Mika Tajima - Emotion Commune
Exhibition runs: May 28 – July 2, 2016
Protocinema presents Mika Tajima’s new real-time light installation, Emotion Commune, 2016, with transparent paintings and live data stream. In this exhibition, Tajima examines how technologies that were developed to control and affect the body now integrate our senses to coproduce our lived space.
Tajima’s recent work examines the imaging of bodily activities through different material forms, including woven textiles and sculpture. Her ‘Meridian’ mood light sculpture series focuses particularly on ambient techniques that shape our embodied experience of space and time in a built environment such as an exhibition space, workplace, or city.
Comprised of a globally networked lighting system, the light installation will illuminate the entire storefront of Protocinema at İMÇ han, creating a visualization of distant sensing bodies. The color of the lights respond in real time to the aggregate sentiment of citizens in New Songdo City, a new master plan “smart city’ in South Korea, 5,000 miles away, considered to be a template for urban futurity in which the entire environment is embedded with computational technologies that provide urban management and regulation.
In this iteration of the “Meridian” light works, Tajima uses Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” lights that draw on this environmental technology, connecting the exhibition space as an appliance — one that emits vibrant and shifting colored light to create different affective zones within the environs of the İMÇ, Istanbul Textile Traders Market. The installation employs language processing technology that uses computer algorithms to interpret data scraped from thousands of Twitter feeds per second using software to detect human emotion. Within smart technology, diffused productive life energies and activities of individuals are processed as information to be scraped and decoded.
A video screen in the installation displays a live twitter feed from New Songdo City, showing the input of shared observations, thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and perceptions of individuals. Included in the installation are three new spray enameled paintings: Furniture Art (New Songdo City), Furniture Art (Belo Horizonte), Furniture Art (Accra). Each work invokes three different cities that have adopted smart environmental technology that integrates urban citizens as sensing nodes in its computational infrastructure.
The installation underlines the entanglement of our embodied senses with a global network system that seeks to maximize ‘quality of life’ through computational means. The imperative to optimize flows of matter, energy and information in a city requires a deep technological integration of city with the anatomo-politics of the human body to create a space that is connected, distributed, and flexible for capital accumulation. The pursuit of quality of life is at the expense of different possible ways of life.
In 2015, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality created a smart city initiative by joining an international consortium of state and corporate entities to integrate technologies that seek to streamline city operations for citizens and enhance crisis and disaster management including civil unrest. "We are facing the emergence of a real, collective madness reinforced by the synchronization of emotions: the sudden globalization of affects in real time that hits all of humanity at the same time, …" Paul Virilio, The Administration of Fear, 2012. This exhibition is accompanied by a citywide poster campaign featuringEmotion Commune as ambient and graphical text.
Mika Tajima, 1975, Los Angeles and currently lives and works in New York. She was educated at Bryn Mawr College (BA) and Columbia University (MFA). Selected solo shows include Embody (11R, NY), Human Synth (Taro Nasu, Tokyo), Total Body Conditioning (Art in General, NY), Negative Entropy (11R, NY), The Extras (X Initiative), and The Double (Kitchen, NY). She has exhibited widely in the US and internationally, including exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; South London Gallery; Whitney Museum of American Art; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; CCS Bard Galleries and the Hessel Museum of Art; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; The Seattle Art Museum, WA; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; and SculptureCenter, NY. Tajima’s forthcoming solo exhibition at SculptureCenter Public Process new commission opens June 9, 2016; participating in the forthcoming Gwangju Biennale, Sept. 2016.
Special Thanks to 11R Gallery, New York; Taro Nasu, Tokyo; Eric Tsai; 5533 artist-run space; Nancy Atakan and Volkan Aslan; James Lavander.
Protocinema is a mission driven, 501(c)3, art organization realizing site-aware exhibitions around the world. The organization is itinerant and free of 'brick and mortar'. Protocinema seeks to open up dialogue and improve mutual understanding between individuals through art. Founded in 2011 by Mari Spirito.