Robots minting NFTs – presentation of the EMAP residency

As part of this years’ EMAP residency, KONTEJNER welcomed three Japanese artists – So Kanno, Akihiro Kato and Takemi Watanuki that focused on the further development of the work Kazokutchi. The artists will present the work in progress on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 19:00 h at Pogon Jedinstvo, small hall.

Kazokutchi is a digital artificial life NFT. Its home is a miniature robot with a display. Kazokutchis living in the same house are related, share the same surname, and have their initial name. There is a breeding season for Kazokutchi. An IC tag is affixed to the home, and an IC tag reader is used for mating. If the mating is successful, an egg NFT will be minted. The owner of the Kazokutchi is the owner of the egg. When you buy a home robot, you'll be prompted to choose a family name and color. They will be inherited by all Kazokutchis born in the family.

Kazokutchi is a living creature with a lifespan. When it reaches the end of its life, it appears as a dot on the screen, with proof of its existence preserved on the blockchain. The majority of artificial life is made up of simulations. All of the lives there will be gone once you reset. What if it can't be reset as in real life? This project raises this question by integrating artificial life with NFTs.

The residency was realised in collaboration with Radiona – Zagreb Makerspace and the focus of the artists’ work was the development of a new website and smartphone application for live tracking of NFTs, a new design of the robot farm as well as an update of the existing Kazokutchi system fit for various social experiments.

About EMAP:

EMAP – European Media Art Platform is the largest international platform for residencies of emerging European media artists. The network connects 15 European cultural institutions and organisations dedicated to media arts: Ars Electronica, Antre Peaux, FACT Liverpool, gnration, iMAL, IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture], Kersnikova Institute (Kapelica Gallery), KONTEJNER, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, M-Cult, NeMe, Onassis Stegi, RIXC Centre for New Media Culture, WRO Art Center, Werkleitz Centre for Media Art. The EMAP network also includes over 80 partners, including renowned festivals, laboratories and institutions that investigate and present these interdisciplinary art forms. Since the launch of the platform in 2018, 44 projects have been commissioned, 13 of which received international awards. Many more EMAP commissions have been presented at prestigious institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Barbican in London, and the Venice Biennale.


So Kanno
His works are mainly based on robotics, such as "Lasermice," a swarming robot that refers the swarm behavior of small animals, and "Senseless Drawing Bot," a drawing machine that uses a double pendulum. Rather than the perfect control of industrial robotics, he is interested in the unpredictability, organic behavior, emergence, and errors and noises that systems can have, and develops systems that utilize and induce these elements. His wide-ranging activities include installations using self-made robots, performances and workshops. He often works in collaboration.

Akihiro Kato
Akihiro Kato is a media artist born in 1992. He graduated from the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS) and since 2021 he is based in Tokyo. He creates works that depict the relationship between technology and society through a combination of digital/physical media. Works include "TRUSTLESS LIFE" and "BAIS," which depict the possibilities and challenges of a society in which blockchain technology is applied through board games, and "WAN NYAN WARS," a project that questions the value of NFT by depicting the battle between dog factions and cat factions.

Takemi Watanuki
Takemi Watanuki creates works with the keywords of "crowd movement," "animality," and "artificial life”. His works include "node hands," which expresses the emptiness of communication in the modern age using crowd robots, and "living hakoniwa," a virtual space in which artificial life cycles through the food chain.

Supported by

October 12 2022 at 19:00 h, Pogon Jedinstvo, small hall