Vitality.Swiss×SUPER DOMMUNE Presents

Refracted Robotics, Crystallizing Forms  

Once again, Switzerland’s AATB (Design Practice), Daito Manabe (Rhizomatiks) and Naohiro Ukawa (SUPER DOMMUNE) will gather at the legendary SUPER DOMMUNE streaming studio in Shibuya, Tokyo, for a talk. It will be followed by a live performance by MSCTY_Studio (Nick Luscombe & James Greer) in collaboration with Julian Sartorius (musician) from Switzerland! Please stay tuned!

Andrea Anner and Thibault Brevet, the two sides of Swiss non-industrial robotic practice AATB, are back in Japan for a large-scale, ground-breaking collaboration at Moerenuma Park’s snow storage chamber, in the framework of Sapporo International Art Festival. Elaborating on SIAF 2024 theme “Last Snow”, and in cooperation with Finnish media artist professor Jussi Ängeslevä, AATB is devising a performative work that blends robotics, melting ice and light. A robotic arm, equipped with a drill bit and a flashlight, is set to work to carve a large block of clear ice, gradually converting it to a sculptural caustic lense, refracting the flashlight illumination to an immersive 3D scene projected on to the walls. “PINNANNOUSU” (Finnish for “level elevation”) grapples with the fragility and ephemerality of individual existence under the dramatic conditions of contemporary existence in the age of climate change.
PINNANOUSOU, was initiated by Jussi Ängeslevä, further developped in the framework of the research project “A Third Hand – Creative Applications for Robotics”, conducted at ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, Switzerland by AATB, Alain Bellet and Martin Hertig. Professor Mark Pauly from EPFL’s Geometric Computing Laboratory and Rayform SA worked on the computation of the ice lens geometry.  (more info: SIAF 2024)

Jussi ÄNGESLEVÄ+AATB “Pinnannousu” 2024, Supported by: Pro Helvetia Cultural Foundation / ECAL “A Third Hand”–Creative Applications for Robotics” / EPFL’s Geometric Computing Laboratory/RayForm SA. © Gianni Camporota, ECAL – A Third Hand

To discuss the shifts and drifts between natural process and human intervention, SUPER DOMMUNE and the Vitality.Swiss program invite AATB for an evening of conversation and performance in the mythical streaming studio in Shibuya, Tokyo. They will be joined by another pioneer of media art and computational performance: Daito Manabe, founder of Rhizomatiks, whose practice has constantly pushed the boundaries between human body, data, programming, computers and physical/virtual, natural/artificial phenomena. They will be joined by Naohiro Ukawa of SUPER DOMMUNE and Jonas Pulver, Head of Communications and Culture of the Swiss Embassy in Japan, for a deep-dive into the ever-melting, ever-crystallizing nature of form and contemplation.  

In the second part, the Vitality.Swiss podcast producer and DJ Nick Luscombe will be joined with James Greer as MSCTY Studio and will present a new sound work that features a blend of Swiss and Japanese field recordings focused on the vitality of the natural world! Nick Luscombe and James Greer form the core of MSCTY Studio, a “sound architecture” practice that recognizes the potential of sound and its construction for wellbeing. For this special program, they are collaborating with Swiss percussionist and producer Julian Sartorius. Vitality in Sound: Switzerland x Japan will see them forming a new live soundscape production that fuses Sartorius’ sounds with their own creative responses – with all their new input emerging from sounds recorded in Japan. Sartorius’ sounds will come from his work “Hidden Tracks: Basel – Genève,” which was composed during a 10-day hiking trip through Switzerland, and uses the natural world as an instrument and adventurous sound source for performances.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 20:00-22:30
Studio viewing: 50 people (Admission: Free) + Live Streaming (SUPER DOMMUNE)
Application for studio viewing: here
Live Streaming : here

Part 1 Talk 20:00-22:00
AATB (Design Practice), Daito Manabe ( Artist, Programmer, DJ), Naohiro Ukawa (SUPER DOMMUNE), Jonas Pulver (Embassy of Switzerland in Japan)
English/Japanese interpretation available

Part 2: Live Performance 22:00 - 22:30
MSCTY_Studio (Nick Luscombe and James Greer) x Julian Sartorius

* In collaboration with SUPER DOMMUNE, this event will be held as one of the programs to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan.

AATB is the collaborative practice of Andrea Anner and Thibault Brevet, both graduates from the École cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL). Having previously worked on interactive objects and installations, they encountered an industrial robotic arm five years ago. This crystallized ongoing research around human/machine interactions and led them to investigate the potential of robotics and industrial automation outside the realm of factory floors. Their practice involves a tight connection and understanding of manufacturing processes, ranging from software programming, electronics to mechanical engineering and precision machining.
Reflecting on the dissemination and assimilation of robotics into mundane activities, their work critically explores novel situations arising from these shifts. Since 2020, the studio operates a Motion Control service for the film industry: Superposition. The studio is based between Zurich and Marseille.Their work has been exhibited in institutions such as ZKM (Karlsruhe), V&A (Dundee), Ars Electronica (Linz), Chengdu Biennale (Chengdu), New Museum (New York), Venice Biennale of Architecture, Zollverein (Essen), Unfold X (Seoul), APS Museum (Shanghai), HEK (Basel), Istanbul Design Biennial, Milan Design Week, Museum für Gestaltung (Zürich). They have been awarded the Swiss Design Award.

Daito Manabe
Artist, interaction designer, programmer, and DJ. Launched Rhizomatiks in 2006. Specially-appointed professor at Keio University SFC.
Manabe’s works, which range into a variety of fields, takes a new approach to everyday materials and phenomena. However, his end goal is not simply rich, high-definition realism by recognizing and recombining these familiar elemental building blocks. Rather, his practice is informed by careful observation to discover and elucidate the essential potentialities inherent to the human body, data, programming, computers, and other phenomena, thus probing the interrelationships and boundaries delineating the analog and digital, real and virtual.
A prolific collaborator, he has worked closely with a diverse roster of artists, including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Björk,OK Go, Nosaj Thing, Squarepusher, Andrea Battistoni, Mansai Nomura, Perfume and  sakanaction. Further engagements include groundbreaking partnerships with the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics in Manchester, and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his multidisciplinary contributions to advertising, design, and art. Notable recognitions include the Ars Electronica Distinction Award, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Titanium Grand Prix, D&AD Black Pencil, and the Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize.

Naohiro Ukawa (SUPER DOMMUNE)
Born in Kagawa Prefecture in 1968. Currently "living" artist. Since the end of the 1980s, he has been active in a wide variety of fields, including filmmaker, graphic designer, VJ, writer, and university professor. Since participating in "Buzz Club: News from Japan" (MoMA PS1, New York) and "JAM: Tokyo-London" (Barbican Art Gallery, London) in 2001, he has shown his work in many exhibitions in Japan and abroad. In 2010, he opened Japan's first live streaming studio and channel "DOMMUNE" as a private individual. The channel has attracted a record number of viewers both in Japan and abroad, and was selected as a recommended work for the 2011 Japan Media Arts Festival. In 2016, Ukawa opened a 500-meter-wide satellite studio "DOMMUNE LINZ! and a satellite studio "DOMMUNE SETOUCHI" at the Setouchi International Art Festival in 2019. Both of these have been the hit of the festival, and DOMMUNE has participated in numerous international exhibitions of contemporary art, including London, Dortmund, Stockholm, Paris, Mumbai, Linz, Fukushima, Yamaguchi, Osaka, Kagawa, Kanazawa, Akita, Sapporo and Sado Island. In the past 10 years, he has delivered over 5,000 programs, 7,000 hours, and 150 terra incognito, with a total viewership of over 100 million people. In 2019, the studio moved to Shibuya PARCO 9F. In 2021, he received the 71st Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Art Encouragement Prize.

Jonas Pulver
Head of Communications and Culture Section, Embassy of Switzerland in Japan
Before joining the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, Jonas worked for 10 years in journalism and media. As a staff writer, columnist and correspondent for first-tier newspaper Le Temps (Geneva), he reported from Japan, Korea, India, the US, Mexico and several European countries while also collaborating with the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Radio France and Le Courrier. Since 2017, Jonas has overviewed communications, public diplomacy and cultural affairs at the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo. He holds an MA in Global Studies from the University of Tokyo, an MA in Classical Piano from the University of Applied Arts and Sciences Western Switzerland, and a PR degree from the Lausanne Center for Journalism and Media.

MSCTY_Studio (Nick Luscombe and James Greer)
MSCTY_Studioʼs core members Nick Luscombe and James Greer are at the forefront of a fresh approach to the sonics of place. From a strong grounding in research focused on well-being and the specific characteristics of locations, they develop new applications for sound and music, bringing their expertise to diverse situations‒both physically, around the world, and in the digital realm.
The Studio has created over 400 new sound productions in a number of different countries in a period spanning 13 years, with site-specific work in locations such as Isetan Shinjuku (in partnership with Ryuichi Sakamoto), the Kengo Kuma-designed V&A Dundee Museum, and a number of locations in The City of London.
Alongside these productions, they share their work via an online gallery-website, organize workshops and research collaborations across Japan, online, and overseas, and have broadcast expertise which they utilize via a number of devoted programs, including regular shows on BBC Radio, Resonance FM, British Airways in-flight entertainment, and more.

Julian Sartorius
Drummer, percussionist and artist Julian Sartorius forms sounds into previously unseen shapes. His precise and multi-layered rhythmical patterns are keen excursions into the hidden tones of found objects and prepared instruments, bridging the gap between organic timbres and the vocabulary of (experimental) electronic music. Julian Sartorius has released numerous solo albums, creates audiovisual art works, collaborates with musicians, writers and artist and performs live in intimate venues and on festival stages.
Trained at the Jazz schools in Berne and Lucerne by instrumentalists like Fabian Kuratli, Pierre Favre and Norbert Pfammatter, Julian Sartorius soon developed a singular musical approach. Being interested in fine-scaled variations, tension and release, mass and vibrancy, he creates projects like the 12-LP-box set «Beat Diary» (Everest Records, 2012), consisting of 365 beat tracks and an accompanying photo book; the daily 8-seconds loop series «Morphblog» (from 2013 to 2019); or «Depot», an audiovisual installation for 16 loudspeakers and 16 screens that was shown at Kunstmuseum Thun. For his last album «Hidden Tracks: Basel – Genève» (Everest Records, 2017), Julian hiked over 200 km with his drum sticks and recording equipment, playing and recording a multitude of sounds and textures on objects found on the journey.
In recent years, Julian Sartorius has collaborated with numerous musicians including Sophie Hunger, Sylvie Courvoisier, Gyda Valtysdottir, Dimlite, Shahzad Ismaily and Dan Carey. His distinct percussion work is featured on the current albums of Kate Tempest, Matthew Herbert and James Zoo.
Julian Sartorius has toured and performed live in North and South America, Asia and in Europe sharing the bill with artists like Marc Ribot, Deerhoof, Faust, Jaki Liebezeit and Arto Lindsay.

“Pinnannousu” by Jussi ÄNGESLEVÄ + AATB
At the Sapporo International Art Festival 2024 (SIAF 2024)

Exhibition dates:
Work in Progress (public display of art-making process): Jan 20 (Sat) & Jan 21 (Sun)
Exhibition: Jan 27 (Sat) & Jan 28 (Sun)
Documented Exhibition:
Feb 3 (Sat), Feb 4 (Sun), Feb 10 (Sat), Feb 11 (Sun), Feb 12 (Monday/National Holiday)

Pinnannousu was initiated by media artist professor Jussi Ängeslevä, who has a long history of large, site specific artworks using digital fabrication, computational thinking combined with natural materials and processes. Inherently transdisciplinary, the artwork brought together a team of experts from around the world.

Pinnannousu was further developed within the research project at ECAL “A Third Hand”–Creative Applications for Robotics" – initiated by AATB, with researchers AATB, Alain Belet and Martin Hertig. AATB provided the foundation work to machine clear ice, as well as expert knowledge in working with robotic arms. Throughtheir involvement, spectacular, safe and precise ice milling robot was put together to ascertain the feasibility of the work.

Professor Mark Pauly from EPFL’s Geometric Computing Laboratory initially worked on the computation of the ice lens geometry. The final ice geometry were computed by Rayform SA.

* In collaboration with SUPER DOMMUNE, this event will be held as one of the programs to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan.
* In collaboration with SUPER DOMMUNE, this event will be held as one of the programs to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan.

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