(jiří macek) Architect Akihisa Hirata has created a spectral space in which one cannot find the border between the inner and the outer world. Moreover, Takahiro Matsuo filled it with a captivating underwater world full of jellyfish by means of an interactive projection. Thus, it was very difficult for visitors to leave the Canon Neoreal exhibition in the building of Milan Triennial.
The abstract space of Akihisa Hirata is a space without specific borders. Mostly, it is a temple in which the waves represent the vaulted arches of naves. Akihisa Hirata says that he wanted to create a space in which there is no difference between the outside and the inside. He calls this space “an animated knot” and, by means of new architectural structures, has tried to endow architecture with a different meaning other than what solving the design of a building represents. His 3D solution of space is very spatial; thanks to his design, the setting into which one enters frees him or her from common rational perception in order to emphasize intuitive sensory perception – our basic instincts. Thus, the Animated Knot is both a space for further action, a study of the impact of spatial perception, and the opening of new possibilities in the world of architecture. However, the Animated Knot is primarily a space for further action, a space that depended on light, projections, and people from the very start, a space that should evolve by means of interactivity.
One can truly become an explorer of a new world thanks to the Aquatic Colors project by Japanese artist Takahiro Matsuo. The projection is conceived in such a way as to react to one’s immediate motions, absorbing the participant in the action from the beginning. When one comes closer to the wall, jellyfish start to float inside the space. When one starts to circle one’s arms, their number increases. Thus, there are jellyfish shoals floating in space and vanishing depending on how much motion is present. At first look, this seems to be just an amusing technological game; however, it is also creates the possibility of creating new images or discovering new regularities of our behavior towards our surroundings, allowing us to learn from, communicate with, and enter into them. Thanks to the specific architecture of the space, it is an unexpected experience similar to swimming amongst a coral reef.
Aquatic Colours by Takahiro Matsuo and Akihisa Hirata represented the main part of the Canon Neoreal exhibition. However, its second part, entitled O_N_L_I_N_E, created by Canon team of designers, was also interesting. A camera filmed visitors in a white space, transforming their movement into a graphic silhouette with which it operated in many visual settings. Thus, the visitor is continuously inside the space with his or her movement constantly initiating new actions. Thanks to the animation, one becomes a creator of an animated film in which other visitors participate. The action takes place on several levels – between the visitor and his or her image transformed by the animation program, between the visitor and other visitors who have joined the physical animation, and among spectators who have not joined the animation. Paradoxically, one can be changed from a visitor into a creator in an unexpected moment and assume the role of a live actor in a program that presents the latest outputs of Canon’s technological development within a playful form. This was a great presentation of Canon’s interesting corporate philosophy, thanks to which the limits of our imagination and possibilities to develop it are continually shifting.
Aquatic Colors by Akahiro Matsuo, Animated knot by Akihisy Hiraty