Have humans really evolved since their origins?
Do Wacom’s technology and tools really contribute to human creativity?
These two questions were the themes of Connected Ink 2022, which was held in November 2022 and took place over the course of two weeks in Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Dusseldorf and Portland. Due to the situation of the pandemic, many members were finally able to meet in person after some time had passed. Here are a few sessions from Connected Ink 2022 in Tokyo that reflected on these loaded questions.
*Connected Ink is an event that has been organized by Wacom since 2016 with the quest to explore new directions in art, human expression, learning and the technologies that support them. The theme is always focused on the topic of Creative Chaos, while defining different key questions during each event started in 2020.
“Yuify” – Preserving and conveying the evidence of creators' creations and their stories
Wacom Yuify is a technology that allows artists and their works to record the proof, trajectory and story of their creations. This technology was developed to add new and unique value to artworks that were created with the utmost care and passion. Yuify is able to protect the artist's rights and pieces of artwork by embedding IDs and micro-marks directly into a piece, proving who created it. Along with the evolution of technology, the project team talked about their desire to preserve the warmth in art pieces that are created by humans. This was one of the sessions in which the two big questions were discussed in depth. The speakers internalized the questions, delved into them as if their own and elaborated upon them to take the talk into a new dimension.
Will technology help family connections evolve?
mui Lab and Wacom have continued co-creating after developing “Height Marking in Wood”, a product that records a family’s history in digital ink. At Connected Ink 2022, "muihaus." was unveiled for the first time, as a smart home that fosters family bonding beyond time and space. The words inscribed on the wood with digital ink by family members were accumulated and tied to their birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates, allowing each home to share family memories together. For this project, discussing the importance of having marginal space in technology and improving accuracy was the main topic of conversation. What is the significance of marginal space? Marginal space stimulates freedom and creativity, it may even lead to the discovery of new ways for humans to interact with technology.
Have humans really evolved?
This session discussed the different ways AI and humans (co)create. To confront the topic from various angles, speakers from different walks of life, such as a musician, a creator, a thinker, a brain scientist and an AI engineer were invited. AI is capable of learning at a speed that humans cannot, but when it comes to creation, there are still many things AI cannot do. Brain wave research has shown that alpha waves (the wavelength of relaxation) appear in the human brain when creating. They say that creators have a moment of immersion in which they want to draw even if it means cutting back on sleep. This is one of the major desires of the creative process. So the question remains: Have humans really evolved? During the final session of the series, NEO IHATOV, a magic lantern tells a story about life on the stage accompanied by a string quartet, expressing an ideal world built by a subatomic computer.
What happens here is everything
The special world of Connected Ink 2022, which emerged from two powerful questions, creates a sweet sanctuary protected by a magic spell according to CEO and President, Nobu Ide. It is a place where emotions, domains, attributes and even the wonders of the world and people are all accepted.
Are we moving forward?
Is there a point to any of us?
There is no right or wrong answer about success or failure at Connected Ink. We believe this is summed up perfectly in Nobu’s words, "What happens here is everything.”
At Connected Ink 2023, we will explore our fundamental values and what we cherish through the chosen theme, "Back to the Forest”.
* "We will meet again, in the forest” by Satoru Kobayashi