ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Going places sitting down

By Wendy Haslem
SPECIAL ISSUE: Media Arts and Games, [Vol. 7, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1486508.1486515

This article will explore the dynamic spatial perspective created by juxtaposing giant and miniature worlds in Hiraki Sawa's Going Places Sitting Down (2004). In Hiraki Sawa's digital artworks, fantastic miniature worlds are layered, illuminated, and exhibited across a triptych of digital screens.

Sawa's works, particularly, Going Places Sitting Down (2004), but also Dwelling (2002) and Spotter (2002) reveal the proximity between human-sized and miniature worlds. Within Sawa's digital projections, imagined worlds are layered across ordinary spaces, often reinventing the home as a site of imaginary travel. A play with scale in these domestic spaces reveals miniature dynamic sites of fantasy.

Sawa uses digital technologies in the production and exhibition of miniature worlds. In On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, Susan Stewart draws from the publication of Micrographia; Or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made By Magnifying Glasses, With Observations and Inquiries There Upon (1665), to reveal the inextricable link between the miniature and new technologies when she asserts that the miniature “speaks … from the invention of the microscope, the mechanical eye that can detect significance in a world the human eye is blind to” (Stewart 1983, p. 40). A similar dynamic is visible in the shift to the digital in the new millennium. Sawa uses processes of digital compositing, layering disparate worlds across the moving image triptych to uncover new worlds. Going Places Sitting Down provides a primary example of digital technologies that are used to destabilize, revitalize, and recreate space, investing magic in the ordinary that enchants and invites a reflective engagement across the three screens.

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