Making Connections

Tokyo's NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC) is a cultural facility opened ten years ago, in commemoration of one-hundred years of telephone service in Japan. All of ICC's programs focus on themes of communication, and strive to put artists, technologists, scientists, and other thinkers in conversation to address the status of life and creativity in networked society. After a recent temporary closure, this important center has recently re-opened, with the exhibition The Connecting Worlds. The word 'Worlds' means many things in this context, from the intellectual spheres of different researchers' worlds to politico-geaographical worlds, to the worlds of sensation and representation. The show includes twelve international artists and collectives, both 'established' and emerging, from various strains of practice. These include ambientTV.NET, Wayne Clements, exonemo, Fischli & Weiss, Muntadas, and Dennis Oppenheim, among others. Exhibition curator Yukiko Shikata says that the 'show raises--from the horizons of art and programming--practical alternative possibilities of various phases of communication that we currently see around us,' by featuring works that 'take a unique step into contemporary networks, politics, economies, physiology, or urban environments by manipulating sound, games, the Internet, or other media as well as foreseeing artwork created in the past.' Speaking of the limitations of time and space, The Connecting Worlds makes good use of the World Wide Web by archiving summits and artist talks related to the show and providing web-based interfaces for some of the works. Those able to visit Tokyo can see the installations through November 26th. - Irene Wu