I was the kind of kid who longed for the sparkling idols of the bubble era, and I only watched TV shows from the past.
We are looking to reveal a past with a different dimension to the real past.
Generative AI expresses my desires and the world I want to see, which, for me, is a youth culture of the past.
Emi Kusano is a Tokyo-based multidisciplinary artist who explores technology, retro-futurism, and nostalgia for Japanese youth culture and anime. She started out as a teenage street photographer in Harajuku and is now the producer and lead singer of Satellite Young, revitalizing 1980s idol culture while exploring modern technology. In 2021, Emi embraced the Web3 movement through her 8-year-old son’s Zombie Zoo project, inspiring Japanese creators to start NFT careers. She also co-founded the community-driven anime project, Shinsei Galverse, using her character from her music videos as an early prototype. Following its launch in April 2022, the project held the top spot for NFT sales volume worldwide for several days.
Collaborating with animator Ayaka Ohira, Emi reinterprets 1990s sci-fi anime through a magical girl lens, highlighting the liberation of women’s roles in science fiction. She is currently focusing on post-photography to create fictional past fads. Beyond her artistic practice, she is a published author as well as a lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited globally, including at SXSW, Austin; the Museum at FIT, New York; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Yusuke Shono is publisher of Massage Magazine, a media outlet that disseminates information about online culture. He is involved in book and exhibition planning, shedding light on culture yet to be discovered. He is the lead editor of The New Creator Economy (2022), a comprehensive collection of articles and artwork on the subject of NFTs, published by BNN.
This article is also available in Japanese via Massage Magazine.