Jun Takita, born in 1966 in Tokyo, graduated in 1988 from Nihon University, majoring in arts. He received a Masters from Paris Ecole National d’Art in 1992, having received a scholarship from the French government.

He draws heavily from concepts of traditional gardens and their careful and respected arts. Each of his works immerses the audience in the process clocked by the cyclical rhythms of biological and ecological phenomena. Life and death are simultaneously presented and aesthetically represented in the artist’s procedural work around the relationship between man and nature in the era of biotechnology.
He collaborates with numerous scientific teams as the Centre for Plant sciences at the University of Leeds (UK), Plant Biotechnology of Faculty of Biology University of Freiburg (DE), CNRS - Université Paris-Sud, MRI Medical and Multi-Methodes(FR), and the Royal Observatory of Belgium Seismology-Gravimetry (BE).

lundi 5 mars 2012

Sense of Balance

Installed at Le Garage, Béthune, France

Material: Plasticized human left ear, Model of the artist’s right ear, Level of the air bubble, Steel, open-source microcontroller, Step motor, PC
Approximately 3m high, 4m wide.

Finding the center of the Earth

The law of universal attraction (*1) explains the circular motion and equilibrium of rotation of the stars, the Earth, the sun, the moon, and the planets of our solar system and galaxies.

On Earth, our planet, the attraction of the moon and the sun generate another phenomenon: the tides. This phenomenon is made visible by the daily variation of sea level. The Earth’s crust, which appears so hard and stable, is also under its influence and is continuously deformed like a rubber ball.

All living things are governed by the law of universal attraction, but most do not perceive the pull of planetary attraction. Sensing the deformation of the Earth’s crust seems impossible for our own biosensors because the variation of movement is incredibly small compared to the size of the planet. For example, at the North Pole and South Pole where this movement is most accentuated, the variation is about 1.5 meters and represents only 0.0000002% of the radius of the Earth’s pole (which is about 6357 km).

To measure the change in the Earth’s crust, the center of the Earth must be established as an anchor point. Geologists have determined its position almost exactly, which exposes possibilities from a plastic as well as an artistic point of view. Everyone knows that the Earth is round but only a few astronauts able to observe its roundness from space satellites have experienced it.

To draw a circle one must first determine its center, it’s in determining the center of the Earth that it becomes possible to draw its circumference; unlike the astronauts, this metaphor makes it possible to prove the roundness of the Earth without, unlike the astronauts, leaving it.

The concept of my sculpture consists of “sculpting” the Earth at a one-to-one scale. The first step will be to find the center of this Earth and give it a concrete form.

A example of a graphic that shows the variation of the ground
during the 
month of December 2011 in Paris.

Concept and composition of the sculpture: “Sense of Balance”

Water and a small air bubble are sealed inside a 2 m long, 12 mm diameter tube. This tube is suspended horizontally in the air. The two ends are set in the auditory canals, the center of the inner ear (*2), of each of the human ears, right and left.

The ear on the right (in the drawing) is an exact copy, in resin, of my right ear. This ear was created by “printing” the data points from an MRI scan (*3) using stereo lithography (*4). The left side of the tube is connected to a plasticized human left ear (*5).

The copy of my right ear is kept at a fixed distance with respect to the center of the Earth as if it was permanently physically attached. The surface of the Earth (in the case of this exhibition, it will be represented by the floor of the space where the sculpture is installed) moves closer or farther depending on the variation of the gravitational forces imposed on the Earth. While this copy moves continually on the vertical plane, in reality it is absolutely still relative to the center of the Earth. Meanwhile, the plasticized ear installed on a base, which appears at first glance to be immobile, shifts following the movement of the tides. In other words, it is in constant movement depending on fluctuation of the Earth’s crust.

The air bubble inside the glass tube goes back and forth as height of the plasticized ear varies, a variation that is imperceptible to the spectators who are also moving with the coming and going of the tides.

The movement of the bubble then renders the fluctuation of the Earth’s crust visible in real time and translates a certain idea of the sense of balance in humans, whom we may think are definitively attached to the Earth.  

The following notes are taken from definitions given by the Encyclopedia Universalis. 

Newton's law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. 

The inner ear is the innermost part of the vertebrate ear. In mammals, it consists of the bony labyrinth, a hollow cavity in the temporal bone of the skull with a system of passages comprising two main functional parts: The cochlea, dedicating to hearing, and the vestibular system, dedicated to balance. That is responsible for the sensations of balance and motion.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures. MRI makes use of the property of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body.

Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing process using a vat of liquid UV-curablephotopolymer "resin" and a UV laser to build parts a layer at a time. On each layer, the laser beam traces a part cross-section pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the UV laser light cures, solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and adheres it to the layer below.

Plastination is a technique or process used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample.

Exhibition where this work has been exposed:
Corps, Prothèses et Bio-Objets : Le Garage, Béthune, France, 2011
Monad-isme :Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, France 2011