Hack Daily Life into Sound Instrument － Playful Life Artist Oshima Takuro
Objects in daily life are all special for Oshima. They are also where his main inspirations and materials coming from. Oshima Takuro, a 24-year-old new generation media art artist, who mainly makes artworks by remaking everyday objects, second-hand stuffs or toys and combines them with hand-made electronics. By easy and clever remakes, which makes his artworks approachable, innocent and friendly, he transmits his idea of life and attempts to connect with people.
Oshima studied in National Institue of Technology, Suzuka College in his early years. His main research was development of new motor system. However, a turning point came to his life when he visited IAMAS graduated exhibition of 2013. The exhibition not only lighted him up with a lot of new ideas, but also started his interest to learn more about DIY and FabLab.
FabLab is a new type of individual manufacturing industry. Creative ideas are realised by means of self-producing and self-using. Start from discovering daily objects, then understand working theories behind them to help make or remake the structure of artworks. This makes artworks even more interesting because they can easily connect to people’s experience, which makes them to think about related issues.
FabLab plays an important role by providing knowledge and technical support in IAMAS students’ learning procedure. After finished his study in Suzuka College, he decided to study his master degree in IAMAS. By using what he learned in IAMAS and resources from FabLab, he continues making delighting artworks until today.
Why do you especially want to make musical/sound works?
Oshima: I comprehend that if a person has never touched an instrument, she/he will afraid to try it. Playing with sound and music brings a lot of fun. I want to share it. I want to make this thing easier and closer to people, without serious rules.
My DTM / ぼくのDTM
It is a work in combination of toy trains, magnetic tapes and two old radios. The locomotive leads other cars with different magnetic tapes embedded under their bottom. People can make their sound settings by assemble cars freely. It also is possible to switch toy train to another track. For Oshima, it is somehow like a DJ setting in toy version.
Twippy / ツイッピー
The small blue bird “Twippy” made of paper cups is a real life version of Twitter. Oshima presented usage instruction of “Twippy” with comic books and published it limitedly. Comics in the book also simulates all kinds of scenario when people use “Twippy”. Only people who bought “Twippy” book know ciphers (sound of the bird) and protocols. For privacy reasons, people usually set their Twitter as private account, with only certain groups or friends are allowed to see their status updates and leave comments. Thus, in real life, people who choose to use “Twippy” are similiar to people who have a private account in Twitter. He played Internet community system to explore differences between social media and real life community.
Violinsect + Cyclotron / バイオリンセクト + サイクロトロン
It is a performance in combination of handmade musical instrument ”Cyclotron”, the transformation “Violinsect” and second-hand toy “Pink Piano”. Obviously, “Cyclotron” and “Violinsect” used similar principles with previous works he made. However, there are a lot of changes in the idea and modeling. For example, “Cyclotron” is composed of contact microphone, but the structure and the way he tried to present are further developed. An aluminum frame and springs were used to build it. During the performance, he plays it with a connection to a loop effector to record live sounds, which makes sound more abundant and expansible.
Jīn zhū / ブタニコバーン
In Japan, a visitor needs to put a coin into a box before he/she prays to god. Putting coins into a piggy bank is somehow a similar behavior.
Oshima: I used a very traditional golden piggy bank. It is a symbol of traditional belief. When I visit temple, I have never known whether god heard me after I prayed. I touch piggy’s noise as like I come to visit it. And then put a coin in. If I am lucky enough, I’ll get some feedbacks.
The structure of the installation is simple. Inside of the piggy, Oshima placed a bare open circuit on the bottom. When the coin drops between two ends of the open circuit, it makes the circuit close, and hence triggers a small speaker to play low frequency sound. The vibration makes coins constantly beating until it leaves the connected part (It’s the sound which you hear as the feedback of the piggy.).
Oshima has rich imagination and ability of idea realization. Actually, they come from regular practices, making notes, experiments day by day. For him, creating artwork is not tiring task. Instead, it is a process full of fun. Oshima also said that techniques for creating works are not really that tough as imagation, so that people would not give up easily. In the future, he would like to open a workshop for sharing how to make daily life instruments.