Ars Electronica 2005
Festival-Website 2005
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Festival 1979-2007


Sakura—Visual interactive installation

'Federico Díaz Federico Díaz

The installation Sakura has been inspired by our paradoxical relationship with global technologies. People today are forced to live in symbiosis with technology, to some extent, taking over the functions of a human body. The body is disappearing as a result of digitalisation. The human is becoming a database component.

Sakura represents a company working with advanced technologies, and at the same time it refers back to the samurai tradition where the fighter has to make decisions on his way. Therefore, it represents the tension between resistance and loyalty. The visual projection gives an impression of the propaganda and presentation of the IT Company Sakura.

To quote from the book Japanese Art of War: People confuse illusions and reality and create attitudes affected unfavorably by sticking to their illusions, their minds being, consequently, flooded with greedy, malicious and confused ideas. Having opted for all possible kinds of psychological suffering, depriving them of their original minds, they realize that their mind is in a disturbed state, unable to concentrate, giving in to any thought that turns up. They suffer from faulty ways of thinking, bringing them pain and distress. They lack any mental ease and liveliness, they feel dejected and gloomy, their life lacks any sense, and they do not understand themselves, thus paying attention to material possessions.

Such dependence on material possessions and confusion becomes a matrix for social engineers, advertising agencies and religious sects. Using propaganda, they manipulate and create Happy Life scenarios based on illusions and tricks.
Samurais believe that their God resides in a garden full of rare Sakura trees in bloom. This mysterious tree with yellow and pink flowers possesses the capacity to heal the sick and return strength to the weak.

The Sakura flowers have to be picked with caution, and then tea is made from them. The ritual Sakura tea drinking is always held at the end of training when a young fighter is admitted among other samurais. Finally, young samurais set out on a pilgrimage to the sacred volcano called Fuji-san, reaching a height of 3,776 m and with an 800-metre deep crater at the summit. Every samurai bows to his God, hands over a Sakura flower and returns to his monastery the next morning.
The visitor is given a simple task: to switch on the mechanism and contemplate.