Hello World―For the Post-Human Age

February 10, 2018, to May 6, 2018

Art as radar acts as “an early alarm system,” as it were, enabling us to discover social and psychic targets in lots of time to prepare to cope with them.*1

These were the words of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, writing in Understanding Media with sharp insight in the 1960s and predicting the social revolution that new technology would bring. Half a century has now passed since McLuhan published his important work, and the Internet has permeated our society and new technological innovations like artificial intelligence are rapidly advancing. “Any technology tends to create a new human environment.”*2 As McLuhan said, technology generates an entirely new world for mankind. While these changes will open up the door to a new age full of incredible promise, there is apprehension about the various problems and confusion that will also be ushered in. In what ways are artists responding to the positive and negative aspects that technological innovation brings? This exhibition presents the work of seven artists and one artist group from Japan and overseas, who are responding astutely to our current crossroads in history as well as the future. Their work offers us opportunities to think about the future of the society that technology makes.

*1: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964)
*2: Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy: the Making of Typographic Man(1962)


● David Blandy: Born in London (UK) in 1976. Resides in Brighton and London (UK).
In his work, David Blandy attempts to re-examine the media and culture that has influenced him. His exhibit is a video of a highly developed society breaking down, while another video shows the process of the first video being created instantaneously based on online data. Comparing the two videos exposes the state of media.

● Kenta Cobayashi: Born in Kanagawa (Japan) in 1992. Resides in Kanagawa.
Kenta Cobayashi has attracted acclaim as a photographer of the digital native generation, documenting the condition of everyday life that is now almost completely permeated by technology. For this exhibition, he will construct a space with photographic works about the responses and disconnects of technology and physical sensation.

● Simon Denny: Born in Auckland (New Zealand) in 1982. Resides in Berlin (Germany).
Simon Denny is known for his work that perceptively interprets ideas and values in the digital world. This exhibition presents his artwork about blockchain, a core component in the cryptocurrencies that are now spreading globally. The work uses board games to express the ideas that exist behind this new currency system and its future prospects.

● Cécile B. Evans: Born in Cleveland (USA) in 1983. Resides in London (UK) and Berlin (Germany).
Cécile B. Evans’ practice explores how human emotions change through today’s highly developed technology such things as artificial intelligence. This exhibition includes a performance-style installation with robots and monitors.

● exonemo (Yae Akaiwa, Kensuke Sembo): Formed in 1996. Reside in New York (USA).
The art group exonemo has been a leading presence in the Japanese Internet art scene for 20 years, producing work that is both humorous and innovative. At this exhibition the group will present a newly created installation as well as its recent video installation Kiss, or Dual Monitors (2017).

● Rachel Maclean: Born in Edinburgh (UK) in 1987. Resides in Glasgow (UK).
Rachel McLean is known for her psychedelic yet cynical video work in which the artist performs all the characters in a fairy tale or stories based on her own scripts. This exhibition features a video work vividly portraying contemporary desires related to social media.

● Hito Steyerl: Born in Munich (Germany) in 1966. Resides in Berlin (Germany).
Hito Steyerl’s practice investigates the contradictions and chaos in the post-digital society against a backdrop of video history and media theory. This exhibition includes a major work by the artist that is part of the collection of the Tate in the UK.

● Akihiko Taniguchi: Born in Saitama Prefecture (Japan) in 1983. Resides in Saitama.
Akihiko Taniguchi’s work employs a variety of techniques to explore the disparity and coming and going between reality and virtual spaces. The photographic artwork at the exhibition has been put together from surveillance camera footage, suggesting the surveillance network that extends across the Internet.

David Blandy, Tutorial: How to make a short video about extinction, 2014. Courtesy of Seventeen Gallery, London

Simon Denny, Blockchain Visionaries / Information booth for fairs and special postal stamps (collaboration with Linda Kantchev), 2016. Installation view: 9th Berlin Biennale, Germany, 2016 Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Buchholz Cologne / Berlin / New York (Referential image)

Cécile B. Evans, Sprung a Leak, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Emanuel Layr Galerie, Vienna
* The performance runs for 18 minutes. Please visit our website for further information.

Hito Steyerl, How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. Image CC 4.0

exonemo, Kiss, or Dual Monitors, 2017

Kenta Cobayashi, Pink and Blue, #blur #sharpness, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and G/P Gallery

Akihiko Taniguchi, address, 2010 – (ongoing)

Rachel Maclean, It's What's Inside That Counts, 2016. Commissioned by HOME, University of Salford Art Collection, Tate, Zabludowicz Collection, Frieze Film and Channel 4.



Hello World―For the Post-Human Age


Contemporary Art Gallery




Mondays (except February 12 and April 30, public holiday) and February 13,May 1

Open Hours

9:30-18:00 (no admittance after 17:30)


¥800 (¥600 for advance ticket and group of more than 20 people)
Free of charge for children under 9th grade, seniors over 65, the disabled and one accompanying attendant

One-year Pass

¥1000: High Teen Pass “H.T.P.” for youth between the ages of 15 and 19
¥2500: Adult Pass for those aged 20 and over

Organized by

Mito Arts Foundation


Nomura Foundation

Supported by

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., ABIDARMA INC., A・FUN Co.,Ltd., CREATIVE ORCA Inc. i-labo, Inc., itec plus Inc., Loftwork Inc., Re-Tem Corporation, Shashin Kosha INC., TASKO inc., Unicast Inc.

With the Special Support from

British Council

Curated by

Junya Yamamine (Curator, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito)

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Related program

Performance Time of exhibited work

February 10 (Sat.), 2018, to May 6 (Sun.), 2018

Cécile B. Evans, Sprung a Leak, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Emanuel Layr Galerie, Vienna

Performance Time for Cécile B. Evans’ Sprung a Leak
Each performance is 16 min. 45 sec. long.

Cécile B. Evans’ practice explores how human emotions change through today’s highly developed technology such things as artificial intelligence. This exhibition includes a performance-style installation with robots and monitors.


Related program

Curator ’s Gallery Tour

April 14 (Sat.), 2018, to April 19 (Thu.), 2018

Venue Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito
Date & Time: Saturday, April 14 & Thursday, April 19, 2018, 15:00 – 16:00


Related program

Artist Talk: Akihiko Taniguchi

April 30 (Mon.), 2018

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 (Door opens at 13:30)
Fee: Free of charge (included in the admission, no reservation required)
Venue: Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito


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High School Students' Weeks 2018

March 11 (Sun.), 2018, to April 8 (Sun.), 2018

Venue Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito

It is an annual exhibition free invitation project for high school students. At a cafe, which visitors come across in the middle of the gallery during the exhibition period, workshops concerning the exhibition are held and various programs for reading, sewing, etc. can be enjoyed every day. The cafe is not limited to high school students, but anyone can use it.

Dates: Sunday, March 11 – Sunday, April 8, 2018
Invitees: High school students or those aged 15 – 18 (Please present your ID at the entrance.)
Venue: Workshop room, Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito
Cafe open hours: Tuesday to Friday 15:00 – 18:00, weekends and holidays 13:00 – 18:00


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