Digital Arts & Creative Technology

Watch our full video of the Town Talk with Daito Manabe

Following the World Premiere of Daito Manabe’s COSMOS commission for Jodrell Bank’s Lovell Telescope at Bluedot festival, he joined us in July for our Town Talk to discuss the work.

Developed in partnership with Abandon Normal Devices and SHIFT, this inaugural commission for COSMOS, a flagship international artist residency and commissioning programme, features Tokyo-Based Media Artist, DJ, Programmer and member of design collective Rhizomatics, Daito Manabe.

The iconic structure of the Lovell Telescope presents a unique and unparalleled canvas for Manabe to create this new work. During bluedot Manabe’s artwork was projected directly onto the structure of the telescope using advanced projection mapping employing point cloud data gathered by LiDAR* scans completed by Arup.

See the full recording of his talk here and find out more about his creative process and how this ambitious work was realised.

About Daito Manabe

Since 2003 Manabe’s genre defining collaborations have interrogated emerging technologies, programming and interactive design, resulting in ambitious creative projects at the cutting edge of art and technology. In 2006 he founded Rhizomatiks, and since 2015 he has worked with Motoi Ishibashi on Rhizomatiks Research, to conduct innovate and ambitious R&D.

Manabe has produced collaborative projects with musicians internationally, including Nosaj Thing, Squarepusher, Timo Maas and Etsuko Yakushimaru. Since 2011 he has collaborated with dance company ELEVENPLAY to create works that explore machine learning technologies and computervision. Receiving media praise (WIRED, Discovery Channel) these projects have toured festivals around the world, including Sónar (Barcelona) and Mutek (Mexico City).

His installation and performances have been presented internationally at festivals including Ars Electronica (Linz), STRP Festival (Eindhoven), Resonate (Serbia) and Sónar (Barcelona). He has received numerous awards including Distinction in the Ars Electronica Prix Interactive division for Particles (2011) and Honorary Mentions for Perfume Global Site (2012) and Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989 (2013).

Manabe’s DJ career extends over twenty years and he has participated as front act in live performances in Japan with overseas artists including Flying Lotus and Squarepusher.

As a creator, he has produced collaborative projects with musicians both at home and abroad. In addition to the direction of music videos by Nosaj Thing, FaltyDL, Squarepusher, Timo Maas, Yasuyuki Okamura and Etsuko Yakushimaru, he worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto on the installation “Sensing Streams.” He is also responsible for the visual direction and programming for Nosaj Thing’s live set and the technical direction of the live performance by Perfume.

In 2011, Manabe started to work in collaboration with the dance company ELEVENNPLAY to produce works using mechanical learning technologies such as computervision in order to devise new expressions of the body, and other technologies such as drones and robot arms. Those works were shown at festivals including Sónar (Barcelona), Scopitone (Nantes) and Mutek (Mexico City) and was praised by the media at home and abroad including WIRED and Discovery Channel.


COSMOS is a flagship international artists commission and residency for Lovell Telescope. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices, commissioned by Jodrell Bank Observatory, bluedot, SHIFT and Abandon Normal Devices. Supported by the University of Manchester, Rhizomatiks Research, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, and with public funds from Arts Council England. LiDAR* scans of the Lovell Telescope used in the production of COSMOS are provided by Arup. *(Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging)