LAZNIA 1 2017 Masaki Fujihata. Augmenting the World
Jaskółcza 1, Gdańsk – DOLNE MIASTO
The Opening 19th of  May 6 pm
Exhibition runs from 19th of May to 2ed of July 2017
Curator: Ryszard W.Kluszczyński
Coordination: Jolanta Woszczenko
Counted among the pioneers of interactive art, Masaki Fujihata is one of the most celebrated, innovative and prominent artists who work with media technologies. Early in his career in the 1970s, he made animations, initially using an 8mm film and the stop motion technique. Later, he shifted to video to further investigate visual perception. The morphological explorations of perception that he undertook then revealed his meta-artistic concerns, which have ever since continued to resurface in a variety of forms. At that early stage, Fujihata’s projects addressed visualisation systems and techniques, the status of the image, the relations between technology and expression and new concepts of art emerging at the intersection of artistic practice, technology and science. 
In the following decade, Fujihata turned to computer art. Engaged in computer graphics and animation, he worked also on other digital technologies-based project, such as computer-generated sculptures. It was then that he developed an interest in scanning as a new method of image production and in modelling as a way of synthesising objects and settings. Consequently, his conceptual apparatus for reflecting on art and visual culture was expanded with fresh notions, such as scanning, modelling and texturing. He claimed that, in the visual artist’s toolkit, optics had been supplanted by mathematics. As computer technologies advanced and their applications proliferated, Fujihata plunged himself into the study of time, memory and identity.  
The 1990s saw Fujihata focus on interactive installations. Even his earliest works of this genre sought to immerse the viewers in hybrid worlds of augmented reality (AR) as he explored contemporary forms of human communication in complex and differentiated environments. Besides the AR phenomenon, he was preoccupied with the mobility, networking and locativity of modern media and dedicated to coupling global cyberspace forms with local creative practices. In his works, he integrated augmented reality with geolocation technologies (GPS) and involved several other people in his projects: artists he collaborated with and local communities alike. 
This unique blend of participation, interactivity, hybridity, mobility and locativity is a distinct quality, an added value and a signature of Fujihata’s art, exemplifying cutting-edge artistic attitudes, where aesthetic pursuits amalgamate with cognitive reflection on technologies used in art and their cultural relevance. It is, at the same time, related to the past of new media art, springs from its history and, in this way, bridges the past of technological culture with its currently constructed future.  
Masaki Fujihata’s exhibition AUGMENTING THE WORLD features a selection of his works, bringing together his recent projects and a sample of his earlier art. The picks range from the 1990s installations, such as Impressing Velocity (1992-94) and Beyond Pages (1995-97), to the latest works, such as Voices of Aliveness (2012) and Capture in Half (2016). This selection displays the rootedness of Fujihata’s current designs in his earlier projects, showcasing its trademark dynamic fusion of two tendencies: continuation and development (transcending the earlier forms). The exhibition explores artistic dimensions of the cultural order founded on the emblematic properties of Fujihata’s art, foregrounding first of all interactivity, locativity and hybridity (augmented reality). However, at its core lies augmented reality as a medium, i.e. an artistic technology, and a mode of engaging with reality. That this is the central axis of the exhibition is seen not only in the exhibits as such but also in the structure of the show itself, which puts on display AR-based projects originally designed within this aesthetics (e.g. Capture in Half) side by side with revised versions of earlier works (e.g. Field_Work@Alsace) now framed in an AR form. 
Exploring cultural and artistic effects of technology, AUGMENTING THE WORLD invites the public to experience transgression and negotiate their bearings in the burgeoning and expanding worlds. It offers a journey across a liquid, unstable and constantly mutating hybrid reality. 
Ryszard W. Kluszczynski 
Documentation: Marek Zygmunt
The exhibition will be followed by a book devoted to Masaki Fujihata’s art and the issues it fathoms. Contributions to the volume will be produced by invited new media art scholars – experts on Fujihata’s work.
The exhibition is funded by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Municipal Institution of Culture