2011- SmallDisconnection (ongoing)

Google is asked of us almost daily and it is beyond controversy the dominant search engine in the western world. We believe that Google has the answer for everything. And so the philosophy of Google leaves no question unanswered when being stated: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and usable for all and at all times.” Does this sentence even imply that Google has all the information of the world? This was the question and motivation of the artist collective h.o. and they discovered that the star (*) called Asterisk generates no Google results.

Asterisk – as a typographic character that often is in use, especially on the Internet – symbolizes for example “born”, or it is marking mandatory fields for online documents to be filled in, and it acts as a placeholder for encrypted notes. Given words in embrace of two stars, we already learned that in this case a variation of the spelling may even be possible.
Anyway, the group wanted to know more, and wrote a request to Google, why the star does not provide any results.

Google – of course – did not reply and it is exactly this fact (that once Google provides no evidence and apparently has no interest in changing this) which is actually very positive and interesting for h.o. They could find a very human character in this circumstance, when somebody or something is not always being able to answer everything. “It’s good to know that not everything can be answered,” confirms Hide Ogawa.

* translator (http://asterisk.aery.jp/translator.php)

In the presentation of the project the star turned out to be a spiritual metaphor for protection of the mysterious, the unexplained, and the unknown. The artist group developed a * Translator that can convert any information into a star code, which vice versa can be read only by those persons who are themselves in possession of the automated translation tool.

With the 2D cutted and prepared asterisk stars, the visitors can leave messages about what they never want to be searched for on the internet in the near future. This idea is actually based on the EMA system in the sacred Shinto shrines in Japanese culture and in Buddhist temples where small, single-painted wooden tablets can be bought, carrying pre-printed images and to whom requests can be written to the deities.

Smallest stars are formed in the image of a deer, which (in the inherent divinity) is a kind of divine communicator between nature and humans in Japanese culture. And an Asterisk as a necklace shall protect it´s carrier from too much knowledge in order to preserve the mystical of the person.

This *Asterisk installation celebrates the ignorant, the mystical, the risk for not knowing or that, for which there is no explanation in a world heading for notoriously knowledge just by clicking a button.

(text by Manuela Naveau)

* (2011) from h.o on Vimeo.

* (2011) from h dot o on flickr.


Selected Exhibition
  • 09.2014 I Believe in Internet, urbanfarm, Leonding / Austria


Chief: Taizo Zushi, Emiko Ogawa

Concept: Hideaki Ogawa, Emiko Ogawa, Taizo Zushi

Art Expression: Emiko Ogawa, Emiko Ogawa

Installation: Hideaki Ogawa, Emiko Ogawa

Production: Takeshi Kanno