Toshio Iwai keynote at Futuresonic

Toshio Iwai

I've had the pleasure and honor of seeing Toshio Iwai do the keynote lecture at Futuresonic 2006. I don't have a full transcript of his talk, I'm sure many other blogs will cover this in depth. As an inspiration for many years, having only read about his previous work and seen static images, it was fantastic to actually see videos of his older work, truly amazing.

Here is some very badly shot video (photo camera with no lcd screen), I will upload a higher res version soon:

Toshio began talking about his childhood and obvious early inspiration. First he showed books that were bought for him as a young child, one of insects and one about the science of light, sound and heat. At the age of 9 or 10, his mother said he would get no more toys. Instead she gave him materials (paper craft etc) and he started using his imagination to make his own toys and games. Then a video of his first animation was shown, a series of flipbook doodles in the side panel of his school notebooks, ranging from cartoon characters to planets in orbit. Then he began to get technolog into his life, like the hifi, super famicom, music box. At university he made more animated flipbooks, this time generated by computer, printed and then stuck together. One shown was a 3d vector shape animation and another printed from traditional film.

He liked to combine old media with new technologies. His zoetropes were fantastic, the 3D model collaboration with a film maker made my jaw drop. A series of these were created, more detail soon.

On to the musical applications, he discussed how for his moving films he could never compose music through lack of understanding traditional score. A mechanical toy music box allowed him to punch holes in the paper, feed it through to create a tune, making a very visual way of creating sound.

There is much more to write about his keynote and my thoughts, but right now I need to run to the opening party. Expect me to update this post once I get a chance, for now watch the video.

More from Futuresonic. Flickr photos.