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Creativity 50 2011: Sputniko, aka Hiromi Ozaki

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Sputniko
Sputniko

If you've ever wondered what it's like to have a visit from Aunt Flo, Sputniko! has solved your problems. Last year, the Japanese-English artist created The Menstruation Machine, a device that stimulates the lower abdomen and releases a blood-like substance into the underthings of its wearer in order to simulate a woman's menstrual cycle.

Sputniko!, aka Hiromi Ozaki, created the contraption for her graduate project at the U.K.'s Royal College of Art, promoting it with a catchy pop track and provocative music video about a transvestite's night out strapped to the piece. "I wanted to illustrate how technology doesn't necessarily evolve fairly," Ms. Ozaki said. "Japan took more than 10 years to approve contraceptive pills, but only took six months to approve Viagra."

The device appeared earlier this year at Tokyo's Museum of Contemporary Art and will make its U.S. debut at the New York's Museum of Modern Art this summer.

There, Ms. Ozaki will also unveil her latest creation, Crowbot Jenny, another research-driven music-slash-art piece that focuses on communication with non-human species. Meanwhile, she's also launched into her latest effort, inspired by the current nuclear crisis in Japan. "The situation here is beyond surreal at the moment," she says. "If you go to Akiba (Tokyo's electronics shopping district) you see Geiger counters being sold next to the usual gadgets and Anime."

How do you define creativity?
For me, creativity = curiosity! I go outside, get inspired, then try to make something from it to spread the amazement...

What's the biggest creativity killer?
Never being satisfied!

What are your thoughts on risk taking?
If you're scared of failure, then the possibility of risk decreases. ... I think I've managed to do things no one would have imagined I can do, just because I didn't worry about failing. Maybe that's not good advice.

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