One achievement of digital and telecommunication technologies is the progressing interrelation of disciplines such as media art, sound, imagery, design or architecture. This phenomenon serves as a prerequisite for the formation of a new global culture, shaped by young artists that keenly engage in genre-crossing collaborations, and the creation of original media. As a result, new forms of expression beyond existing values are materializing autonomously, suggesting to interpret such pairs as global/local, real/virtual, creator/user or work/leisure time as contiguous matters rather than opposite qualities.
MobLab ("Mobile" + "Laboratory", also "mob" = crowd, community, etc.) is the sum of projects proposed and developed by Japanese and German artists from various fields (=MobNauts) in a bus that, equipped with an array of mobile devices, functions as an information base. The time the MobNauts spend on the road will naturally lead to various creative collaborations. The bus travels a number of host institutions throughout Japan, each of which hosts events that incorporate the bus and its passengers. At the same time, the MobNauts have the opportunity to exchange with local artists and other people. The flexibly set route allows for the spontaneous staging of events, which will be announced on the MobLab Website.
The bus is at once an intimate space in which the MobNauts spend time together, and a public space for transmitting global information. By traveling around, the MobNauts will create occasions for individuals to meet, on both real and virtual levels, and connect to different local realities each time they stop and get out of the bus. MobLab aims to be a platform for practical experimentation on publicness born out of a revolutionarily "on-the-spot" form of meeting of individuals and media, and investigation into the possibilities this public nature implies. The concept of dynamic information that interactively transforms through exchange between a variety of people has just begun to surface as a new layer of reality.
"MobLab: Japanese-German Media Camp 2005"
October 15 - November 6
MobNauts: Daisuke Ishida + Ken Furudate, exonemo (Yae Akaiwa + Kensuke Sembo),
AGF (Antye Greie), Sven Gareis, Stefan Riekeles
Driver: Yosuke Kawamura (artist, Mobium director)
Production assistant: Tomonaga Yamaguchi (MobLab)
Host Institutions: (stations of MobLab's tour across Japan, listed in the order of arrival)
IAMAS (Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences + international Academy of Media Arts and Sciences) (Ogaki) / NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (Tokyo) /
Fujino workshop for art (Kanagawa) / Yokohama Triennale (Yokohama) /
Sendai Mediatheque (Sendai) / Expo Park, Saito IMI Graduate School (Osaka) /
Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM] (Yamaguchi)
MobLab was conceived in autumn 2003 as a laboratory through which various people could meet and could be creatively used, by linking mobile technology to a moving bus. The executive committee was established in 2004, and Japan’s MobNaut candidate was selected. In February of this year, it was publicly presented for the first time at Berlin’s media festival, Trans-Mediale (MobLab’s partner in Germany). Along with receiving much feedback, Japan-Germany MobNaut was finalized in May after a meeting held with Germany’s MobNaut candidate. Further a MobLab project team started up as a class at IAMAS (Ogaki) in April. At IAMAS’ Open House in August, students exposed their self-developed GPS-mobile phone archive system. MobLab, which various people became involved in, is finally departing on its a three-week trip and will begin interacting with everyone from each region and the people online. We welcome people to work on the future progressive expansion of this project, or another similar to it.