9. -13. September 2020


What is the benefit of an online festival?
How we can utilize this unfortunate but unique opportunity?
TOKYO GARDEN will be a place where we exhibit current Japanese artists’ works, but, will also be a chance to trace the origin of Japanese Media Art through talks, interviews and a sharing archive.
KEY: Online, 2020, TOKYO, CONTEXT, ARCHIVE, LIVE, Map the new world.

Seiichi Saito (JP)
Creative Director, Rhizomatiks
Director of TOKYO GARDEN, Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion

TOKYO GARDEN / Exhibition

  • Website

Last Words / TypeTrace

dividual inc. / Dominique Chen (FR), Takumi Endo (JP)

For the occasion of ARS ELECTRONICA 2020 / TOKYO GARDEN, we present an online exhibition of "Last Words / TypeTrace" with newly collected Last Words. While the previous version had collected texts from mostly Japanese audience, this time people from outside Japan contributed. We asked them to especially reflect upon their view on life and death in the post-COVID-19 era we all live in.
Director’s message
In this era, the body and words = memory became a different way of storing things. The internet has become the norm, and people's words are stored somewhere that has no concrete place in the cloud, which becomes an extended memory. Even when the body disappears, it keeps going and continues to affect someone else. Last Words is not a simple attempt to leave people's souls in digital form, but it is a work that makes us think again about what it means to "live" in these times. I hope TOKYO GARDEN will give more opportunity for one to know more about this experiment.

© Dominique Chen

Inspired by the original work of:

Last Words / TypeTrace

23rd Japan Media Arts Festival / Art Division Jury Selections
Media installation

Originally exhibited at the Aichi Triennale 2019, this installation consisted of more than 2,000 writing processes of last words collected anonymously on the Internet. We asked people to imagine they will disappear from this world, and then write a last message to their beloved one within 10 minutes. Each keyboard typing is reenacted using TypeTrace, a Web-based software that records and plays back every single keystroke.

  • © Dominique Chen

  • © Dominique Chen

  • dividual inc. (FR/JP)

    The startup, dividual inc. was launched in April 2008 by media artist Endo Takumi and information-science researcher Dominique Chen, later joined by creator Yamamoto Koichi in July of the same year. Based on their mantra, "People will always need people," dividual has created works such as TypeTrace, which visualizes people's typing patterns, and has also released and managed the community-based web service "rigureto" (2008 - 2017) and the photo messenger app "Picsee" (2015).

  • © Kenshu Shintsubo

    Dominique Chen (FR)

    Born in 1981. PhD in Interdisciplinary Informatics Studies. A board member of Creative Commons Japan, Wellbeing for Planet Earth, and NPO soar. After working as a researcher at the NTT Inter Communication Center (ICC), he co-founded dividual inc. with Takumi Endo.
    Currently an associate professor at the School of Culture, Media and Society, Waseda University. He has been consistently researching the relationship between technology and human beings. Awarded the Super Creator prize from the Information Technology Promotion Agency, JapanMitoh 2008 Super Creator by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) & IPA (Information-technology Promotion Agency) Japan.

  • Takumi Endo (JP)

    Creative Technologist
    Born in 1971. After graduating from Kunitachi College of Music, he went to Europe as a trainee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Since then, he has been based in Europe as a guest composer at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DAAD Berlin, UNESCO Aschberg Artists, etc.
    In 2008, he founded dividual inc. with Dominique Chen, and joined Smart News Inc. in January 2018, where he is currently the Creative Technologist of the company. Awarded Mitoh 2006 Super Creator by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) & IPA (Information-technology Promotion Agency) Japan.

Artist: dividual inc. / Takumi Endo, Dominique Chen
Technical Director: Shinya Matsuyama (siro)
Editor: Yusuke Ujita (Thinking)