How teamLab Transcends Boundaries - Short Interview with Kudo Takashi
We have seen many times before how teamLab continues to engage the public through the immersive character of their installations. Their latest show at PACE Gallery in London is no exception, and as the title implies, it aims to transcend the boundaries that we, or they, have reached thus far. Knowing how this collective that counts about 400 members operates, one must be excited to see what barriers are to be pushed and crossed in their recent work. Without giving away too much, we share with you a glimpse of thoughts that were put into this show, taken from our conversation with Kudo Takashi.
teamLab: Transcending Boundaries
“People use canvas to make paintings or iron to make sculptures, we use digital technology to make our art“, says Takashi, reflecting, in passing, on the diverse professional focus of teamLab members – programmers, physicians, artists, architects, and ones who specialize in literature and philosophy, like himself. It only makes sense that they all meet on a ground that has no material limits, such as the virtual environment. “New ideas are always affected by the old ones somehow, and they all exist in our heads, our imagination, without boundaries. But if we want to express something in the physical world, we are framed by its physical dimension. We see the digital world as a potential to overcome this“.
The Frontiers Between Human Beings
The boundary that divides one individual from another seems to be blurred as well. The question of authorship becomes impossible to address when such large team invests itself in a single idea. But even more directly, in relation to the show and being there as a participant (definitely more than a mere observer), one starts to render all the people at the show as proxies of teamLab’s concept. Not only are digital images occasionally projected onto the visitors, but the visitors are also the immediate indicators of what happens in the show. “Mona Lisa is beautiful, but static. We want the people to have a relationship with the work, even more, to be part of the artwork. Every person that ‘steps into the water’ becomes a rock – the water moves around them“. Takashi continues: “After we see that it’s not just us and the work, but us, the work, and others, maybe we can become a little bit more positive toward others“.
It’s a Digital Era – but also Japanese Tradition
It’s hard to expect a single answer when asking about role models and influence on teamLab, but there was certainly some consistency: “We were all born in Japan, and this definitely shapes us… We represent nature in this style, however, technology helps make things differently – these are not really linear drawings”. Apart from that, Takashi mentions how every generation is influenced by the era that precedes them, just liked it happened with Modernism and the industrial revolution. Obviously, the digital revolution that we are still witnessing is one of the key inputs for teamLab’s work.
Throughout our conversation, Takashi mentioned a few times how important experiencing these works is, which of course means that you’ll need to see them yourselves and participate in the happening. TeamLab: Transcending Boundaries will be on display at PACE Gallery until March 11th, 2017.
All images courtesy of WideWalls.