An interdisciplinary digital Renaissance man, Rhizomatiks Research co-founder Daito Manabe stands out for his new approaches to the human body, data, programming, computers and other everyday phenomena. With one foot in the future, the Tokyo-based media artist and creative technologist uses programming, sound design and interaction design to develop next-level production technology for major international events and entertainment projects, from augmented reality videos for musicians to live interactive technology for dancers.
Among his extensive collaborations, Manabe developed the imaging system for Björk’s video “Mouth Mantra,” lead the AR/VR live imaging production for her “Quicksand” performance, co-created the “Sensing Streams” installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and most recently completed the commission “Celestial Frequencies” at the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics. After working with L.A.-based producer Nosaj Thing on music videos that used advanced projection mapping, augmented reality, dancing drones and motion capture, Manabe and the L.A.-based producer set out on their ever-evolving, Prix Ars Electronica Award-winning music video “Cold Stare”, forefronting new technology not only as art but as a way to transcend reality.
In that spirit, Manabe and Rhizomatiks Research have collaborated in a visual, technical and musical director role with choreographer MIKIKO and the ELEVENPLAY performance company in several high-tech, data-driven performances since 2013, combining corporeal and mechanical bodies in spectacular gyrations of dance and technology. Inspired by Alan Turing, their newest dance installation, discrete figures, marries choreography for five dancers with machine learning technology and a stage designed for interactivity between performers, the drones flying around them, virtual dancers and other objects. Closing MUTEK.JP at the LINE CUBE (Shibuya Koukaido), the performance does nothing less than question the essence of human and machine, the future nature of physicality and cognition in a world where machine mathematics can express as physically as humans do.