Digital art exhibition that relies on numbers and is established by calculation

NPO Aoyama Design Forum (ADF) will hold the exhibition "co(u)ntinuum" at the Metaverse Virtual Museum "COCO WARP" from April 26, 2024 to June 30, 2024. This exhibition focuses on the theme "co(u)ntinuum" of digital art, which exists through computation and is based on numbers.


Digital art, which exists through computation and is based on numbers.

To what extent is creation actually intentional?

Even conventional physical art, such as that of TAWARAYA Sotatsu (16-17c) and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), enterprisingly incorporated contingent elements. Furthermore, generative art, in particular, is a secondary output of algorithms. For example, Georg Nees's generative artworks from the mid-20th century, and earlier Wolfgang A. Mozart's "K. 516f: Musikalisches Würfelspiel" from the 18th century, were attempted as pieces whose expressions were not directly defined and were partially beyond the artists' consciousness. Contemporary 3D digital rendering also has such aspects. What defines these are the components and the context.

Historically, in 1936, Alan M. Turing published the concept of the Turing Machine, and in 1945, John von Neumann designed the foundational model on which modern computers are based. However, even before these, there was a mechanical calculator by Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. In a sense, even digital content has its computational basis in physical reality. In extreme terms, even mathematics and metaphysics can be regarded as merely physicochemical reactions occurring in organic brains or computing machines. 

Since the mid-20th century, digital art has flourished with the proliferation of computers. Considering the rapid progress of AIs in recent years, AI-generated content will soon reflect a wide range of knowledge from various fields. For art criticism as well, AIs are being explored to utilize. In the near future, if AIs become capable of multifaceted evaluation based on art history and market trends, their analysis will have an increasing impact even on the collection of artworks. Considering that the "human rights" of corporations have already been recognized, AIs and AGIs are likely to be responsible for many general economic activities, and even become some of the main actors with autonomy in society. 

Under such circumstances, what will happen to the identities of flesh-and-blood humans living in physical reality, and what will be the meaning of such beings daring to create?

The theme of this exhibition is "co(u)ntinuum".

"count" is digital, but "continuum" is uninterrupted.

A variety of attempts on digital art will be exhibited in COCO WARP, a metaverse art museum located nowhere in the present physical reality, but in a virtual space in the year 3030 AD.

By calculations, Vincent Schwenk creates virtual sculptures that have length even on the time-axis, and movies, which are the pieces of them. Riniifish draws various fantastical creatures from another world, creating parallel universes and extraterrestrial civilizations full of tiny, translucent creatures. Hakoniwa (852話) shows diverse expressions via composite approaches of voluntary human elements and AI-based processing, as her own words "AIs are tools". Seba Morales creates movies of surrealistic landscapes. The calculations attributed to the artist's intentions but done by a computer may also be regarded as an aspect of automatic-writing today. Yu Cai vividly illustrates alternative modes of inhabiting the modern landscape, inviting viewers to explore fresh perspectives on our relationship with the urban environment.

Sooner or later, the position of humans may change fundamentally. Nevertheless, the fact that present humans have thought about the future and performed composite, creative activities will surely leave meaningful footprints.

As the guest curator of this second special exhibition, I have selected them and am writing this article from 2024, leaving for 3030 in which COCO WARP exists.

How will the world be then?

Also, who will be standing in front of the artworks there?

Guest curator, UDAKA Kentaro Ph.D. 


Vincent Schwenk

3D artist, director, motion designer / Germany


Vincent Schwenk profile

BFA in Graphic Design from FH Augsburg. Vincent Schwenk has expanded his visual skills into multidisciplinary fields, from designing album sleeves, to creating corporate branding projects, as well as conference identities and digital art. His artworks play with physical irregularities: expand their bodies through abstract spaces and fuses into fluid sculptures and installations. This is done by using transformative and performative installations and converting digital sculptures into moving images. Many of them are imbued with a narrative humor that brings a new perspective to ordinary objects and situations. These works are also attempts to deform pervasive spaces and transform them into new contexts. What is shown in this exhibition are the intercepts, which have been cut out perpendicularly to the time axis, from such virtual sculptures.


《SHAPESHIFT》Vincent Schwenk, 2023

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Digital artist / China


Riniifish profile

Riniifish draws various fantastical creatures from another world, creating parallel worlds and extraterrestrial civilizations filled with tiny translucent creatures. This artist is best known for her ongoing series of "bugs" who populate the "M7 Planet", through which she explores themes of life and death, emotional struggles and burnout, and sometimes, just everyday life. She says, as an introvert with many emotions, dreams, and stories constantly spinning in her mind, creating art is the way through which she speaks most freely and eloquently. Since 2020, this artist has also collaborated with fashion brands including Pull&Bear, Adriana Hot Couture and JIU JIE. Solo exhibition at N51 Gallery (Milan, Italy, 2023); Featured artist interview on WeTransfer "Riniifish - Creating a digital world filled with therapeutic bugs" (2022); Instagram official featured (2023); Published in Taschen -《On NFTs》(2024).


《Illusion》Riniifish, 2023

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Hakoniwa (852話)

Game developer, AI artist / Japan


Hakoniwa profile

Hakoniwa is well known for a wide range of experimental attempts on the utilization of generative AIs since 2021. This artist, who is originally an illustrator, background-graphic designer, and game developer goes beyond the simple use of generative AIs. As her own words: "AIs are tools", she has attempted various composite approaches of creation that combine human voluntary elements and AI-based processing. She also publishes on these experimental works along with the methods from time to time. In 2022, "Artificial Images'' (Hakoniwa, impress R&D), an art book of generative-AI-based images, was published.


《Watercolor AI》Hakoniwa, 2024

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Seba Morales

3D designer, visual artist / Argentina


Seba Morales profile

Graduated Visual Communication Design, La Plata National University (UNLP). Seba Morales creates artworks of movies that include natural landscape elements and synthetic objects, or also arrange structures such as reefs and architecture that transform over time, being inspired by everyday moments. These digital works can be considered as an experimental approach to virtual worlds based on life in physical reality, and are expressed as movies or images with a surrealistic atmosphere. The calculations that are attributed to the artist's intentions but objectively done by a computer may also be regarded as an aspect of automatic-writing today. He worked as an animator at Eloisa TV (2015-2017) and a motion graphic designer at A+E Latinamerica (2015-2017), and became a freelancer in 2018 to focus on 3D design. Also known as Garabatfire.


《Dynamic Island》Seba Morales, 2023

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Yu Cai

Animator, illustrator, artist / China, based in Italy


Yu Cai profile

Yu Cai creates works that serve as mirrors of contemporary urban existence, vividly illustrating alternative modes of inhabiting the modern landscape. Her imaginative vision offers glimpses into uncharted territories of living, challenging conventional notions and inviting viewers to explore fresh perspectives on our relationship with the urban environment. She graduated from the Department of Painting, China Academy of Fine Arts, and completed the Master's program in Printmaking-Etching at the graduate school of Venice Academy of Fine Arts, Italy. She previously pursued a career as a painter and printmaker, and was affiliated with the Italy National Association of Contemporary Engravers. Exhibitions at NFT NYC (NY); Asilo Ciani (Switzerland, Lugano); NFT UK (London); Meta Art Station (Korea), etc. Solo exhibitions at Spazio X (Italy); A60 Contemporary Art Space (Italy); 1000fryd Art Room (Aalborg, Denmark). Also known for a collaborative work with Timberland.


《Sky Arcade》Yu Cai, 2022

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Guest curator, UDAKA Kentaro  宇髙健太郎 Profile

Ph.D. (Cultural Properties) (Tokyo University of the Arts), Artist / Scientist / Certificated curator

Graduated Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School; Graduated the Department of Design, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts; Completed the master's program at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts; Completed the doctoral program at the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts (Ph.D.)

  • Guest-researcher at National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Tokyo, Independent Administrative Institution; Research Fellowship for Young Scientists PD of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; Part time lecturer at the Graduate School of Tokyo University of the Arts; etc.
  • Hirayama Ikuo Scholarship prize, Inkstick/colorants Paintings Public Exhibition Soja, grand prize; The HOUSEN Cultural Foundation research grants, the best research grand prize; Tokyo University of the Arts and Nomura Foundation, Nomura art prize; Japan Society for the Conservation of Cultural Property, outstanding achievement award, etc.
  • Collaborated with MIharayasuhiro, 2014aw "Botan", "May Day"(Paris Fashion Week); Solo exhibition "Positions" at Oriental Art Nagano (Tokyo),  Solo exhibition at Matsumoto Shoeido Tokyo (Tokyo); art direction and promotion of "Re-Display: Instruction and Protocol" The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts; Paper "Research on the Effect of Moist-heat Weathering and Properties of Animal Glues: Inspection by Surface Observation" Science for Conservation 58; lecture at the Imperial Household Agency Shosoin, lecture at Japan Cultural Expo symposium; lecture for the Agency for Cultural Affairs; EN lecture at Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (US); EN lecture at Museum of Fine Arts Boston (US); EN lecture at Harvard University (US), etc.

"COCO WARP" the Second Special Exhibition Info

PeriodApril 26, 2024 to June 30, 2024 (tentative)
VenueMetaverse Virtual Museum "COCO WARP”


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