Ryota Kuwakubo: extra!

Ryota Kuwakubo is known for making his own electronic devices which have the appearance of low-tech gadgets, such as Bitman (1998), a movie display device using pixels; HeavenSeed (2003), a ball that emits vocal exclamations when thrown, and PLX (2001), a combat game for two players - each providing an experience of becoming immersed in play. Through the creation of alternative toys and games, Kuwakubo constitutes a critique of existing social and communication systems.

Kuwakubo has been expanding his range of activity since 2002 to include software and installations. In newsWatch (software, 2002), the headline characters on multiple Internet news sites are taken apart and appear randomly. In Molecular Syntax (installation, 2004), sentences found through a search are broken down into separate words and letters and recombined and linked; the result is a continuous flow, which also generates inconceivable words. Such works incorporating words are constantly leading the viewer to and fro between meaning and meaninglessness.


In extra!, his new work for FACT, news headlines are automatically printed, and information is experienced through its continuous falling away and accumulation. Headlines detached from their original contexts combine with other headlines as abstract fragments of information, whose source is unidentifiable, like an oracle. It is left up to the individual viewer to decide how to interpret this information.

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