Connected Ink is an event that explores new directions in art, human expression, learning, and the technologies that support them.
What is creative chaos? The quest to find answers began with Connected Ink 2020. Continuing the search, Connected Ink 2021 opened with a new question: "What will come out of creative chaos?”. This time around the topic of the “universe" served as a platform for the creators and audience to explore the question on an even deeper level. Here’s a look back at the opening and finale of the nearly 70 sessions held that day and reflect upon what has happened since Connected Ink 2021.
Opening: https://youtu.be/GUDW7ZNuIB8 (Connected Ink YouTube channel)
Finale: https://youtu.be/P8RM0hlcQs8 (Connected Ink YouTube channel)
Matter and Antimatter
The stars and life in the universe are made up of matter composed of particles, the smallest unit of matter being the subatomic particle. But where there’s a positive, there’s also a negative. And in this case, it is a substance called antimatter which is made up of antiparticles. It is said that particles and antiparticles exist in pairs, and when they meet, they nullify each other and then disappear.
About 13.8 billion years ago, when the Big Bang occurred, which is said to be the beginning of the universe, matter and antimatter existed in about the same amount, but somehow only antimatter disappeared. This collision of matter and antimatter is incorporated into the performance by IMPALA and NORA, along with the relationship between the universe and human beings.
The Sound of the Universe
The sound of the universe, which shows up as a key element in the opening and finale, was created by a space sound team of scientists and artists. Various subatomic particles are constantly pouring down from the universe, passing through our bodies as they exist. One of these subatomic particles, the cosmic ray muons, was connected to wind chimes. The signals from space were received in near real-time and converted into sound which was expressed as the sound of space on stage. Adding yet another cosmic element to the experience were the signals picked up from satellites observing the sun. The sound of the solar wind was then played to amplify the soundscape.
Direct Connection between Time and the Universe
The sound of the universe was used as a medium to directly connect time and the universe from one scene to another. In the opening, wind chimes were used as a cue to show a video of Satoru Kobayashi, an artist at the Rumbini Museum (Hanamaki City, Iwate Prefecture, Japan). As usual, Satoru Kobayashi painted the Japanese letters "Warera ha aratana bi wo tsukuru” (We create new beauty), a line from Kenji Miyazawa's "An Outline of the Essential Art of the Peasant". Takashi Itagaki, the art director of the Rumbini Museum, added, "I think this phrase is appropriate for Connected Ink”. Traversing the night sky, the piece then flew from Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan to its destination in the west using the Universal Art web application.
During the finale, the sound of the universe chimed in once again for the LIMITS-style live drawing to commence. Inuraku and FF00FF-ink (magenta ink) drew on the theme of the universe and digital, the universe and creation respectively. On the same stage, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra played the song "Planet" over the rippling sound of the universe while IMPALA and NORA performed, drawing the audience into the vortex of the stage. Audience members were able to observe a piece that had returned from a 27-hour journey when they looked up at the ceiling. The sound of the universe was played once again as Satoru Kobayashi stood with wind chimes at the windowsill, bringing Connected Ink 2021 to a quiet close.
What will come out of creative chaos?
Did we find an answer to this question? Maybe there’s not meant to be an answer… Or maybe there is. Surely, each of us will have a different take on Connected Ink 2021.
Nobu Ide says that "all human creation is birthed from the universe”, which is still full of mysteries. Having the universe as this year’s theme allowed each artist to express their world through painting, music, dance, song, and video at Connected Ink 2021. It may have been too large to leave room for interpretation but we believe that something that lingers in the afterglow will teach us the meaning of continuing to question creative chaos.