Thales’ Engraving / タレスの刻印

9/11/2022 _ 10/2/2022


One night in the city-state of Miletus facing the Aegean Sea, Thales was walking while looking up at the starry sky. Because he was so immersed in looking closely at the stars and searching for their truth, he was unaware of the roadside ditch and fell into it. The important thing here is that he was on the move. His behavior seems bizarre for the time because celestial bodies are generally observed at a fixed point, such as a robust observatory. So let's imagine the stars reflected in his mind and eyes. That is the essence of "Thales’ Engraving".
Observing while moving causes the complex phenomenon of relative motion. Putting Ptolemaic or heliocentric theories aside, in addition to the motion of the stars relative to the Earth’s rotation, if the observer also moves, then the result is an even more chaotic multi-body motion. It has an unpredictable complexity and presents a flowing and captivating representation of the sky. Similar to marbling, where ink is dripped onto the surface of water and the pattern transferred to paper, let’s expose the dance of the stars in the night sky. That is the imagery of "Thales’ Engraving".
Thales was an ancient Greek philosopher who was also familiar with mathematics and astronomy. He is said to be the father of science because he rationally explained the origin of the world rather than depending on myths or fables. His achievements include Thales' theorem, estimation of the height of pyramids, prediction of solar eclipse, and the timing of the olive harvest. It is also known that he was an unparalleled sports enthusiast, and therefore could certainly be called a moving observer and a running philosopher.


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    Thales’ Engraving / タレスの刻印

    "Thales’ Engraving" refers to a photograph or video of the starry sky that uses a special long-exposure method. Star trails appear in the dark night sky, sometimes with clouds or thunder, as well as airplanes or satellites. The camera is digitally controlled by a unique device and program, and it takes several tens of minutes to several hours to shoot. With this kind of function, you can get a variety of images that differ each time depending on location, time, weather, and so on.

    In addition, average smartphones and compact digital cameras were used for shooting, and post-production editing, such as color correction, was limited to a minimum.

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    Masayuki Akamatsu

    Masayuki Akamatsu is a media producer, born in Hyogo, Japan, in 1961. He received his Doctor of Arts at the Kyoto University of the Arts, Graduate School of Art. He is a Dean and a professor at Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences. Currently, he leads a research group, named "Critical Cycling". He has used technology to create interactive works of music and video that investigate the relation between the artwork and the audience, as well as the autonomy of the artwork itself. Recently, with the themes of mobility and reality in mind, Akamatsu's research investigates the influence of mobile devices on the individual and society. His characteristic works include: an exhibition, titled "Time Machine!"and "AR Art Museum", two mobile apps, "Banner" and "Decision Free". He also has published a variety of books, including "2061:Max Odyssey" and "iOS Textbook". Lastly, he has participated in the development of advanced information technology products, such as: "Sekai Camera" and "FUN’IKI Ambient Glasses".