Digital Shamanism / デジタル・シャーマニズム

While the realm of alchemy and belief appears to be conflicting with that of science and technology, considering the common disposition of assuming and suggesting “something that is not here,” I proposes that both might in fact be very closely related, mutually compatible fields.

Based on this idea, I create a series of works that attempt to blend Japanese folk beliefs, religions with technology.
some project was conceived with the aim to propose new forms of prayer and entombment in this age of advanced science and technology, and in the other project I re-design Japanese traditional visiting deity.

I wants with my project to create an emotional relationship between machines and human beings, in the belief that new technologies should take into consideration human desires, emotions, and sensations.

-Etsuko Ichihara



Award Reason of Japan Media Arts Festival / 文化庁メディア芸術祭・贈賞理由

This work is not about seeking novelty that exploits the superiority of cutting-edge technology, but about using technology as a means of giving form to a certain theme or concept. In contrast with trendsetting media that stimulate the brain with new pleasure-inducing visuals and may even enslave the body via the sense of sight, ICHIHARA seeks to arouse intrinsic human desires, emotions and sensations through the magical use of digital technology, drawing as close as she can to the physical body as representative of life at its most raw. One might describe this as an attempt to liberate the bodies and minds of human beings from the thrall of the time we call “the present.” This endeavor, which generates a number of “stories” from individual memories and references them to the life-specific function known as death, is to be valued more for this concept than for its degree of perfection as a creative work. It reminds us that however far technology may evolve, human beings are creatures who always crave a “story” to help them deal with reality.

-KUDO Takeshi


-工藤 健志