Tokion Magazine's Fifth Creativity Now Conference- May 17-18, 2008


Tokion Magazine presents the Fifth Creativity Now Conference in New York City at Cooper Union‘s Great Hall on May 17th-18th. The doors will open at 11 am on both days with the conference beginning at noon and finishing at 6:30 pm. Tokion is an innovative New York-based magazine that covers artists, fashion designers, people from the film industry, photographers, graffiti artists, designers, musicians, and new media artists on a global scale. Founded over ten years ago, Tokion has become one of the most authoritative anthologies on alternative emerging art and artists as well as featuring more established artists such as Bjork and Jeff Koons. Previous print covers have featured diverse artists and thinkers such as Isabelle Huppert, Jena Malone, James Franco, Natasha Kahn, Jarvis Cocker, and most recently Nate Lowman, who will be presenting at this year’s conference.

Tokion is a Japanese term which translates as “the sound of now”, a perfect way to describe this cultural symposium, bringing together some of the most brilliant and progressive minds from a wide range of disciplines. Maria Bamford from Comedians of Comedy, P.S.1/MoMA’s curator Klaus Biesenbach, Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, and writer David Cross from “Arrested Development” (watch clip to see brief interview from Vancouver), artist, poet, and professional skateboarder Mark Gonzales (“The Gonz”), Curator of Deitch Projects Kathy Grayson, and Whitney Museum Curator Shamim M. Monin are just a few of the artists, curators, gallerists, and writers slated to present at this weekend’s conference. The conference consists of panel discussions and independent presentations, with the profile of attendees including students, aspiring artists and pop culture enthusiasts as well as industry professionals and other figures from the creative community.

Previous conference participants and presenters include photographer Stephen Shore, Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, actor Jason Lee and renowned contemporary artist, Matthew Barney, best known for his five-part film project, The Cremaster Cycle.

Another former panelist who created much excitement among the crowd was Hello Kitty‘s founder Yuku Shimizu, who sat on “The Power of Pop Iconography” with Tom Sachs and Steve Powers. As creator of one of the most iconographic contemporary characters on the market, Yuku (who does not speak a word of English) caused quite a stir when she began offering toys with a new character to attendees who asked questions to the panel.


The wild success of the previous conferences has roused the interest and support of contemporary commercial titans Microsoft and ABSOLUT. The two-day event is co-presented by Microsoft’s Zune Arts Program with additional support from ABSOLUT. Zune is Microsoft’s music and entertainment brand that provides an integrated digital entertainment experience, offering portable media players and a Zune marketplace for artists to share, connect, and build creative friendships.

ABSOLUT has become one of the most recognized and requested premium spirits in the world and has generated steady success with their infectious advertising campaigns that continuously converse with contemporary culture and media. ABSOLUT has collaborated with Jean-Paul Gaultier, Tom Ford, and Louise Bourgeois, as well as having an ad appearance on HBO’s Sex and the City.

With such visionary commercial enterprises supporting the event and such a vast array of inspirational and creative minds coming together to generate a multi-disciplinary conversation, this discourse is sure to blast a very loud and progressive “sound of now,” one which will be enjoyed and discussed by many.