The “Collective Creation” Wunderkind
When Toshiyuki Inoko founded teamLab, a Tokyo-based group of international artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects — it was 2001, the same year he graduated from the University of Tokyo. His goal was to build a team to experiment with “collective creation,” to “develop new frontiers of beauty,” and ultimately to affect change through art. Fast forward more than 20 years and teamLab now employs more than 600 people, creating immersive art around the world and attracting hordes of people who want to experience the intersection of art, science, technology and nature. In one piece, for example, you can stand on a digital waterfall and obstruct the flow of water, just as a rock would. In another, your movements — standing still or walking around — determine whether virtual flowers bloom or die. For Toshiyuki, the power of both installations is not so much that they are cool to look at (they are!), but that they have the ability to influence human behavior.
Think of teamLab’s 2021 offerings at Superblue’s Every Wall Is a Door experiential art debut exhibition in Miami as a tantalizing sample of their greatest hits. Their Between Life and Non-Life collection featured an interconnected suite of teamLab’s most impressive works in which guests got to walk through an ethereal white cloud mass in a soap-bubble filled room, or interact and influence a stunning visual display of a year’s worth of seasonal flowers that blossom and scatter depending on visitors’ movements or stillness. These surreal sights and experiences are reflective of the beauty to be found at Borderless, the group’s home digital museum in Tokyo that fully immerses visitors into the collective’s artistic prowess and sensory-stimulating projects. An earlier U.S. installation In Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park, Living Digital Space & Future Parks was a powerful testament to the advancement of and growing interest in digital art, as well as its unique ability to nurture creativity and curiosity through technology.