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Site and Route
April 13 - April 30, 2018
(Closed on Sat/Sun, except 14/15 April)
Venue: Tana Gallerybookshelf (Kanda, Tokyo)
(The artist will be at the venue on 14/15 April [Sat/Sun], 12:00-20:00)
Tana Gallery Bookshelf is pleased to present Tokyo-based artist Hiroyuki Sakamoto's first solo exhibition "Site and Route," featuring four new pieces of his "line" series. Combining 3D-printing and GPS technology in a unique way, the work offers a systematic yet open-ended method that transforms daily activities and urban fabrics into sculptural objects.
Interested in "drawing uninterrupted and unintended line," and with his designer/architect-oriented mindset, Sakamoto discovered spontaneous mobility in our daily activities and designed a process to source such unrestricted drawing from the inexhaustible moves of others out of his control. Thus named bluntly, his "line" work employs a free GPS service to track people moving for whatever purposes (commuting to work, shopping, etc.) and periods (one day or longer), snapping their inevitably continuous trajectories unconsciously drawn on the map. The resulting unified line alludes to different characteristics of urban environments that afford the vehicle of GPS data to move from one place to another; pedestrian streets and alleys would contribute to relatively frequent turns, while public transport like subways would extend lines and curves traversing remote areas. Further combined with altitude information from another data source, the two-dimensional route becomes a three-dimensional model to be 3D-printed into a tangible object that resembles a convoluted thread.
This working process is designed applicable to any period and scale, and can be output in any size and material as far as technically feasible. The exhibition showcases four pieces that track an entire day of a 37-year old male in Tokyo on four different dates. One may enjoy just tracing their abstract shapes or imagining narratives behind each.
Sakamoto's "line" automates the (potentially mass-)production of unique pieces, each case in a particular form sculpted out of the external world, i.e., an abstraction of a specific series of factualities out there. It simultaneously derives and deviates from the origin, as the end product contains all the factors that have shaped up the form, including the marker's behavioral and psychological characters and even such unreal elements as losses and glitches that distort the data model during data collection and conversion. Thus no longer with any exact reference back in the real, it rather takes up a new ontological standpoint free of the original/derived hierarchy. In its own right, the work reconciles multiple layers of inter-object networks and translates them again into the dynamism of a unique single line, which maintains only metaphorical relationship to the source material realm, except to the singularity of its self-referential entity. Neither fully abstract nor simply representational, nor just expressive of life-world phenomena, this work amplifies a twist in all kinds of map and mapping with varying degrees, that is, the impossibility of undistorted representation, and employs it as a constructive element for new relations between site and non-site in the lineage of site-specific and land art. Also under the minimalist visual aesthetics of Sakamoto's work lies a firm link to the most essential questions of conceptual art, namely its critical approach to the nexus of the ontological and epistemological.
Sakamoto's search for unbroken and unthought drawing successfully evades the trap of his own unconsciousness, rejected as still confined to "habits of my own body," in the absence of which his ludic exploration of others' becomes possible. Replacing his own agency with anonymous others, relocating the act of drawing from a hand on paper to a body situated in urban or greater frameworks, and embodying the otherwise-unreal into real objects, Sakamoto maps out an ambiguity on the periphery of the world as we know, inviting us to revisit it through different routes, scales and layers.
This exhibition is held in association with RESIDENCE ECHANGEUR 22, a Frence-based international residence program that explores the theme of mobility. The program in Tokyo includes local projects to probe various degrees of mobility in broader contexts.
TANA Gallery Bookshelf
TOKYO | KANDA
Chiyoda, Kanda Jinbocho, 2 Chome-20, Daini Fuji Building