Media Art Meets Media Archaeology

- An Evening of Lectures & Performances -

Magic lanterns brought from Europe developed into Utsushi-e in Japan. Their real time quality and materiality in illusion-making was forgotten when they were replaced by cinema. Today new media technologies bring back the magic once again in a different form, with body and hand interacting with digital ghosts.


Saturday, December 17, 2005  18:00 - 21:10pm (open at 5:30pm)

Admission free

Ono Memorial Hall, Waseda University


(Subway: Tozai Line, 5 minutes from Waseda Station to the direction of Okuma Auditorium. Down the steps behind Waseda Gallery and the Information Square)

Sponsored by:

Art and Architecture School of Waseda University

Kawaguchi Art School of Waseda University

Device Art Project (Expressive Science and Technology for Device Art, Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology supported by Japan Science and Technology Agency)

In collaboration with:

Embassy of the United States

Villa Kujoyama Programme de Residences d'Artistes et de Chercheurs

Digital Art Festival Tokyo

School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Waseda University


Part 1   Projected Imagination  (6:00 - 7:30pm)

1. Opening remarks by Erkki Huhtamo & Machiko Kusahara

2. Utsushi-e

Demonstration  and Presentation by Fumio Yamagata, Minwa-zaDaruma.jpg Company and special guests

Daruma Yawa (One evening event of Daruma)

Fireworks on Sumida River

By Fumio Yamagata, Yuko Tanaka, Tatsuya Nakagame, Minako Aihara

With Tade Koyoasa  and  Wakamatsu Tatsutayu II (music & storytelling)

3. The Electric Image

Lecture by Julien Maire

Works in progress : " Free Wheeling" and "Low resolution Cinema"

Extract of the conference the "Electric image": experimental approach of the video process"

Part 2   Media Magic: Ghost in the Hand - A dialogue between theory and practice, media art and media archaeology  (7:40 - 9:10pm)

 By Tmema & Friends + Erkki Huhtamo

Lecture by Erkki Huhtamo in media archaeology will be interleaved with a series of thematically-related performances by Tmema & Friends, led by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, bridging the "archaeology of interactivity" with the cutting-edge present.

1. Scribble (2000)  By Golan Levin and Gregory Shakar, performed solo by Golan Levin

Lecture by Erkki Huhtamo

2. Scrapple (2005) By Golan Levin and Gregory Shakar

Lecture by Erkki Huhtamo

3. The Manual Input Sessions (2004) By Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, performed solo by Zachary Lieberman

Lecture Erkki Huhtamo

4. Drawn (2005) By Zachary Lieberman and Pardon Kimura

5. Closing remark by Machiko Kusahara


Erkki Huhtamo (born Helsinki, Finland, in 1958) is a media archaeologist, educator, writer, and exhibition curator. He is Professor of Media History and Theory at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Department of Design | Media Arts. He has published extensively on media archaeology and media arts, lectured worldwide, curated media art exhibitions and created television programs on media culture. His most recent book, together with Sonja Kangas, is Mariosofia. Elektronisten pelien kulttuuri (“Mariosophy: The Culture of Electronic Games”), published in Finnish by the University Press of Finland (2002). He has since published several studies in English, dealing with topics like peep media, Marcel Duchamp’s optical experiments, the use of 3-D imaging by media artists, the pre-history of the screen, and the archaeology of mobile media. He is currently working on two books, one on the history of the moving panorama, and the other on the archaeology of interactivity. Together with Doug Kahn and Margaret Morse, Professor Huhtamo is the editor for the book series “Technoculture and the Arts” for the University of California Press.

Fumio Yamagata leads Minwa-za, a theatre company that specializes in shadow theatre. Since 1978 Yamagata has experimented to recover the lost Utsushi-e tradition with materials and advices offered by the family of Genjiro Kobayashi and Keiichi Yamamoto. The first performance of Utsushi-e was realized in 1993. Since then Yamagata and his company have performed at major theatres including Japan's New National Theatre. Minwa-za toured in England as a part of the Japan Year events in 2001, performing at the Magic Lantern Society Annual Meeting, Brighton Festival, London University, among other venues.

Yuko Tanaka is the art director of Minwa-za, Besides designing shadow puppets and backdrops for their regular performances Tanaka restores original Utsushi-e slides digitally combining photographic and computer technologies. She also performs in Utsushi-e and shadow theatre.

Tatsuya Nakagame and Minako Aihara are Minwa-za performers. As a scene in Utsushi-e is composed of multiple magic lanterns, each of them showing a character or a prop, performers are professionally trained to act in choreography moving dynamically behind the screen.

Tade Koyoasa is a professionally trained vocal and instrumental musician in traditional Kouta and Shamisen. Tade has collaborated with Minwa-za in performing Utsushi-e in its traditional form in 19C to early 20C. She joined the Minwa-za tour to UK.

Wakamatsu Tatsutayu II is a successor of Sekkyobushi, a form of storytelling which used to be a nationwide favorite popular entertainment since medieval age, originated from Buddhist preachers. As Utsushi-e was accompanied with Sekkyobushi in the western Tokyo area before it disappeared in early 20th century, Wakamatsu has collaborated with Minwa-za to perform Utsushi-e in its most authentic form. Wakamatsu joined the UK tour.

Julien Maire, born 1969 in Metz (F), studied art in Metz. Lives and works in Berlin.

Solo exhibitions at Galleries in France and Germany , his work was also shown at les rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles, Hull Time Based Art, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, International Symposium of Shadow, London. Performances include venues such as Transmediale 01, 04, ZKM Karlsruhe , Ars Electronica 04, Australian centre for the moving Image, DAF 05 in Tokyo .

Julien Maire is in residency in Kyoto at the Villa Kujoyama .

Golan Levin (USA) is an artist/engineer interested in the exploration of new modes of reactive expression. His work focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into formal languages of interactivity, and of nonverbal communications protocols in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity. Levin is Assistant Professor of Electronic Art at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Zachary Lieberman (USA) is an artist, engineer and educator whose work explores the creative and human uses of technology. He produces installations, on-line works and concerts concerned with the themes of kinetic and gestural performance, interactive imaging and speech visualization. He was recently Artist-in-Residence at the Futurelab, Ars Electronica, working on a suite of immersive installations for children with profound multiple learning disabilites as part of a NESTA education grant.

Pardon Kimura (Japan) is a frequency surfer, composer, producer, and electronic musician who makes his uniquely crafted sounds playing analog modular synthesizers, guitars and electronics. He is the dub-engineer of the Naruyoshi Kikuchi Live Dub Quintet. Since 1999, Kimura has released multiple albums that investigate his unique and unprecedented brand of "pop" electro-acoustics. Kimura has also worked as a producer, helping hand craft albums by Naruyoshi Kikuchi, Towa Tei, SPANK HAPPY, Air Sculptures, Keison, and Hitomi Toi.

Gregory Shakar (USA) is exploring various paths toward the goal of creating emotive and expressive active art. In the course of this effort he taps his experience as an artist, musician, and composer with the intention of teasing out the fundamentals of human attention and fascination. While participating with his recent reactive sound sculptures, viewers have controlled thunderous 30-meter long wires, unassuming 3-meter tall metronomes, dozens of dangling tentacles, sociable spiny metal spheres and musical bolts of lightning. Shakar holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from New York University in music, technology and electronic art.

Machiko Kusahara is a media art curator and a scholar who has published internationally. Her recent researches are on correlation between digital media, art, the society, and traditional culture. She was involved in founding art venues such as NTT/ICC and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and  has served as a jury member for SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, ISEA, LIFE, the Japan Media Arts Festival, among many others. Kusahara is a professor at Waseda University and a visiting professor at UCLA. She holds a  Ph.D in engineering from University of Tokyo for her theoretical research in the field.