"THEORY OF EVERYTHING: VIDEO ART FROM TOKYO"

1st screening: Workstation Arts Center, Beijing (February 18th, 2006)
2nd screening at Tank.tv, online (www.tank.tv)
3rd screening: Location One, NY (June 21st, 2006)
4th screening: Einstain Auditorium, New York University, NY (July 31st, 2006)
5th screening: Asian Cultural Council Office, NY (August 15th, 2006)
6th screening: Tainan National University of the Arts, Tainan (March 7th, 2007)
7th screening: DongFang - The Cinema of the Far East, Napoli (Octber 25-28th, 2007)
8th screening: Process Room, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (December 10th-15th, 2007)



the artists:

Yu Araki
Taro IZUMI
Kohei KOBAYASHI
Hiroaki MORITA
Daisuke NAGATSUKA
Daisuke NOSE
Yuki OKUMURA
Ken SASAKI
Koki TANAKA
Mai YAMASHITA + Naoto KOBAYASHI
Naho YOKOYA

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"Theory of Everything" is a scientific term meaning a single theory that would fully explain and link together all known physical phenomena. It would somehow merge the general relativity theory, which introduced the new conception of space and time, with the quantum theory, which introduced the new conception of the relationship between the observer and the observed. Theoretical physicists around the world have advocated numerous theories as a possible TOE, such as the string theory or the loop quantum gravity theory, but none has been approved yet.

Just like physicists who seek TOE, the Japanese video artists introduced in this compilation work with fundamental questions such as "what is the universe?" and "why can't we reverse the time?". In contrast to studies by physicists on trans-human and non-everyday elements, such as particles that natural human eye can never grasp, mathematics as a purely theoretical realm, or on the beginning and the ending of the universe in terms of both space and time, the artistsf videos on show deal with "small events" in the everyday. The aim of this is to elicit how universal laws function in every detail of their lives and to provide an opportunity to consider how amazing and mysterious this is.

The artists selected found the use of video as the most appropriate medium because video has a capacity to operate as a type of microcosm where everything is regulated within a single screen and a linear passing of time. Video has two fundamental functions: documentation and editing. The former makes it possible for the artists to capture and replay events such as an encounter with a white balloon (Yu Araki _ White Piece), continuous collisions of a running baseball bat and the ground (Ken Sasaki _ Bat), fans turning without electricity (Daisuke Nagatsuka _ Fan) and so on. The latter makes it possible for the artists, by changing connections of space and time, to produce unreal phenomena such as teleportation of a golf ball (Yuki Okumura _ Loophole), a small spaceship in the form of digital video camera with the artist as a pilot inside (Taro Izumi _ Panazoid), or five dice showing the same spots every time they are thrown (Mai Yamashita + Naoto Kobayashi _ Miracle).

The task set to the artists is not to get an objective answer to their questions about this physical world like physicists do, but to illuminate and amplify the laws of physics through its appearance in their everyday lives; the artists introduced here pursue their own "studies" from a purely subjective perspective.


Yuki Okumura