Yasushi Matoba, Hiroshi Matoba: Micro Friendship

  • ©2000, Yasushi Matoba and Hiroshi Matoba



    Micro Friendship


Creation Year:



    Interactive installation


    1 meter x 2 meters x 4 meters


Artist Statement:

    Small creatures surround us in everyday life. In our large-scale world, we sometimes are not aware of their existence. Sometimes these small creatures even anger or annoy us. Isn’t it a pity that we have either no relationship or rather negative relationships with these small creatures? Couldn’t we somehow have better, more intimate relationships with them?

    With this installation, humans can understand and communicate with small creatures. Its mechanism enables us to interact and create friendships with animals whom we might otherwise never notice.

    The installation is composed of a table, a flat display monitor such as PDP, a rod set between the flat monitor and the table, a microscopic video camera, a 2D movable stage, and small insects. The rod is connected to an insect-sized rod inside the display. Movements of the large rod are mechanically converted into micro-sized movement son the small rod. The display screen shows a magnified view of the insect-sized interior (scaled so that the micro-rod in the display seems to really be connected to the large rod on the outside). Participants move this virtual rod to seamlessly interact with the small creatures in the display.

    Participants can also use a joystick to control the position of the stage, move around the insect world, find their insect-sized friends, and come into better contact with them.

    Micro Friendship is a new type of virtual reality that makes worlds of very different scales from our own appear seamless and naturally accessible to us. We hope that you can see the charm and character of these new worlds and make friends with creatures you’ve never known before.