 I did 2001 I presented this and 2002 that...."

Tokyo's InterCommunication Center (ICC) turned 10.
The above were some remembered (and paraphrased) quotes from the panel members of the first session.

The ICC is financed, housed and controlled by NTT, Japan's largest Television and Communication giant. (Can you guess the trouble?) Things looks a bit more optimistic now, surviving major disputes that nearly lead to its closing a few years back.

The birthday party was accompanied by two panels on "The Future of Media x Art"
The mysterious x in the title was never discussed, yet remained a symbol for the myth and discord in the term "media art" itself.
Conclusion to some of the strongly clashing viewpoints uttered in this eclectic panel: The Future of Media Art remains uncertain, and any effort of growing up is always disrupted by the eternally lasting fundamental debate on the definition of its very name.

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