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Arts Council Tokyo

“Art as Catalyst” Opens Friday, December 15 2023 Co-Creative Transformation of Tokyo Inspiring creativity and stimulating “diverse interactions”  through art, technology, and design


Press release
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In partnership with Linz (Austria)- based cultural institute Ars Electronica, Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT] operating bodies Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) are holding a pop-up exhibition “Art as Catalyst” at Yurakucho Station’s SusHi Tech Square from Friday, December 15 through Sunday, December 24, 2023.

In 2022, a new creative hub for people, “Civic Creative Base Tokyo[CCBT],” emerged in Shibuya. CCBT is aimed at transforming Tokyo into a better city through creativity and technology, creating ideas towards this goal together with members of the public.
“Art as Catalyst” will explore the relationship between art and innovation through “Ars Electronica Inspiration,” a program introducing citizen-driven creative projects from CCBT partner and world-renowned creative institute Ars Electronica, and through talk sessions with players active in Japan’s creative and startup scene.
Besides their modish aspect, innovations in material and technology catalyzed by artists propose a model for a sustainable co-existential future with a diverse range of people.
What constitutes civic creativity, in which the public explores its creative imagination in society?
What is the role of art in accelerating innovation?
How can we create an economic cycle benefitting society?
From the setting of this place, where we contemplate and envision a sustainable future together, we explore the future of civic creativity.

Exhibition period: Friday, December 15 -Sunday, December 24, 2023
Opening times: Weekdays 11:00am -9:00pm (last admission 8:30pm)
          Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 10:00am -7:00pm (last admission 6:30pm)
Closed: Monday, December 18, 2023
Venue: SusHi Tech Square 1F Space (3-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 〒100-0005)
Admission:  Free
Organizers: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
In partnership with: Ars Electronica
Cooperate with: Austrian Cultural Forum Tokyo, Nikkei Inc.
Official homepage:

<Exhibition “Ars Electronica Inspiration”>
■Yuima Nakazato
A fashion designer. Born in Tokyo in 1985. Yuima founded his epony- mous fashion label in 2009, and has presented his collection at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week as an official guest designer since 2016. He holds an M.A. from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, where his graduate collection earned multiple awards in Europe.

Biosmocking, is a textile-modeling method for creating three-dimensional textures, utilises digital fabrication to precisely control the super contraction property of specially-tailored Brewed ProteinTM textiles, and makes it possible to bring an entirely new sense of depth to garments. Experimentation with numerous prototypes and fabrication techniques have further improved this production process, resulting in the ability to create three-dimensional textures as well as modify the shape of the material itself. By this technology, we can produce garments that fits each individuals, without generating losses in textile.

■Anouk Wipprecht
Dutch based Hi-Tech Fashion Designer and Innovator Anouk Wipprecht. As she is working in the emerging field of "FashionTech"; a rare combination of fashion design combined with engineering, science and interaction/user experience design. Producing an impressive body of tech-enhanced designs bringing together fashion and technology in an unusual way: she creates technological couture; with systems around the body that tend towards artificial intelligence.

This 3D printed dress with embedded screens fosters a tech-mediated connection between the wearer and their surroundings. It's driven by the wearer's subconscious brain signals, captured by an advanced EEG sensor called 'Unicorn Headband' in collaboration with g.tec that forms a wearable brain-computer interface. Machine learning gauges the wearer's mental workload and visualizes it on six circular displays on the dress's neckpiece. As the workload intensifies, the displays simulate dilating eyes, creating an otherworldly effect.

“Ars Electronica Inspiration” Planning Team
・Hideaki Ogawa(Creative Director of CCBT/ Co-Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab)
・Kyoko Kunoh(Ambassador of Ars Electronica)
・Denise Hirtenfelder(Researcher at Ars Electronica Futurelab)

<Workshop[Admission Free/ Advance registration is required]>
This program offers card games inspiring innovation, and workshops for making things which stimulate creativity.

Bridge 2040 is a quick card game as bridge into the future. Players are encouraged to tell innovative stories about diverse characters in the year 2040. They encounter various trends, artworks and questions relating to society, economy, technology, urban planning, climate change, health, etc. The game was developed to connect different generations. Now it has evolved further, also being used as an innovators workshop celebrating its premiere in Japan during the Art as Catalyst event.

Date and time: Friday, December 15, 7:00pm-8:15pm
Eligibility: High school age and over
Facilitators: Denise Hirtenfelder and Kyoko Kunoh
Capacity: 20 persons *Advance registration required. First come, first served
Application Period: Wednesday, December 13
*This workshop will be conducted in Japanese.

【All Bridge 2040 creators】
In the beginning of 2023, the Futurelab members Peter Haider, Denise Hirtenfelder, Nicolas Naveau and Maria Pfeifer joined forces to realize their idea for Bridge 2040 as part of the Futurelab Ideas Expedition. The Ideas Expedition takes place as an annual company internal competition and honors two winning projects by employees. The four diverse creators share their vision that in future there must be more inclusion for intergenerational groups in debates on future topics.

■Make Your Own Board Games
Try your hand at making a one-of-a-kind game by combining waste materials from small factories in Sumida-ku, such as wood, paper, cloth, leather, and plastic, with your unrestricted imagination.
Board or table-top games come in many varieties: maze games, strategy games, memory games, guessing games, puzzles, battle games, balance games and more, with new games still continuously being created.
By making an board game in this workshop, participants will experience procedures important to creation such as research, analysis, brainstorming, and prototyping. They will also experience the pleasure of producing something with their hands which they have come up with themselves.

Dates: Saturday, December 16, 1:00pm – 5:00pm / Sunday, December 17, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Eligibility: Elementary school students Grades 3 through 6
Planning and implementation: Asobi Daigaku (“Play University”) (Chance For All, SSK, Seki Design Lab., Chiba University Environmental Design Lab.)
Cooperate with: Chiyoda City Education Board
Capacity: 20 persons per session *Advance registration required. First come, first served
Application Period: Wednesday, December 13
*This workshop will be conducted in Japanese.

【Asobi Daigaku (“Play University”)】
This workshop is operated by four organizations. Chance For All creates after-school care and other inclusive environments for children with the aim of creating a society where everyone can live happily, regardless of the family or environment in which they were born and raised. SSK creates opportunities for children to have experiences that differ from everyday life. Seki Design Lab. opens its design office to the public as a form of “terakoya” (a public educational institute in the tradition of the terakoya “temple school”), providing an opportunity for children to immerse themselves in play and the things that interest them. Chiba University Environmental Design Lab. conducts research into the design of play environments in which children can play independently and freely.

<Talk Session[Admission Free/ Capacity: 40 persons per session/ First come, first served]>
Artists and creative x start-up players will hold a talk session to consider the relationship between art and innovation and explore civic creativity together.

■       Artist Talk: Anouk Wipprecht
*Japanese-English consecutive interpretation available
・Date & Time: Friday, December 15, 11:00am-12:00pm
・Speakers: Anouk Wipprecht (Hi-Tech Fashion Designer),
Hideaki Ogawa (Creative Director of CCBT/ Co-Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab)
Anouk Wipprecht creates an experience of fashion that fuses with the latest technology and transcends mere appearance. She talks about the background to the creation of the SCREENDRESS featured in this exhibition, the process of creating it, its mechanisms, and more.

■       “Ars Electronica Inspiration” Gallery Tour
*Japanese-English consecutive interpretation available
・Date & Time: Saturday, December 16, 5:30pm-6:30pm
・Speakers: Kyoko Kunoh (Ambassador of Ars Electronica),
Denise Hirtenfelder (Researcher at Ars Electronica Futurelab)
“Ars Electronica Inspiration” Planning Team members Kyoko Kunoh and Denise Hirtenfelder join visitors in a tour of the event space, discussing exhibition highlights and points of interest in the works.

■       Round Table|The Potential of Art University Startups
・Date & Time: Tuesday, December 19, 7:00pm-8:30pm
・Speakers: Akiou Kato (CEKAI Corp.),
Hayakawa Gomi (UTSUWA, Inc.),
Takashi Yokoishi (&Co.,Ltd.)
・Moderator: Arisa Watanabe (Startbahn, Inc.)
・Planning and implementation: Startbahn, Inc.
In recent years, expectations have been rising for startups by art university graduates, but few such players have materialized. What expectations does society place on entrepreneurs with backgrounds as artists? Some super-rare start-up entrepreneurs with art university backgrounds ponder the current landscape and share their experiences.

■       Art that inspires innovation
・Date & Time: Wednesday, December 20, 5:30pm-7:00pm
・Speakers: Asako Tomura (Sony Group Corporation),
Hanna Saito (Contemporary Artist),
Seiichi Saito (Panoramatiks Principal),
Hideaki Ogawa (Creative Director of CCBT/ Co-Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab)
How do artists who inspire creativity and stimulate “diverse interactions” through art, technology, and design spur on innovation?
Conversely, what sort of impact does social innovation have on art?
In this talk we explore the relationship between art and innovation with a range of guests active on the frontlines of their respective fields.

■       Artist Cross Talk: Yuima Nakazato
・Date & Time: Thursday, December 21, 3:00pm-4:30pm
・Speakers: Yuima Nakazato(Fashion Designer),
Kazuhide Sekiyama (Spiber Inc.)
・Moderator: Kyoko Kunoh (Ambassador of Ars Electronica)
The Spiber Inc.-developed fiber Brewed Protein™️ is indispensable to Yuima Nakazato’s unique Biosmocking technology. Exhibiting artist Nakazato joins Spiber Director and Representative Executive Officer Kazuhide Sekiyama to discuss the trajectory of innovation: from how the two met, to behind-the-scenes stories of Biosmocking’s development and the failures involved, as well as prospects for the future.

■       The future of creativity x startups
・Date & Time: Friday, December 22, 5:00pm-6:00pm
・Speakers: Nayu Kakeya (Artist), Taihei Shii (Startbahn, Inc.)
・Planning and implementation: Startbahn, Inc.
There is great potential in the use of startups to bring about innovation in the artistic and creative fields. And these activities bring new impetus to start-up businesses. We hear about challenges to date and prospects for the future from our guest, TOKYO STARTUP GATEWAY 2019 finalist, Nayu Kakeya.

■       From Creativity to creativities: Lessons from the Pluriverse
*Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation available
・Date & Time: Friday, December 22, 7:00pm-8:30pm
・Speaker: Betti Marenko (Transdisciplinary Theorist)
Can rethinking creativity help us face the turbulence, volatility and uncertainty of today’s society? What kind of creativity is needed in the 21st century? In this lecture, speaker Betti Marenko discusses the importance of shifting Creativity in the singular to a plural, multidimensional, situational, and inclusive creativity that also encompasses non-humans, drawing on events in the recent history of Western creativity.

*Please note program details are subject to change.
*Official photographers and news media will be taking photos and making video recordings inside the venue.
Please note visitors may appear in the ensuing photographs and video footage.

<About Ars Electronica>
Ars Electronica is a creative center for art and advanced technology founded by the city of Linz, Austria. For more than 40 years, Ars Electronica has hosted the world's largest annual media arts festival, the Ars Electronica Festival. They have also established “Futurelab,” a center for research on the future of art and technology in collaboration with businesses, government, cultural, educational, and research institutions. It also includes the Ars Electronica Center, known as the “museum and school of the future,” and the Prix Ars Electronica, which is the world’s longest running international media arts competition.

<About CCBT>
Civic Creative Base Tokyo [CCBT] opened its doors in October 2022 in Shibuya, Tokyo as a hub for the public to explore their “civic-creative” imaginations through art and digital technology. As a lab to realize and popularize this “civic creativity,” CCBT hosts projects and events in tandem with its experts and collaborators in the fields of art, design, and technology. Through its five core programs––Meetup, Workshop, Art Incubation, Camp, and Showcase––CCBT aims to become the driving force of innovation that is generated from Tokyo.


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