Masaki Fujihata

Beyond Pages

In a fitful exhibition of virtual domains at ISEA 96, of all the worlds on show, I would want to live in Masaki Fujihata's Beyond Pages. It is not its evocation of childish wonder, nor the classicism of its decorous symmetry, but that in Fujihata's installation delight, formal perfection and intelligence meet at the threshold of a passionate engagement with the world beyond the interface. The natural world -- apple, stone -- is folded in beside the common artifice -- door, light -- and between them sits the mark of the unnatural human, gate of the super-natural, core of the book, writing.

The data projector loads images of a leather bound tome onto a tablet which a light pen activates, animating the objects named in it - stone, apple, door, light, writing. The soundscore immaculately emulates the motion of each against paper, save for the syllabic glyphs of Japanese script, for which a voice pronounces the selected syllable. Stone and apple roll and drag across the page, light illuminates a paper-shaded desklamp; door opens a video door in front of where you read, a naked infant romping, lifesize and laughing, in.

In the middle pages, kanji letters scroll breakneck under the nib of your pen. Lifting it selects a word. We ask the Japanese of our random selection, 'Does it mean anything?' and they say, 'Well, it says something, but it doesn't mean anything'. And it says, oh, I don't know: fish, walk, watch, and the ideographs sit in disarray where they tumble on the page. Something of the accident of language, its random illumination of the world, shines up from the page. An illuminating illuminated manuscript (like Simon Biggs' 1991 alchemical book) opens and leafs through with a gesture, more direct than metaphor, more subtle than allegory, of the digital text, book as light source.

Language even at its most foreign, straddles the divide between the otherness of nature and the familiarity of artefacts. It makes the strangeness of stone as familiar as the alienness of the light switch. We appropriate to ourselves unfamiliar familiars, the amazement we should always feel in front of apples, the joy in manipulating what is no part of us, just as the child coaxed by the lightpen delights in the efficient magic of the hinge. What makes the door swing open is the fulcrum of the word. Here we learn that a task for multimedia is not the simulacrum of the moving image but the renewal of literature, a language through whose gaps the light gets in.

Artist Statement:

In 1982, I had dived into computer graphics field as a art director with 3 technical people. After spending 4 years for generating moving images on video tape, I had felt frustration with the computer images, because the image was generated with 3D data but we can not touch that 3D object. I had had strong desire to materialize the object which is from computer data, for touching the surface. The results were shown as computer generated sculpture in 1987 titled Geometric Love, NC milling machine was used for realization and in 1990 titled Forbidden Fruits, Stereo lithography technology was used.

After this experience, I really understand the importance of interactive installation. It was realized the exhibition Removable Reality 1992. I used infrared cordless phone for this installaiton. In the project Impressing Velocity, I brought GPS with Laptop Computer for climbing up Mt.Fuji. and visualizing the impression of the hardness of climbing.

Global Interior Project #2 is a Networked Multiuser Virtual Environment. There users are sharing same virtual environment and when they are in a same room, they can talk each other and see their face which is mapped onto his avator. This is an example and testbed for showing the possiblity of the future digital networking.

Born in Tokyo.
Tokyo University of Arts, B.A.
Tokyo University of Arts, M.A.
Member of Computer Graphics division, SEDIC Inc.
Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Information, Keio University
Animation Film "One Man Show" - Salon SHU, Tokyo
SIGGRAPH'83 Mandala1983- Detroit, U.S.A.
- Grand Prize recieved from VIDEO CULTURE CANADA/Toronto Harbor-Front,CANADA
SIGGRAPH'84 Miroku-Maitreya- Mineapolis, U.S.A.
Computer Images Gazing consciously beyond Technology
- LIVINA Gallery, Tokyo
Computer Sculptures Geometric Love
- Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo
Computer Sculptures Forbidden Fruits
- Gallery Mirage,Shibuya Tokyo
Removable Reality Installation with Kei'ichi IRIE
- Spiral Hall, Harajuku Tokyo
Impressing Velocity Installation - ICC gallery,Tokyo
organizing exhibition "The Future of the Book of the Future"
Global Interior Project #1 InterCommunication`95 Tokyo
Global Interior Project #2 BeyondPages
- SIGGRAPH "The Bridge/ArtShow" NewOrleans U.S.A
- ArsElectronica Linz Austria
- DEAF Rotterdam Netherland
Mandala1983 computer animation
- Grand Prize recieved from VIDEO CULTURE CANADA
Toronto Harbor-Front,CANADA
Global Interior Project #2 Interactive Shared VR
- Golden NICA recieved from ArsElectronica
Linz Austria