Wacky musical experiments on a forgotten medium
Open Reel Ensemble is an inventive musical project from Japan, founded in 2009. The prolific leader Ei Wada with his creative command Kimitoshi Sato, Takumi Namba, Haruka Yoshida and Masaru Yoshida are one of the most interesting musicians at the moment. The creative group of 5 young musicians scratch four reel-to-reel analog tape recorders as seen in the 1970s, creating a vintage-modern roller coaster of beats.
Open Reel Ensemble brings together digital and analog in a way that gives new life to an outmoded machine. Connecting old-school reel-to-reel tape decks to computer controllers, Ei Wada took a few years and a lot of diagrams and experimentations to get his rewired decks to the point where they could be easily manipulated as real-time samplers. He recontextualised and modified them to be played as musical instruments. Sampling voices and sounds on the spot, the Open Reel Ensemble uses multiple tape decks to form a unique performance around a forgotten medium as if a reel-to-reel DJ jamming.
In 2009 the Open Reel Ensemble debuted to immediate acclaim. The group soon found itself invited to perform at venues from art galleries to nightclubs, from Tokyo, their hometown, to Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), Transmediale (Berlin, Germany), Sonar Festival (Barcelona, Spain) and more. The ensemble also played at TEDxTokyo in 2010, and drew global attention in 2011 when they got the grand prize in the Entertainment Division at the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival. First time in Hong Kong with one show only. Not to be missed!
Playful Virtuoso in New Media Art
Daito Manabe, one of the best known and most highly regarded new media artists in Japan today. In March 2008, he came to Hong Kong to partner with local music artist Ho Shan@Pixel Toy on a video and sound performance at the 13th ifva Festival. The next year, he was invited to take part in the opening show at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria, which received rave reviews and put his name on the world map. Since then, he has become a fixture at various international arts festivals as well as a much sought-after collaborator for world-famous brands. The Nike Music Shoe is among his most famous creations.
Manabe is noted for the many outlandish ideas that he incorporates into his works, which masterfully utilise new media to bring forth new experiences for the audience. For example, his famous Body Hack performances used electric currents to stimulate facial muscles, which gave new meaning to the term “interactive”. Manabe started his career as a hip hop DJ, and later on worked as a designer and a computer systems engineer before concentrating his efforts full-time on new media art creations at present.
With this revisit to Hong Kong, Manabe will showcase his media installations for the first time here with UV Laser Fade Out (2010), which features breathtaking laser projections, as well as Face Tracking (2011/2013), which transforms the art gallery into a visual Facebook.
About the Artist, Daito Manabe
Born in 1976, Manabe graduated from Tokyo Science University, majoring in Mathematics. He also completed the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS), Dynamic Sensory Programming (DSP) course.
Working across different fields including art, design and research, Manabe has approached and redefined existing media and technologies from their own unique angles. Instead of using technologies to achieve an ever “higher-resolution” illusionistic reality, his works aim at rediscovering the beauty of transient events through careful observations and exploration of the basic properties of body, computer and computer programming.
In the age when computer usage was still not popular, software companies had not started to develop the computer animation software market, and years before films like Toy Story hit the silver screen, Tamas Waliczky had already started using his Atari computer to embark on “new media” art creations. Growing up in Communist Hungary and living in a closed society, Waliczky saw a window of freedom in art. He began doing animation at the age of nine, yet he had never undergone formal training in the area. His computer theory, technique and even English language were all self-taught. Since delving into computer audio-visual creations in 1983, he had become a well-known figure in new media circles. He was artist-in-residence at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM) in Germany and the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu, Japan. He taught in various universities. Not having attended university himself, Waliczky’s first foray into campus life was as a Professor.
In terms of his application of computer technique, definition of computer imagery, usage of space and camera, experimentation with perspectives etc., Waliczky’s works are well ahead of their time in expressing the boundless
possibilities of computer generated visuals and broke much new ground in media art. This pioneer of computer animation will have the first solo-exhibition of his works in Hong Kong, and the artist will be on hand to act as a museum guide. There will also be screenings and seminar associated with this event.
"Dance with the Interval" is Tamas Waliczky’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The exhibition will be the world premiere of Waliczky’s two new installations: Wheels (2013) and Homes (2012). Next to these installations visitors can watch a retrospective with the artist’s earlier works, from 1986 till 2007.
Tamas Waliczky’s works won numerous international awards, including the Golden Nica of Prix Ars Electronica Linz, was shown in several festivals and exhibitions worldwide, like Imagina and Siggraph festivals, the Lyon Biennale, the ICC Gallery Tokyo, the Multimediale Karlsruhe, the Photo’98 England, the Seville Biennale, and are in the permanent collection of different museums, like the Pompidou Center Paris, the Oppenheimer Collection Bonn, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne and the Ludwig Museum Budapest.