Yukiko Shikata on 22 Sep 2000 17:41:39 -0000

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<nettime> ARTLAB10: "polar" Carsten Nicolai-Marko Peljhan

ARTLAB10 "polar"

Artists: Carsten Nicolai and Marko Peljhan

Date: October 28(sat)-November 6(mon) 11:00-21:00(till 19:00 on the last
       *reservation needed. call ARTLAB(03-5410-3611)
        (8 participants can interact in one hour)

Location: Hillside Plaza(29-10 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
????*basement of the parking lot of Hillside Terrace, Daikanyama

http://www.canon.co.jp/cast/("polar"info. appears in early October)

Organized by: ARTLAB, Canon Inc.
Special support: Ministry of Culture, Republic of Slovenia
Support: Embassy of Republic of Slovenia
              Goethe Institut Tokyo
Special co-operation: twosuns GmbH, Berlin
Co-operation: Hillside Plaza
Sponsorship: Fast Net, Inc.,

*Artists' lecture:
November 2(thu) 19:00-21:00 at ARTLAB in Roppongi (in English with Japanese
translation). Reservation needed.

-For further information, please contact:
Canon ARTLAB, DK Bldg.5F, 7-18-23 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 Japan
e-mail: polar@cast.canon.co.jp, Tel: 81-3-5410-3611, Fax: 5410-3615

ARTLAB* presents "polar," a new work collaborated by Carsten Nicolai
(Germany) and Marko Peljhan(Slovenia), and ARTLAB for the 10th Original

- A collaboration of Nicolai and Peljhan, both attracting attention
worldwide "Polar" is a new work done in collaboration by Carsten Nicolai and
Peljhan with ARTLAB. Nicolai has been active working worldwide on "sound"
as wave-shaped data, sound installation through crystallized structures
produced by the natural ecosystems, objects, paintings, live performances
and CD. Peljhan is an artist pioneering the field of research into
telecommunication environments, such as intercepting/dispatching electric
or signal waves and their mapping, reflection. In the case of "polar," it
is the first time that "Nicolai-Peljhan" collaborates on a full-scale media

art project.

- What are unknown poles in information space?
The word "polar" defines primarily two opposite ends, +(plus) and -(minus).
However, in the case of this new work, the question about a research method
and their materialization in today's information environment are the
primary field of interest; how humans can approach unknown environment as
in a polar probe. The aim of "polar" is to have inquirers themselves trying
to find out how the following fields are interrelated: sensory visible
information(such as microorganism), formation and changing process of
invisible information(such as sound), and collecting keywords related to
the "polar" knowledge base from the Internet(we name it "dictionary," an
intelligent information search system*) which is totally different from the
former two types of information. In this work, each participant is expected
to individually investigate the unknown and seamless environment by
relating to each visible, tactile and audible element in the space/time.

- One of the starting ideas of "polar" by Nicolai-Peljhan comes from
"Solaris" (196l) by the Polish SF writer Stanislaw Lem, and "Solaris"
(1972), a film adapted  from the original book and directed by Andrey
Tarkovsky in the former Soviet Union. There Ocean (sea-like substance) of an
unknown planet Solaris  reflects human emotions, desires, and thoughts, and
the paradox described  is that probing into the unknown is after all making
inquiries to discover  facts about ourselves. This issue is related to human
ability to form ideas and modes of
information, if it is interpreted as an aspect in today's human studies. In
"polar," the idea described in the original book of Lem, "what is reflected
has a geometrically crystallized pattern," is in focus
in terms of a mystery of information.

- Intelligent Information Search System** in a space-integrated installation
In "polar," the whole space is integrated as the artwork. Participants, two
persons in a pair, get into the space, each with an interface device named
"POL" developed for this project, and they collect sensory information
(images, sounds, temperature, and acceleration of gravity in the
surroundings) for a presicely set amount of time. When the collection is
finished, information of each POL is analyzed, and seven keywords
(concepts) corresponding to the qualities of information through an
algorithmic calculation are displayed on each of two monitors-interfaces
placed in the room. When one of the keywords is chosen, a specially
developed intelligent information search system begins to operate, and
newly linked concepts of the keyword are collected from various databases
and websites on the Internet. Thus a database is recomposed each time as a
new "dictionary." In the interaction with the dictionary, the participant
can collect and construct his/her own ideas or concepts that are different
from the text-data input, categorized by the artists and initial dictionary
knowledge base builders, as the starting point of this intellectual
information system. In the "dictionary," Solaris's ideas are reflected
through the inclusion of the whole book of "Solaris" into the knowledge
base. In the installation there are real time projections of wave-shaped
movements which are calculated and visualized trace routes, and various
other reflected and processed analogue-digital information and images. The
whole room space responds, in the combination of sensory outputs, to the
characteristics of information data collected by two pairs of participants
and their constructed and discovered conceptual system. Consequently, the
whole space goes through a change and transformation in a dynamic process
and ends on a different platform as when it started. This new platform is
the starting situation for the next pair of participants.

*ARTLAB, Canon Inc., vehicle for cultural support activities, was initiated
in 1991. The objectives are to create, promote and support a new digital
media-realm, including collaborations between artists and Canon's computer

  **Advanced intelligent information retrieval, consisted of Document
classification, Information filtering, Summarization, Agent, etc.,
developed by Canon Inc. is used in an original application.

<Artists profile>

- Carsten Nicolai-Marko Peljhan
Nicolai and Peljhan have presented several live performances, such as
"Wardenclyffe situation no.2" in Bauhaus Dessau(at Ostranenie, 1997),
"solar" in Linz(at Ars Electronica, 1998), etc. This is the first
full-scale media installation by them.

- Carsten Nicolai aka noto
Born in Karl Marx Stadt (present Chemnitz) in 1965, lives in Chemnitz and
Berlin. Worked as a gardener, 1985-90 studied Landscape Design in Dresden.
In 1992 co-founded 'Voxxx.Kultur und Kommunikationszentrum' in Chemnitz,
then founded 'noton archiv fuer ton und nichtton' in 1994. He is active
worldwide in different areas ranging from contemporary art, sound art to
media art. A motif of organic forms appears in his paintings, objet d'art,
and sound installations, which sensitively recognize and present both
visible and invisible information environment, and are directed to the
introduction of computer complex system research. He is also known as a
sound performer, releasing CDs in the name of "noto." Selected group
exhibitions include Documenta X(Kassel, 1997), Liverpool
Biennale(Liverpool, 1999), "Audible Light"(The Museum of Modern Art Oxford,
1999), "Empty Garden"(Watari-um Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo,  1999),
"Sound Art"(NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo, 2000), and others.
Nicolai has received "Golden Nica" Prize in the category of  Digital Music
at Prix Ars Electronica 2000 with CD series "20' to 2000"(twelve releases
about the cutting edge of the millennium).

- Marko Peljhan
Born in Sempeter pri Gorici, Slovenia in 1969, lives in Ljubljana. Studied
theater and radio directing at the University of Ljubljana. Concerning
information environment including telecommunications, he has developed his
original media art projects, such as performances, installations, film,
video and sound works since the first half of 1990. In 1992, he established
an organisation 'PROJEKT ATOL' for his creative activities. MAKROLAB, an
information base and self sustained environment, realized at Documenta
X (Kassel, 1997), Rottnest Island near Perth (2000) is set up as a project
to research telecommunications, weather systems and migrations from an
isolated/insulated reflective environment. MAKROLAB will be set up around
the world up until 2007, when it will be placed in the Antarctic as a
permanent art/science station.

In December 1999, Projekt Atol produced a work by the slovene director
Zivadinov "Biomehanika Noordung," a performance in zero-gravity conditions
performed during parabolic flights in the skies over Russia. Selected group
exhibitons include Documenta X(Kassel, 1997), "L'autre moite de
l'Europe"(Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2000), "World-information.org"(Brussels,
2000), and others. He is the recepient of the Media Art Prize of ZKM
Karlsruhe(Germany) this year. "polar" is the first project introducing
Peljhan in Japan.

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