Toshi and I have been friends for almost 20 years. I met him on a beach in Cape Cod during a psytrance party. He was an established VJ in the Boston scene and I was just trying to figure out how that whole world worked. He brought me into the fold and taught me about the software and the methods that people were using to mix visuals live to electronic music.
We’ve stayed in touch throughout the years, both moving to the Bay Area, both pursuing our own careers, watching each other grow and mature on our own respective paths. When he agreed to do an episode of the Luminous Arts I was stoked and even though we couldn’t sit down in person it was so good to catch up.
Toshi is an amazingly deep thinker and a very intelligent guy. Our conversation was fun because it let both of us go deep on some really important topics relating to the ethics of the use of technology. He works for the Institute for the Future, a non-profit focused on just that. He runs a department there that allows him to explore, among other things, the various ways that VR can be used to generate positive change in the world.
I think you’re going to dig this conversation. It winds its way through the world of immersive new media art, through the role of social media in society, and into our responsibility to help shape the world using technology. Let’s dive in!