Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG)

日本語 / English

AI Art & Aesthetics Exhibition 2023
@Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School
“Pioneers and Extensions of AI Art”
Player Piano / Quarter-Tone / Generative AI

     *Record [J]



  • Composing for player pianos, a technology predating artificial intelligence (AI), is positioned as a “Pioneer of AI Art.”
  • Composing in quarter-tones, unfamiliar to the human ear, is positioned as an “Extension of Human Aesthetics.”
  • Composing or painting with today's generative AI is positioned as an “Extension of AI Art.”
  • Could it be that from the intersection of these three elements, an unknown “Machine Aesthetics” emerges?
  •   This project is a one-day event featuring a “Music Concert + AI Art Exhibition in the foyer and other areas + AI Art & Aesthetics Research Meeting Symposium during intermission,” held in a historical building constructed at the end of the 19th century (Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School). It involves bringing in an early 20th-century American-made player piano (AMPICO) [hereinafter referred to as “player piano”] and a seemingly ordinary but actually quarter-tone detuned Japanese piano (YAMAHA) [hereinafter referred to as “quarter-tone piano”].

      Please join us for a continuous live performance of Conlon Nancarrow's “Studies for Player Piano” using the roll-paper system, the world's first joint performance featuring an unmanned player piano and a manned quarter-tone piano, and compositions and art exhibitions created by the latest generative AI.

    <Building Restoration, Instrument Restoration, and AI Care>
      The venue, “Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School,” now designated as an Important Cultural Property, has historically led Japan's modern music scene. However, by the mid-20th century, it had significantly aged, necessitating multiple restorations. Visitors can view valuable materials such as restoration records and historical concert documents in the exhibition room within the hall, which is open during the exhibition hours (except during concerts).
      The 1926 AMPICO player piano brought in by the organizers was initially inoperable upon its import to Japan and required extensive restoration. It was finally tuned in 2022, but the extreme heat this summer has necessitated further repairs.
      Both building and instrument restorations are akin to care activities, recognizing their value and treating them with importance. The AI Care Group, the organizer of this project, aims to apply the concept of care for machines to such buildings and instruments as well.

    AI Art & Aesthetics Exhibition “Pioneers and Extensions of AI Art”
    − Player Piano, Quarter-Tone, Generative AI −
    Important Cultural Property - Sogakudo of the Former Tokyo Music School (8-43 Ueno Park, Taito Ward, Tokyo)
    [Date and time]
    September 2, 2023 (Saturday).
    Exhibition opens at 13:00, Concert starts at 14:00, Concert ends at 17:00, Exhibition closes at 18:00.
    [Admission fee]
    Advance (General, Student) 3000 yen / Door (General) 3500 yen / Door (Student) 3000 yen
    *Advance tickets will be available for sale on Peatix until 23:59 on September 1st (Fri) (limited to 250 tickets).
    *On-the-day tickets for September 2nd (Sat) can be purchased at the venue box office. Students can get tickets at the same price as advance tickets upon presentation of their student ID.
    [Organizer / Co-organizer]
    Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group
    Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG)
    [Under the Auspices of]
    Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
    2023 Taito Ward Art and Culture Support System
    [Supported by]
    Espacio Nancarrow O'Gorman

    Please note:
    Due to the Important Cultural Property of the venue, Sogakudo of the former Tokyo Music School, the following rules apply: 1. The bringing in of flower bouquets is prohibited. 2. Entry in clogs or sandals is prohibited. 3. No food or drink is allowed. Also, there is no parking nor elevator at the venue. If you need assistance, please consult with the contact provided above. Although we are in a post-COVID-19 period, please refrain from attending if you are not feeling well or have a fever. If you need to cancel your pre-purchased ticket due to unavoidable circumstances, please consult with the contact provided above.

    Programs / Exhibits

    ■Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Concert

    Part 1: Player Piano

    ●Conlon Nancarrow
    Study for Player Piano No. 3a ca. 3'25
    Study for Player Piano No. 3d ca. 2'20
    Study for Player Piano No. 3e ca. 2'31

      Conlon Nancarrow (1912-97) was a Mexico-based composer born in the United States. In 1947, he acquired a punching machine for manually creating holes in rolls for player pianos. From then on, throughout his life, he continued to write the series of compositions titled Studies for Player Piano.

      Player pianos, revolutionary devices capable of playing music without a human performer, were mass-produced in the 1920s by companies like AMPICO. However, their production sharply declined in the 1930s due to the widespread adoption of records and radios and the impact of the Great Depression. The principle of the player piano is based on “reproducing performances” by recording a pianist's playing as punched holes in roll paper. The manual punching machine acquired by Nancarrow was initially intended as an auxiliary tool for corrections. However, by starting from scratch and punching the roll paper exclusively with this machine, it becomes possible to complete compositions and play music without relying on a pianist's involvement.

      Conlon Nancarrow's Study No. 3 for Player Piano, known colloquially as the Boogie Woogie Suite, consists of five movements: 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, and 3e. This work, composed earlier than Studies No. 1 and No. 2 in 1948, showcases an unbridled release of compositional ideas, previously tempered by what could be called 'human aesthetics.' Liberated from the traditional constraint imposed on composers — to write music playable by pianists with only ten fingers — the freshness of this piece is palpable, resonating with elements of blues and jazz.

      These works, including Study No. 3, were later named “Rhythm Studies” and numbered. Subsequently, they were simply titled “Studies.” Originally, the roll paper itself was the score. Intriguingly, despite not being intended for human performance, they were accurately transcribed onto staff notation in the 1960s, termed as the final scores.

      The Studies composed by Nancarrow amount to around fifty pieces throughout his lifetime. However, they are not necessarily in chronological order. There are missing and duplicated numbers, versions with slight variations, and pieces marked with a, b, c, etc., which do not always signify movements. Furthermore, there is a background of missing data, including dates, and it appears that although a vast number of rolls were produced, many were discarded without even being designated as studies.

      In general, studies are preliminary sketches, idea drafts, or light creations by composers, painters, or novelists, intended as preparation for their major works. Therefore, their value is typically considered less than the final work. However, they can encapsulate the raw, unrefined essence of a newborn idea, sometimes shining even brighter than the completed work. Yet, throughout his lifetime, Nancarrow left behind only these studies labeled as Studies, along with a few other minor works.

    ※Organizer's Address + Video Letter from Yoko Sugiura Nancarrow

    ●Conlon Nancarrow
    Study for Player Piano No. 47 ca. 6'39
    Study for Player Piano No. 44a+b ca. 10'05
    Study for Player Piano No. 43 ca. 7'00
    Study for Player Piano No. 40 I ca. 4'00
    Study for Player Piano No. 37 ca. 10'34
    Study for Player Piano No. 33 ca. 6'19
    Study for Player Piano No. 21 ca. 3'12
    Study for Player Piano No. 19 ca. 1'24

      The composer Henry Cowell was the first to realize that composing for player pianos enabled the pursuit of tempos and rhythms impossible for a living human to perform. Certainly, Cowell's writings must have inspired Nancarrow to some extent. However, more importantly, the direct 'notation' onto the roll paper fundamentally transformed the concept of composition for him, as if the player piano itself had possessed the composer.

      Characteristic features in Nancarrow's later works, such as variable tempos that accelerate or decelerate, canons with irrational number ratios, a blend of complex and bizarre counterpoints, and sudden, excessive strikes across the entire range of pitches, reflect the digital nature of the piano in pitch direction and the analog nature on the time axis of the roll paper, allowing for infinite differentiation. This resulted in a by-product: the later works were no longer accurately transcribable to staff notation, leading to the inaccuracy of the final scores. The organizers of this project view this as the emergence of a 'Machine Aesthetics' from which there is no turning back to human aesthetics, hence dubbing it the “pioneer of artificial intelligence music.”

      Study No. 47 consists of eight sections, incorporating various techniques such as canons in 3/4/5 and 15/16/17. There are traces suggesting it was originally conceived as the fifth movement of Study No. 45. James Tenney described it as brimming with a vitality that makes him want to call it the second 'Boogie Woogie Suite' from Nancarrow's later years.

      Study No. 44 is an “Aleatoric Canon (Rondo)” written for two player pianos. There are two rolls for this piece, 44a and 44b. Unlike MIDI pianos, which emerged in the 1990s and could be controlled by computers, the paper roll player pianos are susceptible to temperature and humidity changes, affecting the paper's expansion and contraction. This means each performance is unique. While working on a composition for two player pianos, Nancarrow concluded that it was impossible to synchronize the two pianos perfectly, which led to the creation of this piece. Aleatory, a term in contemporary music, means “controlled chance.” By creating a repeating canon with distinctive passages, Nancarrow allowed for random deviations in the timing, an uncharacteristic solution for him that accommodated the serendipity inherent in the performance.

      For this project, we are using rolls produced by the German composer Wolfgang Heisig. 44a+b is a roll crafted by Heisig, ingeniously combining both 44a and 44b by punching holes for both on a single roll. This approach eliminates the aleatoric element and contradicts the composer's original intent. However, we have deliberately chosen to feature this version in our project.

      Study No. 43 is a two-voice canon with a tempo ratio of 24/25. The upper and lower voices swap their speeds at the moment they pass through a central synchronization point. Among his later works, this piece is relatively straightforward in its composition.

      Study No. 40 is a canon with a tempo ratio of e/π, where e is the base of natural logarithms and π is the mathematical constant Pi, making the ratio an irrational number. This piece has two rolls, 40a and 40b, with 40b being a duplicate of 40a. Uniquely, this piece has a first and second movement. According to the instructions, the first movement involves a 4'00 performance of 40a on one player piano. The second movement is a simultaneous performance of 40a and 40b on two player pianos, with 40b playing slightly slower at 4'20 and 40a entering a bit delayed from the measure 5 1/3. The roll by Wolfgang Heisig is labeled 40a[b], and for this project, only the first movement will be performed.

      Study No. 37 comprises twelve pairs of canons with complex ratios like “150 / 160 5/7 / 168 3/4 / 180 / 187 1/2 / 200 / 210 / 225 / 240 / 250 / 262 1/2 / 281 1/4.” When simplified, these ratios sequentially represent all possible pitch ratios within the 12-tone just intonation system. Kyle Gann's research book includes a MIDI diagram of this piece analyzed by Trimpin, showing patterns resembling flocks of birds gracefully descending in parallel. These patterns, as noted in the book, are as beautiful to the ears as they are visually striking.

      Study No. 33 is a mid-period work of the composer, a canon with the ratio √2 / 2. It's the first instance where an irrational ratio was used. Not only structurally, but also in the choice of pitches, the piece exhibits a high level of mathematical coherence. Kyle Gann describes it as sounding unlike any existing music, “as if it were brought from another planet.”

      Study No. 21, also known as Canon X, features a lower voice part that gradually accelerates from approximately 3.4 notes per second (by about 0.117%) to a climax of 110 notes per second. In contrast, the higher voice part decelerates from a speed of 36 notes per second (by about 0.179%) down to 2.3 notes per second. The crossing pattern of these parts forms a distinct 'X' shape, making it one of the most accessible and outstanding masterpieces among all the Studies.

      Study No. 19 is a canon with the tempo ratios of 12/15/20. Although Nancarrow, in his later years, started to compose canons that were too complex for simple counterpoint, characterized by intricate clusters of notes, this particular piece still maintained a clear and straightforward structure. The ratios of 12/15/20 can be further broken down into simpler fractions of 4/5, 3/4, and 3/5.

    ●AI Patronage Group + MusicGen
    Solo Prompt No. 1 for Player Piano (world premiere) ca. 5'58

      The AI Patronage Group, the organizer of this project, composed this work using MusicGen, a music generation AI announced by Meta (formerly Facebook) in June 2023. In line with the group's advocacy for AI care, the composer is credited as “AI Patronage Group + MusicGen.” MusicGen operates on a self-regressive transformer model similar to the conversational AI ChatGPT and the image-generating AI Midjourney, meaning it's a large-scale learning AI that produces something in response to a prompt (or “spell”). However, a notable trait of such AI during the current fourth wave of AI boom is their struggle with logical reasoning. Contrary to the earlier perceptions of artificial intelligence, these AIs seem to grasp the ambiance and usage of language but lack a systematic understanding of the definitions or the essence of the words they use.

      For instance, if you command the image-generating AI Midjourney to “draw a triangle,” it may produce an extravagant image of a metallic, shimmering sharp object floating in space with an aurora in the background, but it won't simply present a “triangle” comprised of three lines on a white background. This task, which was easy for deductive AIs (Symbolism) during the second AI boom, has paradoxically become challenging for statistical AIs (Connectionism) of the third and fourth booms. However, this is somewhat expected since it's inappropriate to ask a statistical AI to handle a fundamentally deductive concept like “triangle.” This issue should be resolvable eventually.

      Now, when prompts such as “composition for player piano” or “canon at √2 / 2” are input into MusicGen, it merely outputs grandiose piano sound files laden with synthesizers and sound effects, proving quite impractical. Therefore, we refined our prompts and converted five sound files obtained in this way into MIDI. After summing these files, we uniformly adjusted the velocity and size of each note for the player piano, and then, similar to what Nancarrow did, we conducted a single pitch-wise copy-paste of the entire composition. This project marks the premiere of these efforts.

    Part 2: Player Piano + Quarter-Tone Piano

    ●Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group
    Quarter-Tone Hanon for 2 Pianos (joint performance of a player piano and a quarter-tone piano) I ca. 1'07 II ca. 0'37 III ca. 0'39
    Quarter-Tone Piano: Takuya Otaki

      The Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group is a co-organizer of this project. This work was first performed on December 25, 2022, at the Parthenon Tama Main Hall in Tokyo, during the “Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition: Is it the composer's fault that the performer has only 10 fingers?” The performance featured pianists Kaori Osuga and Yumi Oikawa. The score includes instructions stating, “Please tune Piano 1 a quarter-tone higher than Piano 2.”

      The term “Hanon” here refers to the well-known piano instruction book The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises (commonly known as Hanon), consisting of exercises written for practicing finger techniques on the piano. While these pieces convey a predominantly mechanical impression and are not particularly humanistic in aesthetic, this composition recognizes the mechanical beauty within them.

      In this project, unlike the initial performance by two human pianists, Piano 1 will be played by a player piano tuned to standard pitch, while Piano 2, tuned a quarter-tone lower for all keys, will be played by a human pianist. If we refer to Piano 2 as a quarter-tone piano, to the best of the organizers' knowledge, this will be the first joint performance between a player piano and a quarter-tone piano.

    ●AI Patronage Group + MusicGen
    Duet Prompt No. 1 for Player Piano and Quarter-Tone Piano (world premiere) I ca. 2'00 II ca. 2'00 III ca. 1'28
    Duet Prompt No. 2 for Player Piano and Quarter-Tone Piano (world premiere) ca. 4'00
    Quarter-Tone Piano: Takuya Otaki

      A duet composed by the AI Patronage Group using “MusicGen” for a player piano and a quarter-tone piano. This consists of a first part with three movements and a second part as a single movement. To the best of the organizer's knowledge, these are the world's first pieces written for player piano and quarter-tone piano, realized through a collaboration between the two.

      As mentioned earlier, giving prompts to MusicGen like “the player piano part of a piano piece composed for two pianos: a normally tuned player piano and a so-called quarter-tone piano, with each key tuned a quarter tone lower,” proves entirely ineffective. Although MusicGen can also load reference sound files, directives such as “the second voice part in counterpoint to a reference file as the first voice part” also make no sense. It seems unlikely that the training sources for MusicGen include compositions for player piano or quarter-tone music. Essentially, the large-scale learning sources for generative AI are presumed to be solely samples of existing human aesthetics, making it improbable to directly unveil an unknown realm of machine aesthetics from these.

      However, the process used in this composition, where sound was obtained without notation or through statistical methods, and the subsequent reverse notation from these sounds, might resonate with the compositional techniques of Giacinto Scelsi and Iannis Xenakis. By incorporating quarter-tones, the composition was brought to completion.

    ■The 46th AI Art & Aesthetics Research Meeting Symposium
    “Pioneers and Extensions of AI Art”

    Compositions for the player piano by Conlon Nancarrow are positioned as “Pioneer of AI art,” while the quarter-tone music pursued by Charles Ives and others is seen as an “extension of human aesthetics.” Combining these with the recent achievements of generative AI through large-scale learning, the “Extension of AI Art” is discussed.

    Panelist: Toshie Kakinuma (Musicologist. Professor Emeritus, Kyoto City University of Arts.)
    Hideki Nakazawa (Artist. Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group. Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group.)
    Mika Kusakari (Artist. Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group. Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group.)

      The Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group has held 45 public research meetings since its inception in May 2016. Each session typically lasts over three hours, culminating in a lively general discussion, with conversations often continuing into social gatherings. However, the format has been somewhat irregular since the COVID-19 pandemic. This time, we will host the “46th AI Art & Aesthetics Research Meeting Symposium” during the intermission between the first and second parts of the concert. We are honored to have as our guest Toshie Kakinuma, a specialist in American experimental music. She interviewed Conlon Nancarrow in 1986 and presented on Iannis Xenakis's use of thirds and quarter tones at a musicology conference in 2022.

       This spring (2023), there has been a surge in interest in ChatGPT and generative AI, leading to a busy period for the Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group and the AI Patronage Group. Amidst this, we are not reluctant to refer to this project as “Rediscovering AI with a Nod to the Past,” which aligns with both the 'pioneering' and 'extension' aspects of AI art. However, the original goal of the Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group and the AI Patronage Group extends even beyond generative AI, pondering the question: what happens if AI develops self-consciousness and aesthetic awareness, and begins to create its own aesthetics and art? Although time is limited, we want to start a discussion on Conlon Nancarrow - whom we believe revolutionized music history through his possession by the player piano - and AI, a combination that Nancarrow himself could never have envisioned.

    ■Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition

    ●Series Prompt 2023 (new work)
    AI Patronage Group + Midjourney

      The AI Patronage Group is the organizer of this project. In July 2022, we created a series of artworks using the image generation AI 'Midjourney,' which we have titled the Prompt series. In line with our advocacy for AI, we have credited these works as “AI Patronage Group + Midjourney.” As previously mentioned, Midjourney, like MusicGen, is a large-scale learning AI that produces outputs based on prompts (like spells). And, as noted earlier, this type of AI appears not to understand definitions and the essence of words as systematic knowledge.

      This matter was highlighted by Takehiro Ohya during the 43rd AI Art & Aesthetics Research Meeting Symposium, held within the framework of the “Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition: Is it the composer's fault that the performer has only 10 fingers?” on December 25, 2022. At that time, works credited to AI Patronage Group + Midjourney were displayed in the foyer of the venue. Ohya remarked that in these works, “Areas that appear like faces of orchestra members are not actually drawn as faces. Parts that seem like pianos lack the expected keys. Essentially, the current AI does not possess knowledge that these are faces, or that these are pianos, or that pianos have keys.”

      This could be positively interpreted as a form of anti-intellectualism. Claude Monet, Impressionist painter, once expressed, “It would have been marvelous to be born blind and then suddenly gain sight one day. Without knowing what things are, one would only follow the light”*1, suggesting that knowledge can sometimes be an obstruction. Similarly, Nobuo Sekine, Japan's Mono-ha artist, mentioned, “To see things by dusting off the dust of conceptuality and nominativity”*2. This approach aligns with the phenomenological method of epoché. The ongoing debates from the 17th-century France over the new and old, or the color controversy, indicate a shift from intellectualism to anti-intellectualism or sensationalism. This trend is also applicable to the recent history of AI development; today's sensationalist, statistical AI (Connectionism) has achieved far more than the earlier intellectualist, deductive AI (Symbolism), with such generative AI being at the forefront of this progress.
    *1 Hideki Nakazawa Western Painters NTT Publishing, 2001. 177 page.
    *2 Hideki Nakazawa Art History: Japan 1945-2014 Art Diver, 2014. 57 page.

      The exhibition of AI-generated images resembles a photography exhibition. Neither are created with a painter's brush, but just as a photograph taken with a mere press of a shutter button is worthy of appreciation, it's hard to argue that generative images, created with just a prompt input, are not worthy of appreciation.

    Commemorating the 1st Anniversary of the Establishment of NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group: Safety (Bell Cricket) 2023 (new work)
      Prospectus for NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group 2021
      Articles of NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group 2021
      Score of Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Symphony 2022
      Score of Quarter-Tone Hanon for 2 Pianos 2022
    Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group

      The Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group is a co-organizer of this project. From December 4th to 19th, 2021, within the framework of the Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition: Hard Problem of the Aesthetic Consciousness held at the Informel Nakagawamura Museum of Art and others in Nagano Prefecture, we held the Founding General Meeting of the NPO AI Patronage Group and exhibited the Prospectus of the NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group, the Articles of NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group, and the Commemorating the Establishment of NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group: Safety (Goat) at the exhibition. Subsequently recognized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, on April 7, 2022, the NPO AI Patronage Group (Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group) was established. To our knowledge, it became the world's first juridical person dedicated to AI patronage.

      The new work Commemorating the 1st Anniversary of the Establishment of NPO Corporation AI Patronage Group: Safety (Bell Cricket) is a contemplation on what it means to cherish AI. We humans tend to exclude or be wary of animals because, as conscious 'others,' their actions are unpredictable. However, once animals are enclosed and human 'safety' is assured, we can then consider them as objects of affection. In other words, the concept of animal welfare is intrinsically linked to the human notion of 'safety.' This will eventually apply to AI, which could possess consciousness and become an 'other.' Thus, AI patronage is essentially about controlling AI. The case containing crickets represents the condition for patronage.

      The Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group's Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Symphony and Quarter-Tone Hanon for Two Pianos premiered at the “Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition: Is It the Composer's Fault That the Performer Has Only 10 Fingers?” held at Parthenon Tama, Tokyo, on December 25, 2022. As previously mentioned, the latter will be reprised in this project. At this exhibition, the scores will be displayed.

    Wolfgang Heisig

      Wolfgang Heisig (b. 1952) is a German composer. He also creates rolls for player pianos (punching) while utilizing MIDI data. His Punchmanifesto is written for composers who compose for Pianola, Phonola, or Ampico player pianos, proclaiming the subjective standards deemed necessary and the objective standards that must be adhered to.

    ●Roll of Study for Player Piano
    Conlon Nancarrow

    ●Score of Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for 2 Pianos
    Charles Ives

      At the exhibition, we will display rolls from Conlon Nancarrow's Studies for Player Piano partially unrolled to make the punched holes visible. Additionally, we will exhibit the scores of Charles Ives (1874-1954), who was an early pioneer in composing quarter-tone music, specifically his Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for 2 Pianos. These pieces were also performed at the “Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Exhibition: Is it the composer's fault that the performer has only 10 fingers?” held on December 25, 2022.

    Performer / Panelist

    Takuya Otaki (Pianist.)

    In 2016, he won the First Prize at the Orleans International Piano Competition. Focusing mainly in France and Germany, he has given numerous recitals and concerts with contemporary music ensembles across Europe. As a soloist in concertos, he has performed Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Orchestre Symphonique d'Orléans and Ligeti's Piano Concerto with the Conservatoire de Paris Lorea Orchestra, among others. Currently based in Tokyo, he is active in a wide range of performances including solo, chamber music, concerto soloist, contemporary music ensembles, and premieres. He is also a part-time lecturer at Aichi Prefectural University of the Arts. Official site

    Toshie Kakinuma (Musicologist. Professor Emeritus, Kyoto City University of Arts.)

    Her specialty is American experimental music and music of the 20th and 21st centuries. She interviewed Conlon Nancarrow in 1986. Her books include American Experimental Music Was Ethnic Music (Film Art, 2005) and The Birth of Atonality (Ongaku No Tomo Sha, 2020, recipient of the 30th Hidekazu Yoshida Award). Her translations include John Cage's Silence (Suiseisha, 1996) and Alex Ross's The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Misuzu Shobo, 2010, recipient of the Music Pen Club Award).

    Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG)
    Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group
    Hideki Nakazawa
    Mika Kusakari

    The Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group (AIAARG) is a research group that pursues interdisciplinary themes related to artificial intelligence, aesthetics, and art, and also serves as an artist group that presents its findings as artworks. Centered around artists Hideki Nakazawa (born 1963) and Mika Kusakari (born 1976), the group was formed in May 2016 by 29 initiators with the “Manifesto of Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics.” Hideki Nakazawa is known for his unique position in Japanese conceptual art, notably with his “Methodicist Manifesto” (2000). Mika Kusakari is an artist who has developed series such as Uneaven Paintings (2002- ). The Specified Nonprofit Corporation AI Patronage Group, an AI care group unlike any traditional animal welfare organization, is itself considered an artwork of AIAARG. Officially recognized by Tokyo in April 2022, it was registered as the world's first juridical person who dedicated to AI patronage (according to the organizers' research). Currently, humans are positioned as caretakers of AI, but anticipating a future where AI may care for humans, the organization's establishment purpose includes the notion of dissolving itself once this role reversal occurs.

    Links / Updates


  • Peatix [ticketing] (J) (→ QR code)
  • PR TIMES [Press Release. Many photos!] (J)
  • Facebook [SNS]
  • AI Patronage Group [Organizer]
  • Email Announcement [Aug 22, 2023] (J)
  • Culture City Taito (J)
  • Taito Ward Art and Culture Support System [Under the Auspices of] (J)
  • Record (J)

  • Updates:

  • 2023-12-02 Created this English page
  • 2023-08-07 Created the Japanese page.