What are the best ways to support participation of general public in current debates about technology?
I believe we should keep increasing not only discussions by means of words and letters, but also places and communities where people can move their bodies and learn about technology in a fun way. If I were to create such a community, I would consider some requirements, such as:
- Easy to do
- Everyone can join
- Enjoy oneself
- Embodied media (through our bodies)
There are many lovable communities in Finland that meet these requirements. For instance, Air Guitar, Mobile phone throwing, Hobby horse and Wife Carrying race. I call them the ‘Finnish Championship Method’.
How do you perceive the role of centers, like YCAM, for supporting citizens develop media literacy skills?
Since its opening in 2003, YCAM has put the know-how gained through creating media artwork to use in the educational program and continues its efforts to provide it to the local community. I believe that not just places like home and school, but also public cultural facilities, such as local museums and libraries, should continue proactively aiding the development of media literacy. On that topic, public libraries in Finland are implementing a lot of initiatives that we could take reference from.
What is the role of arts in relation to media technology?
I believe that art is ‘a way of knowing’. In regard to this question, I am frequently taking reference from Frank Oppenheimer, the founder of the Exploratorium natural science museum in San Francisco. Artistic expression and appreciation of art help people gain access to the world around them, as well as to their own personal worlds, by seeing the world from a new angle and gaining awareness of things that are difficult to pick up on.
I think that having experiences with art is very important, especially in today's society, which is rapidly changing due to the developments in media technology. The interdisciplinary atmosphere of Aalto University, which blended artistic thinking into engineering, science, and business, was very exciting for me.
How was your visit here at Aalto?
I had a wonderful experience. Aalto University offers the perfect environment for a new challenge. Facilities were commendable and supportive. All of the staff were attentive, knowledgeable and helpful. I learned a lot through the Finnish way of life and its culture. To be honest, I wish I could have stayed longer. I'd love to come back to visit the new building of Aalto Studios.
What will you be doing next?
I’ll continue exploring the way of utilizing technology as a learning tool. STEAM education is attracting growing attention in Japan because the Japanese government makes programming class compulsory at elementary school since 2020. In Finland, There were many useful comparisons and insights, which I can share with Japanese education fields after I returned to Japan. I'd like to make the most of what I've learned in Finland.
Kiyoshi Suganuma, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, [email protected]
In SySTEM 2020, Aalto is responsible of managing the ideation and co-design process. For further information, contact the project coordinator at LeGroup: Eva Durall, [email protected]