Report on Agora Keynote Sessions 2016

  • Arts, Science, Technology and Creativity




  • Date and time: 15:30-17:00, November 5th(Sat), 2016
  • Venue: Tokyo International Exchange Center
  • Organizer: Delegation of the European Union to Japan


  • Part1
  • Part2

Moderator and Speakers

  • Philippe Codognet : moderator
    CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research)
    Director of the CNRS regional Office (Japan / Korea / Taiwan)
  • Gerfried Stocker
    Director, Ars Electronica
  • Keiichiro Shibuya
    Composer, Musician
  • Takashi Ikegami
    Professor, University of Tokyo
    (Department of General Systems Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
  • Gerard Assayag
    Researcher, IRCAM, Paris
    (French Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustic Music)
    Head of IRCAM/CNRS Research Laboratory
  • Beatrice de Gelder
    Professor, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
    (Social and Affective Neuroscience)

Refer to the following:


What is the relationship between the arts, sciences and technology?

The aim of the keynote was to bring together leading figures from Europe and Japan that are involved in bridging gaps between the arts and sciences. Panelists sought to explore how the power of computers and robots might challenge human activities in the near future, particularly as they relate to human creativity. During the session, the participants sought to address some key questions around the relationship between the arts, science, technology and creativity.


panel discussion from the session
panel discussion from the session

Examples of Art-Science Synergies...

The session began with the moderator, Philippe Codognet (CNRS) talking of how artists in the past often used science and this tradition continues with modern artists using computers to generate images and explore new areas. This is being further extended as computers become an extension of our body.
Gerfried STOCKER (Director, ARS Electronica, Linz, Austria) introduced ARS Electronica's efforts. He talked of how an artistic viewpoint can inform new products, and gave numerous examples, including how the 2016 STARTS prizewinner had used 3D printing, laser printing, and the influence of magnetic fields to create clothing.

(Left: Philippe Codognet  Right: Gerfried STOCKER
Left: Philippe Codognet  Right: Gerfried STOCKER

Gerard ASSAYAG (Research Director, IRCAM, Paris, France) introduced IRCAM and how it brings musicians, scientists and engineers together to work on music, sound, its creation and production. He demonstrated AI and Machine Learning improvisation to music. Beatrice DE GELDER (Professor, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Netherlands) described her work as a neuroscientist and the relationship of non-verbal communication between humans and robots, especially how virtual reality can affect the brain.

(Left:Gerard ASSAYAG  Right: Beatrice DE GELDER
Left: Gerard ASSAYAG  Right: Beatrice DE GELDER

Takashi IKEGAMI (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo) discussed the connections between art and science and the various types of research that have been performed as his laboratory. He has been using artificial intelligence with robots and presented robots they have developed that have the ability to evolve with their surroundings and learn. Keiichiro SHIBUYA (Pianist and electronic music composer, Tokyo) showed a video of his vocaloid that performed an opera.

(Left:Takashi IKEGAMI  Right: Keiichiro SHIBUYA
Left: Takashi IKEGAMI  Right: Keiichiro SHIBUYA

Uniting art and science to enhance creativity...

In a wide-ranging discussion, panelists discussed how art-science collaboration can enhance creativity and mutual learning between humans and computers. How the human brain evolves as it interacts with technology featured prominently in discussions. At early stages of adoption there are typically high levels of creativity but panelists wondered if it diminishes over time. They looked at creativity, expertise and how artistic people are often willing to transcend barriers.

【Comments from the writer】

Science Agora, as Japan's foremost event for the public communication of science, is a highly useful vehicle and event by which we can showcase excellent research from Europe, as well as show how European and Japanese researchers collaborate together. This was the second year that the Delegation of the European Union to Japan participated in the event, bringing together over fourty researchers and scholars from Europe and Japan.

Dr. Lee Woolgar
Senior ICT Policy Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Japan

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