His main patent deals with the very simple idea of a “3D bitmap”. If you know what a “pixel” (= abbreviation of pictures + element) is, you just need to think of a pixel in 3 dimensions. This 3D pixel is called “Voxel” (= combination of “volumetric” and “pixel”) and Nakazawa owns the patent for deploying any 3D bitmap art form. He claims that the purest artistic form of expression does not lie in the use of a medium, but rather in the act of creating the medium itself, just like Leonardo Da Vinci who spent a considerable amount of time just on preparing his ideal pigment. With this hypothesis, Nakazawa claims that the artistic quality of his work only resides in the following table.
In this exhibition, you can take a look at the actual patent certificates that the artist obtained both in Japan and the US, along with a showcase of the 3D Bitmap editing software he directed and published in 1996.
I was invited to one of his talk shows. As someone who researches the digital copyright licensing system, my initial interest vis-à-vis Nakazawa’s project was inevitably focused on his use of the patent, a right managing system parallel to the copyright system.
Although Nakazawa’s interest to the law was only secondary, I found the way he sells his ‘art patent’ to be by far the most interesting point: you can spend ¥150,000 to become one of the patent’s stake-holders, allowing you to get a capital bonus when the patent receives licensing fees. Even if Nakazawa’s ‘invention’ technically does not have anything new in it, his concept of the creation of the medium its very stimulating to the information age we are living in.