“Open Space” was launched in 2006 as an annual exhibition series at ICC. Conceived as an exhibition for a broad audience across different age groups, and an opportunity to realize works of media art at a specialized facility, the “Open Space” program encompassed: representative works from the field of media art; works incorporating contemporary technologies; works reflecting a critical viewpoint; works by up-and-coming artists; exhibitions realized in cooperation with research institutes, such as universities at NTT’s own laboratories.
The “Open Space” exhibitions became a foundation for ICC’s diverse activities aiming to deepen understanding of technical and social aspects against the backdrop of continuously updated technological environments, and the culture of artistic expression that changes with the times.
Launched this year, “ICC Annual” takes over the concept of the “Open Space” exhibitions that continued until 2021, but introduces the new long-term format of 6-month exhibitions. “ICC Annual” is held in the form of group exhibitions with annually changing themes and contents, based on a framework that was devised with the idea in mind that the exhibitions continue to change flexibly also in terms of display formats and configurations. By applying media art and various other artistic approaches and exhibition themes to understand the state of media and technological environments in the respective era, the exhibitions focus from different perspectives on the roles in contemporary society of technology and related awareness, as inspired and updated by new media technologies and the environments they establish.
In the future, through the “ICC Annual” and other special exhibitions, as well as the “HIVE” video archive, the online platform “Hyper ICC,” and in addition, related events such as talk sessions, symposia, workshops and explanatory tours around artworks with invited artists and intellectuals, ICC will continue to provide opportunities for discussing technology and art that reflect precisely the situation of their time.
Date: June 25, 2022–January 15, 2023
Venues: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] Gallery B, Hyper ICC
Hours: 11:00 am–6:00 pm
Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, then Tuesday), Maintenance day (August 7), The year-end and New Year Holidays (December 26 to January 4)
Admission Fee: Adults 500 (400) Yen / University Students 400 (300) Yen / Admission free for High school students and younger
Online reservation is available from 7 days before the visit day to 10:00 am on the day.
The day tickets are available at ICC reception.
Organizer: NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation)
Address: Tokyo Opera City Tower 4F, 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-1404 Japan
Access: 2 minutes walk from Hatsudai station (East exit) on the Keio New Line
Inquiry: toll-free telephone 0120-144199 (domestic only)
* Opening hours and holidays are subject to change. Please visit the ICC website for up-to-date information.
“Telepresence,” which makes us perceive things that don’t exist in reality as if they were right in front of us, has become one of the main topics also in the field of media art. The singular form of “media” – meaning “things that mediate” – is “medium,” which can also refer to a “psychic.” Likewise, telepresence is also called the “art of making invisible, psychic things appear in front of our eyes.” Such properties were already inherent also in preceding communication technologies like the telephone and television.
In today’s living environments, systems based on computational technologies are being implemented in various forms, including artificial life (ALife), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchains, non-fungible tokens (NFT), the metaverse, and the Smart City. These systems are no longer about simply responding to information fed by humans, or imitating or speeding up human operations. The systems themselves have become “life-like” things that behave autonomously, and that solve problems in ways that are completely different from those of humans.
“Common Ground,” an information infrastructure that enables humans and robots to recognize the world in the same way, is also being developed at present. By treating all sorts of occurrences in physical spaces as digital information, Common Ground aims to implement a system in which the physical spaces and informational environments that we live in penetrate each other in rather seamless ways. On the other hand, understanding aspects of recurrence and randomness in natural phenomena, and analyzing natural mechanisms, has made it possible to simulate an alternative nature from a technological approach, and define new forms of life, and furthermore, redefine nature, life, and possibly even ourselves.
In an age when technologies are being implemented in society as “life-like systems,” the “ICC Annual 2022: Life / Likeness” exhibition explores how such “life-like things” can work for us as media. Technological environments that develop toward notions of “life-likeness,” encourage us to abandon our anthropocentric ideas, and adopt instead a macroscopic viewpoint with a much broader range that includes future times when we (probably) don’t exist.
Such thinking, with a range that exceeds the timeline of humankind, will certainly also affect the direction that technology will take from here. Through displays of artworks resulting from mutual feedback with technologies that increasingly embrace life-like systems generated through digital technology and natural phenomena, as well as expansively themed works inspired by climate change, gender and other social issues, or by such technologies as NFT or the metaverse, these exhibitions will continue to discuss future ways for the human society.