Shinji Toya (1984) is a digital artist from Japan, based in London UK for over 10 years. His practice is process-driven and uses computer programming, the Internet, participation, video and image manipulation. It deals with the poetic aspects emerging in the tension between what the systems (of knowledge and computation) aim to capture and what they fail to capture. This kind of epistemological gap often appears as presentations of paradox, nuanced incoherence or complexity. Echoing his transnational background, these approaches of the work suggest the limits of framing (e.g. of understanding, computability or language).
By using various digital tools and the practice approaches, Toya’s work often confronts those who experience it with the unresolved states of things that draw attention to possible ways of questioning or unlearning existing modes of digital culture and politics of identifying things.
The recent projects by the artist deal with the issues of the data economy, digital memory, limits of Artificial Intelligence (computer vision), and the relationship between biological and computational systems.
Previously he presented his projects at Ars Electronica, Royal Academy of Arts (UK), Tate Britain, Tate Modern, arebyte Gallery, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Watermans, Furtherfield and Space.
From time to time Toya teaches at Central Saint Martins College of Art as a Visiting Practitioner.
Selected Exhibitions / Events / Commissions
AI Art Gallery at NeurIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design 2020, curated by Luba Elliott
SITUATIONS/Strike at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. | 18 August – 6 October |
AOS (arebyte on screen) – Storage-Un.it, online/arebyte Gallery. | June-July |
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale (in association with goingaway.tv x arebyte / Compiler ), online and at ephemeral locations in London. | 1 November 2019 – March 2020 |
Plat(t)form, at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. | January |
AOS – arebyte on screen, online/arebyte Gallery. | 22 October |
Art + Technology residency, Focus-Next: Future Human, at SPACE, London | September – December |
Please, Express Yourself curated by Filippo Lorenzin, at GreebCube Gallery (online) and V&A London | 12-25 November
Cognitive Sensations, curated by Gabriella Warren-Smith, at TheCube, London | November 2018 – May 2019
Transient Hole X in association with Cybersalon/Middlesex University, at furtherfield, London. | 17 November
Hotel Generation – Ars Electronica curated by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte
at Ars Electronica 2018, Linz | 6-10 September
Poush Manifesto – UGC Paris commission | Spring
Machines Will Watch Us Die curated by Patrizia Costantin
at Holden Gallery, Manchester | 6 April – 11 May
Infinite Multiple, at arebyte Gallery, London | 15-22 April
Online showcase at Collectionair curated by Martin Guinard-Terrin (Link) | February |
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale – Websiteseeing: The Ways of Going 404 , arebyte Gallery | December 2017 – January 2018
Art Licks Weekend 2017: Making + Re-Imagining on the Thames Beach by AltMFA | 30 September
forgetting.online (Part2) at Arebyte Gallery | 20 July – 20 September
Unknown Futures: AltMFA residency and show at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects | 6-7 May
Online Residency at Arebyte: forgetting.online | 2 November 2016 – 8 January 2017
Multi-Function at galleryELL website. | 25 July – 23 October
State of Flux: AltMFA Live Art Thames Tour, Artlicks Weekend 2016 | 1 October
Interfaces Monthly at Fish Island Labs (in association with Barbican and the Trampery) | 21 July
Burlington Gardens Festival at Royal Academy of Arts, London. | 2nd July
Storage Unit: 3 Years 6 Months of Digital Decay at arebyte Gallery | 29th March – 11 June
Internet Yami-Ichi London 2016 at Tate Modern at Turbine Hall – Tate Modern, London | 20-22 May 2016
Dystrophies: The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale at the UK pavilion by arebyte Gallery, London | 1 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
Art Licks Weekend, Palindromic Sequence: A Live Map of the Thames Shore by Alt MFA | 4 October
-> 2013 ->
Self-discipline and Speculation – Beijing New Media Arts Triennial 2013 at Beijing Film Academy, Beijing China. (description) | 28 October – 11 November
Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series (exhibition) at Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, London. | 5 September
Future Map 2012 at Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. (press release) | January – February
Interim Exhibition at V22, London. | May 2012
Art Auction 2012 in association with Sotheby’s at Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. | March 2012
Artist in Residence at Trinity Buoy Wharf London, UK | June 2009
2011 – 2013
MA Fine Art, at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London.
2008 – 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
January 2021 | Obfuscation – Workshop for BSc Digital Arts Computing, Goldsmiths University of London.
December 2019 | Psychology, technology, and the theoretical methods of mobilisation. Workshop run with Sarah Selby, arebyte Gallery.
March 2019 | Virtually Malleable: Breaking Photorealism with Blender. Workshop collaboratively 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 collaboratively run with Murad Khan and Simon Crowe, 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 Gallery) – 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 edited by Osei Bonsu
Contagious Nova Award, in Lowe and Partner’s Nova Award Series
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