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July 11, 2020

Dear art people and everyone on the earth,

How are you? Hope you are doing well. We are fine as always btw.

Today July 11 is World Population Day. The annual event was established in 1989 by the United Nations Development Programme. Speaking of 1989, itfs a year regarded as the beginning of globalization. The world population in 1989 was about 5,200,000,000. And now in 2020, as you already know, itfs about 7,800,000,000. According to a report by UN in 2019, it is expected to reach 9,700,000,000 in 2050.

After considering many phenomena, scientific facts and criticism, we YAP concluded that contemporary environmental issues are fundamentally caused by the overpopulation. We, therefore, made a video work by the name of SCAN in 2019. It had been displayed in an international group exhibition titled FUTURE AND THE ARTS started in 2019 at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. But the exhibition was canceled on February 29, 2020 because of Covid 19.

Today is a very hard time not only for art people but also for people all over the world. No one knows what the future will be. We believe, however, that art has a micro wave to make the world better (hope you think so as well). So we decided to open an online exhibition titled FUTURE AND HOPE X. In this exhibition you can experience some our artworks bellow, including THE GAMES, SCAN, and HOPE.

Come to think of it, we remembered some books in this context. gEventually, organic Gaia will probably dieh, James Lovelock said in a book Novacene in 2019. gEscaping the narrow definition of self might well become a necessary survival skill in the twenty-first centuryh, Yuval Noah Harari said in a book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century in 2018. gSo the very first goal on our wish list for the future should be retaining (and hopefully expanding) biological and/ artificial consciousness in our cosmos, rather than driving it extincth, Max Tegmark said in a book LIFE 3.0 in 2018. And gI move it Upward-that is to say, not Northward, but I move it somewhereh, A Square said in a book Flatland written by Edwin Abbott Abbott in 1884.

How do you think about the future and hope in the art world and the world itself? Please let us know if you have something in your mind.

Thank you.



Exhibition title: FUTURE AND HOPE X

Artist: YAP

Date: July 11, 2020 -

Venue: On your display and around your neighborhood

Directed by: Yutaro Midorikawa

Organized by: YAP



installation view, 2017

What Game Are We Playing in the First Place?

July 13, 2020

There are various types of ball on a pedestal lines were drawn randomly. You might get confused because general sports has only one ball on one court.

What will happen in your mind, however, if you think that THE GAMES represents our world itself? gIt seems like a chaotic world like our worldh? gIt has a political power balanceh? Or gitfs an impossible gameh? As you already know (and as multiculturalists already proved), we are living in a world with many rules like THE GAMES. Each sports (or each places) have different numbers of player (population), sizes of court (ground), streams of time, histories and origins. Then is THE GAMES only a miniature scale world? Maybe not. You are watching the miniature scale world. If so, where are you just right now? Probably you are outside of the world itself (if you like Sci-Fi or quantum physics, it has to do with simulated reality but it's not the theme here).

Of course this is just a JPG of the installation (thatfs why maybe you donft need to care about it that much). The installation was made in 2017 as one of artworks in an exhibition titled TODAY NEVER KNOWS. 2017 is 3 years ago from now. Many people all over the world were heading to Tokyo 2020 at that time. Olympic Games is like a hope. People can overcome many struggles thanks to hope. But Tokyo 2020 postponed because of Covid-19. You might think that no one couldnft predict that kind of future in 2017. But is it true? Were there no problems in 2017? No, there werenft. Not few people have already pointed out the crisis of the earth. As is often the case, Hope hides the inconvenient reality. Hope as anesthetic leads people into a bad dream. Historian in the future might write that Tokyo 2020, the first postponed Olympic Games after the World War 2, was a turning point of humanism. Because Olympic Games based on modern humanism wasnft held because of virus. gNon-organic life will take over humanh, James Lovelock already had a conjecture in a book Novacene in 2019. In this context, this JPG, which is non- organic data, can be seen in a different way in the world after Covid-19.

Online is drastically regarded as something significant after Covid-19. The value of online changed completely from one of ways for communication to mostly only one in the age of social distancing. Art people all over the world are trying to handle it amid the Covid-19 pandemic by using the internet. So does this online exhibition. A role of THE GAMES in FUTURE AND HOPE X is evoking a discussion; gwhat game are we playing in the first place?h And the question connects with next question, gwhat game will we play in the future?h We YAP hope that you can think and talk about that kind of things by watching THE GAMES, the first artwork in FUTURE AND HOPE X, from outside of the world.



video, 12 min (short version), 2019
this short version was on view at Mori Art Museum, Future and the Arts (2019-2020)
full version is 20 min

Does Consciousness Solve Overpopulation
and The Mystery of Uncanny Space?

July 21, 2020

On July 14, 2020, THE LANCET published an article that has to do with the world population. According to the report, gthe global population was projected to peak in 2064 at 9.73 billion (8.84-10.9) people and decline to 8.89 billion (6.83-11.8) in 2100h. Although we quoted an estimate by UN in the first text of this exhibition, the latest prediction is clearly different from the number in 2019. Of course, in terms of the declining population, not few people already pointed out it (for instance, EMPTY PLANET written by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson in 2019). The point here is not the number of the future population but a fact that people canft survive on the earth if they are too many. Why? gElephant in the roomh might be a little bit poetic metaphor now. How about g7.8B in one shelterh? Imagine an underground shelter which has two rules. Rule No. 1: Everyone is allowed to enter the shelter. Rule No. 2: No one is allowed to go out of the shelter. As a result, the shelter is filled up with people and they will finally die inside the underground. Although itfs impossible to make such a shelter for 7.8 billion people, 7.8 billion can live on the ground (for now). But the current situation is very similar to the shelter. We are trapped within 3 dimension of the earth and canft go anywhere. As you probably know, gThere Is No Planet Bh.

Basically, problem is mostly caused by excess. If you feel goh Ifm too busyh, that means now you work too much. And if you want to spend more healthier life, you need to reduce your tasks. In that case, you will be released from overwork (everybody knows, however, things are not that simple, though). Similarly, if there are too many people on the earth, you need to reduce them. In that case, you will be released from overpopulation (everybody knows, however, things are not that simple, though). Fortunately or unfortunately, such a thing is unlikely to happen because itfs moralistically impossible and realistically impossible even if you omit ethics. So, what should we do? No one has any solutions to overpopulation? Like Yuval Noah Harari concisely and radically indicated in a book Homo Deus in 2015, gnobody knows where the brakes areh? Probably yes. But perhaps no. There should be something in a place closer than you think.

Have you ever thought about consciousness? 99% of the readers will answer gyes, of courseh. Because you know that you are there and you are reading this text just right now. Itfs very natural to be conscious. You feel your consciousness everyday. There is no doubt about it clearly. Then, have you ever thought about consciousness more consciously? Let us ask you another question. Do you know how to make consciousness? It is true that you know how to make a coffee, how to make a painting and how to make a baby. But how about consciousness? What is consciousness made from? Probably your family told you how to make a coffee at home. Probably your teacher told you how to make a painting in art class. And probably your older friend told you how to make a baby after the school. But have you ever met someone who told you how to make consciousness? Surprisingly, the fact is, it is said that no one can answer the question in the world even neuroscientists, astronauts and curators. In contemporary science, consciousness is regarded as the best mystery in this universe (or multiverse). Max Tegmark honestly admitted in a book LIFE 3.0 in 2017 that gwe still donft understand consciousnessh (he defined consciousness as subjective experience but we presented an opposite conception, objective experience, in SCAN). Nick Bostrom also made a frank confession in a book SUPERINTELLIGENCE in 2014 that "no brain has yet been emulated" (whole brain emulation is one of the ways leading to development of Artificial Intelligence). Sooner or later, however, AI technology and quantum physics will probably unravel what consciousness is and how to make consciousness. And that kind of super intelligence will solve what we call hard problem, including overpopulation and the mystery of uncanny space, by understanding consciousness more deeper than Homo sapiens.

In this context, we made this video work SCAN in 2019. A role of SCAN in FUTURE AND HOPE X is evoking a discussion; gDoes Consciousness Solve Overpopulation and The Mystery of Uncanny Space?h. And the question connects with next question, a main theme of SCAN, gWhere will consciousness lead us?h After watching SCAN, some people might think that it is possible to think the current pandemic was caused by gISSh. But it's neither a conspiracy theory nor a story like TV series UTOPIA (2013-2014) or 12 MONKEYS (2015-2018). We YAP hope that SCAN, the second artwork in FUTURE AND HOPE X, become an opportunity for you to consider consciousness from outside of objective experience.



installation view, 2020-

Do We Have to Despair Again and Again Because of Hope?

July 27, 2020

Have you ever seen a plant label with the word HOPE in the street? Maybe you havenft. But this is it. What do you think if you find that kind of label suddenly near by your place and office? Do you get upset? Do you become happy? As a matter of fact, you canft see any hope in any forms around the label, even beneath the label. Then what is the artwork for? The purpose is not to discover a thing named HOPE but to imagine your own hope in your mind. Hope is necessary for human. Thanks to hope wefve been surviving for a long time. And, at the same time, hope is the opposite meaning of disappointment. Hope is controversial. Because hope includes many meanings and various contexts.

gWe must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.h This is a quote from a speech by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. on February 6, 1968. As you know, he dedicated his life to the civil right movement. He regarded disappointment as finite, hope as infinite. The words are neither just a praise to hope nor just a rejection to disappointment. Rather, it means that we have to swallow the inevitable suffering but it doesnft last forever, and we need to remember to keep having hope because itfs unlimited unless you are disappointed in hope. Needless to say, the thought is significant even now. Rather, itfs more powerful than before. Because many people today are about to lose hope owing to the accelerating critical problems all over the world. It is possible to say, however, that losing hope is not always a bad thing.

gNow if the absurd cancels all my chances of eternal freedom, it restores and magnifies, on the other hand, my freedom of action. That privation of hope and future means an increase in man's availability.h This is a quote from The Myth of Sisyphus written by Albert Camus in 1942. As you know, he is known as a novelist of absurdity. He quoted a Greek myth, Sisyphus, and highlighted to keep fighting with absurdity. Although Buddhists accept everything and try to be calm, Camus, who thinks gthe absurd is the contrary of hopeh is focusing on a resistance to the absurd world like Sisyphus. Paradoxically, to survive as the absurd without hope and future probably means real hope and future in a serious way.

Thanks to hope, you can survive. At the same time, you have to despair because of hope. Disappointment often breaks your spirits to survive. So, maybe you should not think about hope any more in a sense. But what we want to tell you here in terms of hope is not something like that. Do we have to despair again and again because of Hope? No, we don't.

Please look at the images of HOPE again. As you can see, there is no specific hope around HOPE. You canft find any seeds giving you a lot of delicious fruits in the future. You canft find a box containing 1 million dollars beneath the label. And you canft find anything connecting to your bright future. What you can find there is, hope itself. It has no color. But it has transparency. Itfs like a Tabula rasa of transparent hope. Because of that, HOPE (itself) has a more stronger potential than concrete hope. This HOPE is of course something to cheer you up, or rather, HOPE welcomes something new. We donft know what it will be yet. Maybe so do you. Itfs HOPE X (for now). Sooner or later, however, wefll see what itfll be. The point here is gwhat hope can we make for the future?" Itfs going to be completely new type of hope or maybe itfs to keep having hope itself. We YAP hope that HOPE, the third artwork in FUTURE AND HOPE X, updates your hope by looking at the world from outside of the current hope you have.


Can We Have a Hope Only to Cyborg?

Aug 10, 2020

gConsciousness is the most important ontological question.h Ray Kurzweil wrote in a book The Singularity Is Near (2005). gI do believeh, he continues, gthat we human will come to accept that nonbiological entities are conscious, because ultimately the nonbiological entities will have all subtle cues that human currently possess and that we associate with emotional and other subjective experiences.h This perspective is mostly similar to gnon-organic lifeh or gcyborgh by James Lovelock in a book Novacene (2019). gIt may beh, for example, Lovelock says like this, gthat Novacene becomes one of peaceful ages of the Earth. But we humans will for the first time be sharing the Earth with other beings more intelligent than we are.h As Max Tegmark wrote in a book LIFE 3.0 (2018), however, Life 3.0 (designs its hardware and software) gdoesnft yet exist on Earthh. Although Paul Krugman wrote an article gApocalypse Becomes the New Normalh on The New York Times (2020), the new normal has to do with not only climate crisis but also morality and redefinition of various things.

gWhat we do know ish, Jeffrey Deitch wrote in an exhibition catalogue Post Human in 1992, gthat we will soon be forced by technological advances to develop a new morality.h In 2019, a scientist He Jiankui has been jailed because he had created the worldfs first gene-edited baby (although it's going to be controversial, some may think that it's possible to regard him as an artist). Now itfs illegal but sooner or later the morality will be updated. gArt without human may exist.h Fumio Nanjo said in a talk ART AFTER HUMAN (2019). And he continued: gThis connects singularity. What is art of that time?h In the near future we will know the answer, that is, redefined and transformed art.

The point here is a predictable reality that something beyond human intelligence will come to this world. Yuval Noah Harari would call it Homo Deus. gWhen cars replaced horse-drawn carriages,h he wrote in a book Homo Deus (2015), gwe didnft upgrade the horses \ we retired them. Perhaps it is time to do the same with Homo sapiens.h Or do we human itself need to transform to cyborg in order to survive on the catastrophic earth? Will human population decrease and cyborg population increase in the future? Most important thing in the above context is rather this question: Can we have a hope only to cyborg?

After all, it seems to be natural to think that the center of intelligence will be superseded human by something new like cyborg. It certainly changes the art world as well. Will cyborg make art someday? Can we understand art by cyborg? Will we human update to cyborg to make new type of art? Is only to be cyborg our hope? Can we have a hope in terms of future of art but cyborg? If it is right that consciousness is the most important ontological question, is it possible to be conscious of another ontological consciousness but cyborg? At some point we will know the answers little by little. Or you already see one of them. Maybe you just donft understand what it is yet because itfs too new normal.


Thank you

In this exhibition FUTURE AND HOPE X, wefve been watching the world from the outside of the world via the artworks; the world itself in THE GAMES (2017), consciousness itself in SCAN (2019) and hope itself in HOPE (2020-). And a context in terms future and hope is probably formed in your mind by reading the text. We YAP hope all these experiences become an opportunity to update your world even a little bit.

Now wefve been preparing for a new artwork. It has to do with a door (you would know what it is because you watched SCAN). Looking forward to seeing you again. We YAP are waiting for you outside a door of the closed reality.

Thank you for visiting FUTURE AND HOPE X.

YAP, 2020

in memory of

Shiro Fukai (YODOYA)


©Yonder Arts Party 2012-2020