Tomoya Ishibashi

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Goldfish Liberation Movement (2012~)


Goldfish has been selected through human desire-based aesthetic selection for 1,700 years from their ancestral origin of a crucian carp. They cannot swim well, and their coloring is disadvantageous against predators. Therefore, they cannot survive under “natural” environment any longer. The challenge, which brings the goldfish to reacquire their “wildness” by regaining the characteristics of the crucian carp, is the Goldfish Liberation Movement. This biopolitical activity inverting both human aesthetics and flow of time will lead us into old love-hate dramas between human being and the goldfish.


Revital HgS (2013)


The mineral was sometimes regarded as a kind of organisms as well as animals and plants until the 18th century. Alchemists tried to transform minerals into gold, the elixir of life and even creatures by manipulating their “vitality”. When modern biology and chemistry became influential, minerals lost their life. However, to be sure, they were tinged with a nuance of life once.
In the current project we tried to reacquire view scenes dreamed by ancient alchemists in a contemporary biological laboratory. The experiments performed on minerals here are almost nonsense from the viewpoint of current sciences. Nevertheless, the results caused by contamination and mistakes would provide a faint presentiment of life again through our active interpretations and imaginations.
A mineral “Cinnabar” which we employed here consists of mercury sulfide (HgS), from which mercury metal can be produced by heating. Mercury is the only metal that is liquid under standard conditions at room temperature, bound to other metals to be transformed into various compounds, and even after this the mercury can be easily purified again with simple procedure. Such outstanding characteristics of cinnabar have fascinated ancient people, to be used as a raw material of western and eastern alchemy.




  • 1990 Born in Japan
  • 2008 Entered Department of Life science and medical bioscience in Waseda University
  • 2012 Entered Department of  Electrical Engineering
    and Bioscience in Waseda University (metaPhorest)