Shinji Toya is a London-based multi-media artist born in 1984 in Japan. In 2013, he was awarded the Contagious Nova Award in Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series. He is currently a Visiting Practitioner for MA Art and Science course at Central Saint Martins College of Art
Toya’s practice is predominantly digital in the process and involves a range of diverse disciplines such as video, computer programming, Internet, installation, and collage. Often these approaches are employed to convey the narrative, generative art, or participatory practice that alludes to the ephemerality or precariousness found in digital technology and culture. These qualities, on one hand, relates to the Japanese aesthetics of transience and imperfection, deriving from his cultural background. On the other hand, the idea of precariousness relates to his interest in limits (e.g. of knowing, category, identity, systems, or lifetime) and exploration of what is beyond such limits.
Between 2015-2017 Toya has been working on projects with the arebyte Gallery that critically approaches digital memory, such as the issues concerning the digital forgetting, immortality of digital memory and information overload.
Recently, he has been researching AI technologies. For Art + Tech residency at SPACE, he collaboratively worked on a practice that critically explored the visual indications of limits of racial categorisation found in a commercial facial recognition software (Betaface). This limitation pointed to the inability of (current) Machine Learning systems to capture human nuances.
In a broader perspective, Toya’s practice is concerned with how digital technology becomes a catalyst for the new cultural conditions that may need to be questioned
Selected Exhibitions / Events / Commissions
September – December 2018
Art + Technology residency, Focus-Next: Future Human, at SPACE, London
12-25 November 2018
Please, Express Yourself curated by Filippo Lorenzin, at GreebCube Gallery (online) and a museum in London
[Press: Paris College of Art]
November 2018 – May 2019
Cognitive Sensations, curated by Gabriella Warren-Smith, at TheCube, London
17 November 2018
Transient Hole X in association with Cybersalon/Middlesex University, at furtherfield, London.
6-10 September 2018
Hotel Generation – Ars Electronica curated by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte
at Ars Electronica 2018, Linz
UGC Paris commission
6 April – 11 May 2018
Machines Will Watch Us Die curated by Patrizia Costantin
at Holden Gallery, Manchester
15-22 April 2018
at arebyte Gallery, London (Link)
February 2018 –
Online showcase at Collectionair curated by Martin Guinard-Terrin (Link)
December 2017 – January 2018
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale – Websiteseeing: The Ways of Going 404 , arebyte Gallery
30 September 2017
Art Licks Weekend 2017: Making + Re-Imagining on the Thames Beach by AltMFA
20 July – 20 September 2017
forgetting.online (Part2) at Arebyte Gallery
6-7 May 2017
Unknown Futures: AltMFA residency and show at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects
2 November 2016 – 8 January 2017
Online Residency at Arebyte: forgetting.online
25 July – 23 October 2016
at galleryELL website.
1 October 2016
State of Flux: AltMFA Live Art Thames Tour, Artlicks Weekend 2016
21 July 2016
Interfaces Monthly at Fish Island Labs (in association with Barbican and the Trampery)
2nd July 2016
Burlington Gardens Festival
Location: Royal Academy of Arts, London.
29th March 2016 – 11 June 2016
Storage Unit: 3 Years 6 Months of Digital Decay at arebyte Gallery
20-22 May 2016
Internet Yami-Ichi London 2016 at Tate Modern
Location: Turbine Hall – Tate Modern, London
1 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
Dystrophies: The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale
at the UK pavilion by arebyte Gallery, London
4 October 2015
Art Licks Weekend, Palindromic Sequence: A Live Map of the Thames Shore by Alt MFA
28 October – 11 November 2013
Self-discipline and Speculation – Beijing New Media Arts Triennial 2013
Location: Beijing Film Academy, Beijing China. (description)
5 September 2013
Exhibition by the shortlists of Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series.
Location: Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, London.
January – February 2013
Future Map 2012
Location: Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. (press release)
Location: V22, London.
Art Auction 2012 in association with Sotheby’s
Location: Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.
Residency at Trinity Buoy Wharf
Location: London, UK
Contagious Nova Award, in Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series
October 2013 – June 2014 (first year)
PhD in Digital Art, at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London.
September 2011 – June 2013
MA Fine Art, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
September 2008 – July 2011
BA Fine Art with the First Class Honours, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
Educational Work / Certificate / Talks
2019 – Present | Visiting Practitioner, MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins College of Art
16 February 2019 | Virtually Malleable: Breaking Photorealism with Blender. Workshop run with Marc Blazel, arebyte Gallery.
16 February 2019 | Creative Programming with Artificial Life: Workshop, Watermans Art Centre
22 November 2018 | Categorisation and Artificial Intelligence: System, Limit, and Beyond. Workshop, SPACE
11 May 2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die Symposium, Manchester School of Art
19 May 2017 | Un-conference – Digital Maker Collective, Tate Exchange
September 2015 – May 2016 | PGCert modules for Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication, University of the Arts London
Publications / Press
2019 | Image Exhaust, The Photographer’s Gallery
2018 | SPACE Art + Technology artists in residence – interview.
2018 | Paris College of Art, on Please, Express Yourself – Just Do It
2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die, Review by Abi Mitchell
2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die – Catalogue (edited by Patrizia Costantin)
2017 | Hotel Generation 2017 (edited by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte Gellery) – text contribution: The Critical Space Against The Information Overload And Acceleration
2016 | The London Reader – Autumn 2016 #Cyberpunk Now
The issue can be purchased at Amazon UK or Amazon US, featuring 3 Years and 6 Months of Digital Decay.
2016 | Immaterial Aesthetics – The Internet Yami-Ichi (Black Market) by Edward Paginton for Modern Weekly China.
2014 | Postmatter: Shaping the Digital
2013 | Contagious issue 36
2013 | Less Common
3 Years and 6 Months of Digital Decay
(2016-2019 / ongoing)
Chimera of #biotech
(Work-in-progress / 2017-)
Processes of Life/Painting
Processes of Life/Painting IRL
Dump and Forget Social Media Posts
(Work-in-progress / 2017-)
What Had/Hadn’t Been