NEWS

Featured on TV Bros. , Feb 29, 2012

世界を「電脳化」するウルトラテクノロジスト集団チームラボ代表・猪子寿之


2012年の今、時代はインターネットをはじめとした情報化社会に突入して久しい。そんな日進月歩で変容を続ける世界を飄々と飛び回り、デジタルを駆使した技術とセンスで“おもしろおかしく”世の既成概念を破壊する集団がチームラボであり、代表の猪子寿之その人だ。彼が今なにを考え、なにを試みているのか。彼の目に映る景色を少しでも共有すべく、前日に引越しを終えたばかりだという、東京・本郷にある新オフィスを訪ねた。

Featured on Numero TOKYO, Apr, 2012

「東京カルチャーランド」個人の想い×ソーシャルな連想で捗る未来! チームラボ社長・猪子寿之インタビュー

中学生にして「日本を再生しろ」という電波を受信し、東大在学中に“ウルトラテクノロジスト集団”チームラボを設立、『朝生』出演など、型破りの言動で注目を集める異才——猪子寿之。先のまた先を行くその目に映る、東京カルチャーの趨勢とは?

Featured on GQ, Apr, 2012

ジャパン・アズ・ナンバーワン日本的って? 「これからのジャパン異論正論暴論(?)篇」  

日本のバブル崩壊後に青春時代を送る団塊ジュニア世代は、「ジャパン・アズ・ナンバーワン」をどうとらえているのか?インターネット時代のいまだからこそ、チャンスがある!むしろ、日本は圧倒的に有利だ!! と若手論客ふたりが語るその理由とは?

Featured on B-maga, Feb, 2011

福田淳のメディア業界“カリスマ”対談シリーズ

The structure of happiness is “literally simple.” The last interview of the series for meeting people who making news among the media industry, hosted by Fukuda Jyun from SONY marketing. Thus far, many prominent guests have appeared to this interview series as following; 1st guest was Suzuki Makoto, the president of Niwango, Inc. (well known for Nico Nico Douga, a popular video sharing website), 2nd guest was Takiyama Masao, the president of Animax Broadcasting Japan, Inc., and 3rd guest was Shigemura Hajime, the president of Nippon Television Network Corporation. Therefore, editors were sorely perplexed to choose the last person to invite. They remembered their underside mission:”take a look in succeeders’ mind.” Then decide inviting a man who we’re interested to hear his account. That is Inoko Toshiyuki, the president of teamLab co. a group of Ultra Technologists that have been active in Hongo, Tokyo.
 teamLab’s work includes: the planning and developing of; “iza”a news portal site; an original “interesting and amusing algorithm” for collecting information to be shown on teamLabs “Sagool” search engine; “Flower and Corpse” an artwork for the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France at the Kansai exhibition in Paris; 3D computer graphic animations; and a wide variety of art and technology works.
 Atsushi Fukuda writes of Inoko Toshiyuki; “Inoko Toshiyuki is a young charismatic genius who from childhood has a picked up the “signals” to revive Japan. From a point of ingenuity, from the simple enjoyment of making something, or even to his theory of TV playback, Inoko is able to find opportunity for entrepreneurship”. My dream no to become an adult has come true!?Fukuda(F): Guest for the last interview is Inoko Toshiyuki, CEO of teamLab co. According to B-maga editors, Mr.Inoko appeared in the TV program which invites young entrepreneurs as panel of experts called “Asa Made NamaTV” in 2010, and became famous right after that. Also I’ve heard that since you appeared in the same program again on New Year’s Day, you’ve been asked for many sessions and interviews. If you say frankly, why do you think that people pay attention to you?Inoko(I): I don’t know much about that….but it maybe because I’m like some sort of dead air or something.Everyone: (Laugh)F: This is not our first meeting, but since I’ve hear that you are from Tokushima, I found something congenial with you. I’m from Osaka, so I thought “it’s close.”I: Yeah, I understand that feeling. People in Tokushima, they all think that they are part of Kansai area. Because the weather forecast of Tokushima is displayed in TV with Kansai, and we are connected with Hyogo by land.F: Are your parents both from Tokushima?I: Yes.F: I know it can’t be said definitely, but how do you see the regional characteristics of Tokushima?I: Hmmm….Maybe they have many strange (different) people.F: Are you also the one of those different people, since you were kid?I: I was a kind of nihilist, a kid with no dreams, like wanted to be nothing particular. I didn’t really want to become an adult at all. I had so much fun in each day, but hate having “tomorrow.”
 When I was in elementary school, I made a list called “Things I get in trouble if I die.” I wrote the list not because I wanted to die, but to get the “want to live” feeling. Then I added the list things I would be stumped if I die, like “Mom gets sad” or something similar. But I realized that I wouldn’t know whether my mom gets sad or not after I die, because I’m already dead. So I scratched off the sentence. Kept erasing those things and sentence that has been left at the end was:”I want to know the next story of Dragon Ball.”F: Haha, you only care about the Dragon Ball which has been serialized in weekly comic magazine Jump then. How realist you were! But things you’ve said first that you didn’t want to become an adult, seems like it came true, isn’t it?I: What is that supposed to mean?!F: In a good way, I mean (Laugh). Because you’ve build office like a kid’s hideout in such a quiet district of Hongo, and set some video game at the reception area. It was quite surprising though.Editors: You play the game to call for people in the office, right?F: Really? I thought I have to win the game if I want to enter the office (laugh). Received a message saying:“Regenerate Japan.” And so start to run business.F: Anyway, Mr Inoko, you established teamLab when you graduated University of Tokyo in 2001, from the Department of Mathematical Engineering and Information Physics (Faculty of Engineering), with 5 other members. Why you choose to start-up the company instead of finding employment?I: I often talk about this story…..When I was a junior-high school student I received a electronic message (Dempa). It’s not a metaphor, but really the message saying:”Regenerate Japan.”F: The time should be when the Dot-com bubble bursts, right? Was it like, one day you got the idea that come from out the blue?I: No, I felt it rather longer. It was flabby as it sounds something like “Deeeemm.” I majored in science so I couldn’t understand and so freaked out with such unscientific phenomena. I had no choice but to obey the voice.
 Later, in 1996, right before I enter the university, first time I heard about the internet and connected to PC. I was absolutely shocked with it. Remember thinking: wow, this is amazing. For the first time in human history, people have the power to freely receive and transmit information to and from all over the world, moreover, it’s cheap.
 Originally, people’s interests and thoughts are different in various ways, so that one’s values definitely differ from others’. Users can make their own choice for information by the internet, and people are able to receive the core information about anything from all over the world. I thought the event brings historical change and transform the whole society, to such a happy age.F: And society rapidly transformed to the information-age.I: I want to clarify that technology and cultures are the essential element for the national strength. Especially Japan, a country with meager resources, we absolutely depended on those two elements. However, the industry construction have changed by appears of the internet, so we have to start from zero again. In that respect, what is the most important thing? Of course, technology and culture are. The words are the same as before but they mean totally different, because all types of technology will change. We can’t use the same old techniques and ideas.
 At the same time, when I graduated from University, I couldn’t find the company that takes role for both technology and culture. Therefore I decided to get involved to both technology and culture in the digital domain, establish the company where is able to make experiment of technology and creativity. I still had the ideological threats by Dempa, and I also thought it would be wonderful if new culture and creation could emerge from Japan.F: How did you implicate your friends to start up the company?I: I didn’t really implicate them but kind of cheating (laugh). We have to start with situation of no money and no connections, so couldn’t pay much. But if you are student, money is not really a big matter so I thought they won’t realize the inconvenient (laugh). For me, starting business was not a dream but an obligation. And I wanted to make the process of job more exciting and enjoyable, so I considered carefully then figures out the most exciting things; share the process of achieving a certain aim with people I like. Don’t you think the structure of happiness is literally simple?
 Now a day, mobile media is making a big hit. This was in-expectable in former days, but this kind of reversal phenomenon will keep happening from now on. I believe there are still chances for small personal media, and want to produce a work which is like the mobile content that follows by movies, TV, and magazines. Change the restrictive mood to the tolerant messages by the potential of TV powerF: For last topic, this magazine is a trade magazine for people who work at multi-channel industry, communication industry, and internet industry, so I want ask Mr.Inoko about the future of TV. Recently, it is said that young people are leaving TV behind, and using mobile and internet instead. Why do you think so?I: At time that TV was the king of media, when some interesting content comes out, small number of people enthusiastically supported the content and they lead it to others. Then the content expand to mass, stimulate the market and such circumstance was producing a big hit. However, those small number of people’s interests moved to internet which is more free and capable to provide core information. As a result, even one interesting TV program has produced it disappears before it reaches market. Therefore the content with all marks average but nothing outstanding has been increased recently.
 For another reason, I would like to mention that the society became restrictiveness. First, when we consider about the process of creating unique culture before global age, one unique thought produced unique sense of beauty and law. Then the unique law helps to create the unique culture. However, after global age, society enforces the global ethical view on people and people started to commit self restraints because they don’t want to break the lines or be bullying by others. Intolerance of society derives the freedom of expression.F: I see. Society with intolerance nip off their own buds and people commit self restraints to avoid getting trouble. Then TV, once the head of mass entertainment, becomes boring that young people stop it. TV broadcasting companies are explaining YouTube, NicoNicoDouga, and Ustream as “video sharing site”, as they are taking things too easy, but in terms of people’s time spent for TV, those websites are obviously deprive a lot time from TV. As Mr.Inoko said, diversification of people’s interests and thoughts is clear. However, TV broadcasting companies misunderstand that their media is the one users demand the most.I: Still, TV industry has the enormous brand power and highly capable human resources. Therefore, the important points are; 1. Unbending will of producers for keeping create new entertainment. 2. Providing opportunity for those producers. To say further, I believe it is possible to change the society’s restrictive mood to the tolerant messages by the potential of TV powers. That will unchain the creation possibility and there will be a lot of chances to improve for TV industry……Am I talk big too much?F: No, not at all. It’s very suggestive opinion. It is easy to say things about merging of broadcasting and communications, people hardly find the specific business pivot. From Mr.Inoko’s opinion, we may find some clue for the business and new possibility of visual expression in internet-age. Above all, Mr.Inoko tells us to remember the very first place that producers and designers should have fun if they want customers to enjoy the amusement tools.
 It was my pleasure talking with you. Thank you very much.

Featured on Gigazine, Jan 17, 2016

メイドカフェとテクノロジーが完全融合しすぎて2次元と3次元の壁を突破した「MaiDreamin(めいどりーみん) なんば店」

メイドカフェとテクノロジーが完全融合しすぎて2次元と3次元の壁を突破した「MaiDreamin(めいどりーみん) なんば店」「メイドさんは、マンガやアニメ、ゲームのようなコンテンツから出てきたもの。だったら、空間も、『ゲームの中のような世界』にしたい。それが今回のデザインのコンセプトです。(本文抜粋)

Featured on BRUTUS, Dec 15, 2011

自分の仲間はどう選ぶか?

あなたには、心から信頼できる仲間はいるだろうか。それは「助けて」と素直に伝え合える相手、互いの「夢」を共有できる相手だ。口に出すのが気恥ずかしい夢でも、それを「旗」に掲げてしまえば、仲間は見つかる。『ワンピース』の大ファンである猪子氏と、同作品の深いメッセージを拾い上げる安田氏が、今必要な「仲間力」を語った。

Featured on Netorabo, Nov 28, 2011

メイド喫茶が電脳化! デジタルとリアルのメイドがお迎えします

電脳と萌えの世界へようこそ、ご主人様――メイド喫茶「電脳喫茶☆電脳酒場『めいどりーみん』」が12月6日、東京都渋谷区にオープンする。サイネージに住む萌えキャラが店内の状況に合わせて動き出すなど、店内にさまざまな「電脳仕掛け」を施しているのが特徴だ。(Excerpt from the text)

Featured on International Symposium of Seoul Art Space GEUMCHEON, Oct 2011

An information society, Technology, Design, Art, Culture, and Industry 

Making the borders between Technology, Art, and Design more Ambiguous.  Before the information age, technology, design and art were clearly divided areas. However, the border has become blurred within the digital domain. For example, if we look at the interface of an I phone, it is difficult to define which parts are programming and which are the designer’s work. It turns out that both technology and design are concerned with the processing and relaying of information.
 Before digitalization it was necessary to have a physical substance for information to be transmitted through design or art. The situation changed with the digital age when information was released from the confines of having to be mediated through a physical substance, which in-turn necessitated the boundaries of design, art and technology. 
 In the information society people tend to become expert in one particular field and therefore it has become harder to create art on an individual basis, this is why TEAMLAB utilizes the skills of a group of artists and technicians. [1] Competitive superiority = Region highly dependent on culture
 In informational society, another change has been taking place. The common speed which is verbalized domain becomes too fast. Therefore the region is no more the necessary condition in order to have an advantage in the competition. Before the information society, in case of iron-making technology, technological gap is caused by the country. But the technological gap has been reduced IT can logicalize and verbalize. 
 However in domain where is highly depending on culture, can not explain verbally; for example, in domain such as “Cool, nice, interesting”. This methodology is difficult to share. We think that really is where the advantage of developed countries. The differences are much more in region where heavily dependent on culture. As a result, it leads to competitive force. 
 In other word, we believe that the industry which rebuilds the region highly depended on culture with technology, and the developed countries with social infrastructure can get by in the world. In the informational society, a change has been taking place. The speed at which the verbalized world can be shared has increased so dramatically that competition for a particular geopgraphical area is no longer an advantage. Before the information society, in the case of iron-making technology, a technological gap was caused by the country. But the technological gap has been reduced by IT’s ability to logicalize and verbalize.[2]
Japanese Culture and Japanese Spatial Recognition So what is Japanese culture? What is behind Japanese culture? How do we grasp culture? How do we take in, understand and see the world? 
At TEAMLAB we believe that we may be able to find answers to some of these questions through making art and through the creative process. 
 Before the introduction of Western culture, the late Edo period (late 19th Century), Japan was a closed country to foreign commerce. During that time it is possible that people had a different way of seeing the world. Japanese painting lacked Western Perspective, and because of this it is often said that Japanese painting is flat. However, we propose that Japanese ancestors saw the world exactly as it is depicted in a classic Japanese print. When they looked at a Japanese painting they were able to see or feel the space in the painting, just as we see space and depth information in a modern day photograph. Considering this we at TEAMLAB began to wonder if Japanese didn’t have a different logic of space recognition to Western perspective.
TEAMLAB video production  TEAMLAB has made a number of video works that attempt to recreate the recognition of space of our Japanese ancestors’ in 3 dimensions. We hope that in the process we may be able to discover a new mode of expression. 
 Example; the installation movie 100 YEARS SEA -Animation Diorama- [3]
 This work was created in a three dimensional computer space and the motion of the waves was computer generated.  Then we converted the animation so that it could be visualized inline with our ideas concerning Japanese spatial recognition – the hypothesis that, Japanese painting was founded on a different logic of spatial awareness to that of perspective.
 Producing video works using Japanese spatial awareness has advantages over perspective [4]. For example, the middle of a movie theater is often considered the best place to view the movie, the visual experience becoming impaired with distance from the screen. However, using Japanese spatial awareness, there is no focal point and there is no need to identify with the location of the viewers. Therefore, the viewers can freely walk around the exhibition space. 
 In addition it is not necessary to use a flat surface on which to project the image. In the case of the installation of “100 Years Sea”, the work was exhibited on screens that were at 90 degrees to each other without damaging the installation experience. Perhaps this can be understood in relation to the tradition of painting on Japanese folding screens. The work, ”Life survives by the power of life” [5] was exhibited as part of  TEAMLAB’s “Live!” exhibition at Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei in April of 2011, at the 54th “Future Pass” Venice Biennale, Hong Kong’s art fair “ART HK”, and “VOLTA” Basel, Switzerland. This work also uses the concept of Japanese spatial recognition. When shown as a still image the work appears flat, just as a Japanese print, but during playback it appears to occupy a 3 dimensional space.
Japanese Subjective Space Description which supports “Narikiri” (Entering a Picture, or Visualizing a Picture from inside it) Western perspective is drawn from the view point of the artist and recognition of space can be thought of as fan-like. If you were to try to see the view as if you were in the picture, narikiri, then what you see would change. (In the case of a portrait painting the person in the picture would look back at the artist or viewer / figure A) 
 However, the concept of the observing point in Yamato-e (Japanese painting) is weak, and the grasp of space is very different from that of perspective. If I draw a picture from the observation point of the person who is depicted in a Japanese painting, then the recognition of the space would almost be the same. [6]
 As mentioned above let’s assume that you are able to see the world as an ancient Japanese saw and recognized the world, as in Japanese paintings, and that you enter into a yamato-e picture. Unlike with a perspective painting the picture doesn’t change. Even though you become the character in the picture while viewing the picture, you can still keep watching it (Figure B). In the video game “Dragon Quest”, the players enter into the character whilst watching and playing the game. It gives them enjoyment because they enter into the world of the character and experience the picture the world of Dragon Quest as if they were in it. That is the spatial representation of “Dragon Quest (Figure C) [7]. However, as mentioned above, with Western perspective a person cannot enter the picture in the same way. Therefore the player of the game only sees details like the hand, handle, and cockpit of the airplane. Japanese spatial recognition supports the notion of “pretend” and its recognition is highly subjective. This subjective awareness goes together well with the information society.

We believe that in the future when new industries emerge, if the industry and culture fit together well, then the strengths of the culture will be preserved for the benefit of the whole world.
 [1] We at TEAMLAB create teams of specialist among various fields who are able to transcend the boundaries of their own field of research. We attach importance to utilizing the discoveries that are made during the creative process for future projects.[2] We are Japanese and the topic is based on Japan, but it might share something in common with South East Asia.
[3] 100 YEARS SEA -Animation Diorama- TEAMLAB, 2009, Animation Installation, 10min 00sec(19m 200mm × 2m 400mm) & 100 years(16:9 × 5) *2 versions, sound: Hideaki Takahashi
[4] There are also disadvantages. Objective and physical size information is lost.
[5] Life survives by the power of life
[6] Some people would consider this idea ridiculous. However, perspective is also unnatural. The focus of the human eye is very narrow. The human eye does not clearly see detail like that of photographs and paintings of the Mona Lisa. The eye moves rapidly and the focus changes along the timeline. Information is synthesized along a narrow and shallow range of focus in the brain; the image just looks like a picture in perspective. That eye continuously takes thousands of photographs and synthesizes large numbers of pictures with a certain law in the brain to recognize the spatial perspective.
[7] The method of expression of Japanese art fits well with game contents in which the main character is manipulated interactively. We believe that the Japanese game industry achieved much success due to utilizing the strengths of Japanese art representation.