Geidai x VCA

“Do my feet touch the ground 2.0”

Revised plan after the travel restrictions related to the corona outbreak have made it impossible to realize the original Plan.

A permanently available global digital network has significantly changed our communication patterns. The corona pandemic has accelerated this development. While every individual connected through the network is experiencing the effects of this media revolution, there are wider implications to be considered.

Centered on the concept of Industry 4.0, a decentralized and sustainable future for the production of goods is being envisioned .The shifting paradigms of a digital society that sends data instead of objects will impact the future of fine arts too. While the concept of the nature of an art work has expanded well beyond the physical, the materialization of the artist’s vision still forms a defining step in the creation of art. Traditionally this process required the hand of the artist and a specific skill set. While the division of labor is known throughout art history, a belief in the Genius and the Aura has connected the creation of value within the economic logic of art since modernism. The subsequent promotion of a narrative of authenticity and rarity has been positioned in an economic environment defined by the alienation between product and labor.

In a postindustrial economy where the outsourcing of labor is destined to come to an end and environmental considerations and sustainability are factored in the economic process, a reevaluation and redefinition of the concept of creation and production is needed.

This project originated in the collaboration of printmaking departments of the University of the Arts in Tokyo (Geidai) and The University of Melbourne’s  Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). The collaboration started with a focus on the shared skills and the understanding of artistic worlds  that experience similar obstacles in the production process. This process oriented partnership has evolved over the years and become a platform that enables cross-cultural discourse embedded in explorations of conceptual constructs 

Print as a medium moved from being an artist driven invention to become the foremost technology for reproduction of visual material. As a genre it reacted to the industrialization of the process with an emphasis on the rare and handmade original, claiming the idea of the “aura“ as justification.

The separation of the print industry and printmaking has created a technological and a conceptual divide that affected also the perception of print as the first and most innovative medium for artists.

The restriction to travel created by the pandemic and the remerging strategies of a post-industrial economy that separates conceptualization and design from the production and renders transport of products obsolete provides a chance to explore these possibilities for the artistic practice.

Questions of authenticity, originality, and ownership, as well as the discussion of empowerment through shared access to information and productive means will move into the focus of the collaboration project. 

Together with Cassie Mizuno a researcher of creativity and founding member of the exchange between VCA and Geidai and the support of artists like WillimannArai who in their own practice made intercultural , international collaboration a topic by obscuring the boundaries and definitions of the individual and through the introduction of a shared identity, we aim to bring artists from Tokyo and Melbourne together to explore new options for materialization of artistic concepts and ideas. Together we aim to test the realization of art work that is based on the new paradigm, that defines production as subset of communication.

The opportunity to have two exhibitions based on the same set of instructions will allow different approaches of creation to be put to the test.