Commons Forum #2
“The Future of Virtual Dramaturgy in the Age of the Metaverse”

  • Forum
  • Online participation
Meiro Koizumi “Prometheus Unbound” ©️Meiro Koizumi

Since their invention, digital technologies such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) have long expanded the realm of artistic expression. These technological advances have made way for the daily creation and innovation of countless metaverses (virtual worlds), and have also brought about drastic changes in every field, including the ways in which we gather together and transmit information. In an age when dichotomies such as digital/analog or real/virtual no longer make sense, is it possible to move freely between the two and critically confront the possibilities and limitations of human perception, cognition, and the body? Since ancient times, humans have used their imaginations to describe other dimensions, including mythical worlds and worlds told through the perspective of plants and animals. With the intervention of VR/AR technology, how can these stories be recaptured with new sensibilities?
In this forum, we will discuss the ethics, possibilities, and limitations of artistic expression in the age of the metaverse, using specific examples of works created at this year’s Theater Commons and the World Theater Festival.

Panelists | Meiro Koizumi (Artist), Saeborg (Artist), Hsu Che-Yu (Artist)
Moderator | Chiaki Soma (Director of Theater Commons Tokyo)

Profile

Meiro Koizumi
Born in 1976 in Gunma, Japan. He explores the relationships between the state/community and the individual, and between the human body and emotions, through experimental videos and performances that interweave reality and fiction. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions such as Tate Modern’s BMW Tate Live, Shanghai Biennale, and Sharjah Biennale. His solo exhibitions include “Battlelands” (Pérez Art Museum Miami, 2018), “Today My Empire Sings” (Vacant, Tokyo, 2017), “Trapped Words Dream of Silence” (Arts Maebashi, Japan, 2015), “Projects 99: Meiro Koizumi” (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013). His experimental VR Theater piece “Prometheus Bound,” which was premiered at Aichi Triennale 2019, won the Grand Prize in the 24th Art Division of the Japan Media Arts Festival. In 2021, he won Artes Mundi Prize (Cardiff, UK). His installation works are included in numerous public collections worldwide.

Photo: Matadero Madrid/Photo: Bego Solís

Saeborg
Born 1981 in Toyama. Based in Tokyo (Japan).
Saeborg, the imperfect cyborg, is half human, half toy.
Saeborg creates latex body suits as extensions of her own skin, deploying them in performances.
Motivated by her strong desire to transcend fixed identities (such as gender) and even the human body itself, she dons bodysuits that caricature sows or insects as toy-like figures, creating playful dystopias composed of the ecosystem’s basest creatures.
Recent exhibitions/performances include “Cycle of L” at the Museum of the Art, Kochi (2020), and “House of L” at Aichi Triennale (2019). She has additionally participated in “DARK MOFO” at Mona Museum, Australia (2019), and “The 6th Athens Biennale: ANTI” (2018). All of her pieces to present have been shown in international exhibitions and museums in both Japan and abroad, following premieres at the Tokyo fetish party Department-H.

Photo: ZIGEN

Hsu Che-Yu
Born in 1985 in Taipei, Hsu is artist who creates animation and film works which focus on the relationship between media and memories. Through these works, he has tried to visualize and structuralize the memories inside individual and communities.
In 2022, he begins his residency at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He participated in the residency program in HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium, 2019–2020) and Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains (Tourcoing, France, 2020–2022). Previously, he obtained a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts (M.F.A., Taiwan). Also, he was selected as finalist for Hugo Boss Asia Art Award (Rockbund Art Museum, 2019).
His work participated in Shanghai Biennale (2018), London Design Biennale (2018), the 34th Bienal de São Paulo (2021), the 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021), VIDEONALE.18 (2021), and film festivals NYFF (New York Film Festival) (2020), IFFR International Film Festival Rotterdam (2018, 2020, 2023).

Chiaki Soma
Before establishing Arts Commons Tokyo in 2014, Soma was the inaugural Program Director of Festival/Tokyo, where she served from spring 2009 to 2013. She has produced or curated global projects that transect categories of theater, contemporary art, and community-engaged art. She was the recipient of the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France’s Minister of Culture in 2015. Since 2017, she has served as the Chairperson of the Theater Commons Tokyo Executive Committee, as well as its Director. She was the Curator for the Aichi Triennale 2019. She is the recipient of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs’ 71st Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize in 2021. Since 2021, she has been the General Producer of Toyooka Theater Festival 2021, and the Curator of Aichi Triennale 2022. She was appointed as the Program Director of Theater der Welt 2023 in Germany.

©NÓI CREW

Date

February 26th [Sun] / 19:30–21:30

Performance times

120 min.

Venue

Online

How to participate

Please access the program via the link on the dedicated page sent upon purchase of your pass.

Buy Pass

Language

Japanese (with English interpretation)