Shinji Toya (1984) is an artist from Japan, based in London (UK) for over 15 years. His practice is process-driven and uses computer programming, the Internet, Artificial Intelligence, participation, video, image manipulation and painting.
Toya works in the domain of critical digital art and his work is based on the image-based visual art practice that utilises data and algorithms. The topics that his previous projects dealt with include the data economy of the post-digital era, digital memory, surveillance and the materiality of media.
The artist’s recent work focuses on the creative repurposing of the Internet in order to generatively create prototypes and interfaces that reflect the materiality of media, often through networked participation. It aims to make visible the soily materiality of media on the substrates of code and images. Whereas ordinarily the materiality of media is hidden behind shiny devices, pristine interfaces and the metaphor of the “could”.
Previously Toya presented his projects at Ars Electronica, Tate Britain, Royal Academy of Arts (UK), arebyte Gallery, Watermans and Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland). In 2023, by Arts Council England, he has been awarded a grant – Developing Your Creative Practice.
Currently, Toya works at Central Saint Martins College of Art as an Associate Lecturer. He also delivered academic workshops at universities in the UK.
Selected Exhibitions / Events / Commissions / Residencies
Futures Past, an exhibition at arebyte Gallery
London Creative Network, a residency at SPACE
NOVA X, at Lathaby Gallery
Computer Vision Art Gallery at CVPR 2021, curated by Luba Elliott and Xavier Snelgrove
AI Art Gallery at NeurIPS Workshop on Machine Learning for Creativity and Design 2020, curated by Luba Elliott
SITUATIONS/Strike at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
AOS (arebyte on screen) – Storage-Un.it, online/arebyte Gallery
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale (in association with goingaway.tv x arebyte / Compiler ), online and at ephemeral locations in London.
Plat(t)form, at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.
AOS – arebyte on screen, online/arebyte Gallery
Art + Technology residency, Focus-Next: Future Human, at SPACE, London
Please, Express Yourself curated by Filippo Lorenzin, at GreebCube Gallery (online) and V&A London
Cognitive Sensations, curated by Gabriella Warren-Smith, at TheCube, London
Transient Hole X in association with Cybersalon/Middlesex University, at Furtherfield, London
Hotel Generation – Ars Electronica curated by Rebecca Edwards, arebyte
at Ars Electronica 2018, Linz
Poush Manifesto – UGC Paris commission
Machines Will Watch Us Die curated by Patrizia Costantin
at Holden Gallery, Manchester
Infinite Multiple, at arebyte Gallery, London
Online showcase at Collectionair curated by Martin Guinard-Terrin
The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale – Websiteseeing: The Ways of Going 404 , arebyte Gallery
Art Licks Weekend 2017: Making + Re-Imagining on the Thames Beach by AltMFA
forgetting.online (Part2) at Arebyte Gallery
Unknown Futures: AltMFA residency and show at Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects
Online Residency at Arebyte: forgetting.online
Multi-Function at galleryELL
State of Flux: AltMFA Live Art Thames Tour, Artlicks Weekend 2016
Interfaces Monthly at Fish Island Labs (in association with Barbican and the Trampery)
Burlington Gardens Festival at Royal Academy of Arts, London
Storage Unit: 3 Years 6 Months of Digital Decay at arebyte Gallery
Dystrophies: The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale at the UK pavilion by arebyte Gallery, London
Art Licks Weekend, Palindromic Sequence: A Live Map of the Thames Shore by Alt MFA
-> 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 RSA – Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, London. | 5 September 2013
Future Map 2012 at Lethaby Gallery – Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. (press release) | January – February 2013
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
2022 – Present | Associate Lecturer, MA Art and Science
Central Saint Martins College of Art
2019 – 2022 | Visiting Practitioner, MA Art and Science
Central Saint Martins College of Art
2021 | Obfuscation – Workshop for BSc Digital Arts Computing, Goldsmiths University of London.
June 2022 | Artist talk at HGB Leipzig.
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.
February 2019 | Creative Programming with Artificial Life: Workshop, Watermans Art Centre
November 2018 | Categorisation and Artificial Intelligence: System, Limit, and Beyond. Workshop collaboratively run with Murad Khan and Simon Crowe, SPACE
May 2018 | Machines Will Watch Us Die Symposium, Manchester School of Art
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
Lives of Your Smartphones
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