Now that we have an idea of Manabe’s unique pursuit of technological possibilities, the next question is how the man manages to earn such immovable trust.
Manabe was born into a family of musicians, with a contrabass-playing father who performed in jazz sessions and musicals and a keyboard-playing mother. Although trained in piano from an early age, by his junior high years he detested it so much that he “wept tears in a last-ditch attempt to be liberated from it”. In high school he started DJing at club events and came to discover the entertainment aspects of music.
As a student at the Tokyo University of Science, Manabe majored in his strong area of mathematics. After graduating he joined a leading electronics manufacturer where he worked for several years as a system engineer, eventually moving to a web venture firm and involving himself in the development of various entertainment contents.
Manabe left this company to study at the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) in Gifu where he polished his skills of cutting-edge programming art.
“I loved math, I loved music and I loved programming. Yet I would never have made it as a specialist if I had chosen any individual field. I’m still quite particular about keeping a musical and mathematical frame of mind.”
His experimental enterprises are currently exploring the sphere of art, beyond entertainment into museums and art galleries. Right now, his chief interest is “work that comes into real contact with society”.
The manifestation of this latest aspiration can be seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, as part of the “BUNNY SMASH” exhibition. In a totally unprecedented approach, Manabe’s radical new system creates algorithms based on live data from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (1st section).
“The system receives live market data and produces visual and audible output. A researcher at CMD Laboratory named Yoon-san was kind enough to supervise this project, but we are thinking of refining the analysis a bit further to make actual deals possible. The whole project was a quest to unearth new approaches.”
Manabe’s effectiveness in planning and execution is no doubt a by-product of his faculty as a digital creator.
It is a cheering prospect to think that perhaps the role of media art is already starting to change. The world is the stage for Daito Manabe and Rhizomatiks whose arena will only continue to expand in the future.
I cannot help but hope that this tech-wielding artist with his well-earned trust grounded in researched development and “on-the-spot” society connecting policy will one day come up with new innovations that will make our world even a tiny bit better. With a little inspiration from Walt Disney, of course.