RessentimentRock The Future

Ryota Kuwakubo, Ressentiment, exonemo
FACT Centre, Wood Street
26th August – 30th October 2005

Reviewed by Josephine Raven

‘Rock The Future’ represents the first UK exhibition of artists currently at the forefront of new media Japanese art. Since the early 1990s these artists have exploited developing technology, software and gadgetry, many either working directly for (or gaining sponsorship from) corporate companies. Subsequently new technology dominates much of their work, with artists both challenging and experimenting with conventional notions of art and addressing key issues such as the relationships between the real and virtual world.

Ryota Kuwakubo’s ‘Extra!’ currently occupies the Media Lounge. Periodically strips of paper fall from the ceiling, each piece printed with individual news headlines. Many have accumulated on the floor - a blanket of abstract information detached from its original context. The viewer is left to interpret and decipher the haphazard information, from the obscure ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s a Bird Man’ to the more conventional ‘Man arrested over armed bank raid’ and the questionable ‘Its official men are cleverer than women’!

Gallery 1 plays host to Ressentiment’s Ikisyon 15, an eclectic installation of collected objects given by members of the public in Liverpool. Cameras focus on individual objects or groupings containing anything from sweets, miniature bottles of alcohol to action figures and mirrors. Moving into the adjacent gallery space, projected onto a screen are different viewpoints and video sequences of these random objects, many superimposed and multi-layered with other computer generated images. These representations are suggested to intimate ‘monitored society’.

Finally Exonemo’s (Kensuke Sembo and Yae Akaiwa) installation Shikakunomukou involves direct audience participation. The viewer creates their own images and corresponding sounds by sketching on a computer drawing pad, the main room appearing to introduce the audience to the creative potential of their exhibit. “exonemo provoke the user into using their own sensory perception and creativity in relation to others.”

All displays encourage different degrees of interaction from those visiting the exhibition, making the work highly accessible both physically and mentally.

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