Inspired by Dr. Jeremy Knox’s “Abstracting Learning Analytics” essay, focusing in on the theme that learning analytics “makes visible the invisible” and leaning into our final EDC assignment, I visited two art exhibitions today in Tokyo in hope of gaining further inspiration and motivation.
The first exhibition was entitled “Constellations: Practices for Unforeseen Connections / Discoveries”. It was the last day (March 22) of the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The theme of the exhibition was that constellations have a common human appeal of giving free reign to ancient peoples’ imaginations inspiring myths, legends and interpretations of their worldviews. Similarly, at the personal/individual level, there is a common search for a form of ‘constellation’ to deepen understanding and knowledge – that is, a “psychological constellation.”
The intent of the exhibition was that visitors would discover “the invisible connections that exist between this ‘this place’, where we are now, and ‘somewhere else’, between ‘now’ and another time’, between ‘self’, and some apparently unrelated ‘other'”, converting those relationships or meanings into tangible art forms.
A few brief personal comments on the particular artist’s exhibits that impressed me.
– OSAKI, Nobuyubi’s work, the showcase of the exhibition, was a video rendition of transparent water-soluble sheets of images of the constellations which dynamically and fluidly unflod in a darkened room producing a sort of cognitive dissonance where the mind is awaiting the next constellation shape to form (say, Sagittarius or Gemini). The movement of the images forming and receding is at once hypnotically captivating and disconcerting.
– KITAGAWA, Takayoshi’s piece focused on the construction and an ‘introspection’ of the exhibition and the concept of ‘boundary’ as it related to the museum structure itself. The visitor was led on a notion ‘riverboat ride’ through the narrow corridors of the building’s exterior and interior spaces with accompanying high speed multi-media slide show producing an effect of traversing boundaries, maneuvering corners, navigating spaces giving a deeper that usual understanding into the ‘fabrication’ and ‘situation’ of the museum experience. (I think Dr. Sian Bayne would have appreciated this exhibit).
– OTA, Saburo’s “stamp art” gave new meaning to the somewhat nostalgic significance of distant connections invoked by postage stamps which may be eclipsed now with email, text messaging, Twitter and other forms of social media. An accompanying exhibit by OTA was his Seed Project series, where he gathered seeds from around the world. enclosed them in delicate washi paper and formatted them into shapes of stamps to construct a new artefact symbolizing the coming together of divergent peoples and cultures with the potential for organic growth.
OTA, Saburo Stamp Constellation
– ASIA, Ysake’s “Earth Painting” mural was an assemblage of “mud paintings” spread across a spacious 20-meter-long gallery that conjured up a primitive cave dwelling atmosphere. The mud was sourced from various sites around the globe. According to the exhibit guidebook, the idea of Asai’s work was to have “one line
The second exhibition was entitled “Measuring: This much, that much, how much” held at the 21-21 Design Sight in Roggongi, Tokyo. This exhibition provided various interactive displays that engaged the visitor in measuring height, weight, length, etc… The visitor was given a disposal metric tape measure upon entrance and was encouraged to measure everything throughout the experience. I was surprised how crowded the exhibition was on such a fine near-first day of spring. However, was lacking from the exhibition was measuring learning and thinking.