2023 10 13

IDEA – Dialogue on Love, Death, and Existence by Two Androids, Keiichiro Shibuya + Takashi Ikegami

At the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, as a special event of the exhibition “DXP (Digital
Transformation Planet) – Towards the Next Interface,” we premiere the joint performance of the androids Alter3,
which also participates in the DXP exhibition, and Alter4, who was introduced last April. This performance is a
collaboration between composer Keiichiro Shibuya and Professor Takashi Ikegami of the University of Tokyo.
The performing humanoid robot “Alter” is well-known for Shibuya’s “Android Opera.” For the first time, two
Alters will share the stage. Throughout the performance, Shibuya plays both the piano and electronics. The
script, consisting of conversations between the two androids, is generated by GPT and, with the assistance of
young-talented artist Yuma Kishi, who also participates in the exhibition, the dialogue and discussions are
based on GPT’s learning from Plato’s writings and Karl Popper’s critiques of Plato. Essentially, this work is a
theatrical piece that minimizes human intent, performed by two androids. Drawing inspiration from Plato’s
dialogues, it is named “IDEA,” and also resonates with the intense alienation found in the film “Antigone,”
which is based on the Greek myth by Straub-Huillet.
Furthermore, Alter3 is motion-controlled by a program developed by the Ikegami Laboratory at the University
of Tokyo, which translates spoken text into movement using GPT. Alter4, on the other hand, moves in response
to music’s volume, pitch, and density, modulating its entire body like a synthesizer, based on a program by
electronic musician Shintaro Imai. The two androids, representing Plato’s world of Ideas and the world of
Phenomena respectively, will engage in intense debate.
After the performance, a post-talk session is scheduled with Takashi Ikegami, and Keiichiro Shibuya, and
Yuko Hasegawa, director of 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa will join the session as a

“Idea” means figure or form in Greek. Alter3 and Alter4, who represent the world of ideas and phenomena as
defined by Plato, are installed facing each other on the stage, and their faces and expressions are projected
onto the screen. Alter3’ s every spoken word is converted into movement by GPT, with everything down to its
movements controlled, while Alter4’ s responses to the volume, pitch, and density of the music played by
Shibuya and the oscillators attached to its body are modulated to generate periodic movements. The entire
script is generated by GPT, which has also learned Plato’ s works and Karl Popper’ s critiques of Plato. The two
androids delve into discussions about love, death, existence, desire, and emotions from the perspective of AI
and androids. What are these concepts? How are they possible? And what conclusion do they reach?
Cast: Alter3, Alter4
Script: GPT
Music, Concept: Keiichiro Shibuya (Piano, Electronics)
Alter3 Programming: Takahide Yoshida, johnsmith
Alter4 Programming: Shintaro Imai
GPT Technical Support: Yuma Kishi
Alter3 belongs to: Takashi Ikegami Laboratory,
University of Tokyo
Alter4 belongs to: Android and Music Science Laboratory,
Department of Art Science, Osaka University of Arts
Alter4’s Pedestal Design: Kazuyo Sejima & Associates
Video: Kotaro Konishi
Sound: Yuki Suzuki
Stage Manager: Kazuya Kushimoto
Production Support: Sota Kawagoshi, Kento Tanaka
Production Management: Natsumi Matsumoto
Cooperation: Osaka University of Arts
Technical Support: Yamaha Corporation, ©2023 Dreamtonics Co., Ltd.
Production Support: Communication Design Center
Production: ATAK
Organizer: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
(Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

2023.10.13 (Fri.)
2023.10.14 (Sat.)

Theater 21/ 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Advance ticket: ¥4,400 / Same-day ticket: ¥5,500