It is thought that Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins’ goal was to create a paradise that could appear in real space. One way of thinking about paradise is that it means to develop and update the human mind. Arakawa’s greatness lies in the fact that he recognised paradise as the ultimate achievement of science and technology. Isn’t that what the metaverse is all about?
Until now, science has been about how to find and describe the laws and universals of the universe, apart from human subjectivity. But what is being developed for the 22nd century is the science of the mind, the science of subjectivity, and today, in the 21st century, there are only two ways to understand how the mind works: as hardware (studying all the connections in the neural network) or as software (developing psychology). In the 22nd century, we will develop what is called mindware. One form of this is the construction of the metaverse. We would like to discuss the future of Arakawa and Gins’ philosophy by reconstructing their unrealized pieces in the metaverse.
Takashi Ikegami’s research interests include complex systems and artificial life. He received his PhD in physics from The University of Tokyo. He is currently a professor at The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on complex systems and artificial life. Some of his results have been published in Life in Motion (Seidosha, 2007) and Between Man and Machine (Kodansha, 2016). He has also been active in art since 2005, with works such as “Filmachine” (with Keiichiro Shibuya, YCAM, 2006), “Mind Time Machine” (YCAM, 2010), “Long Good bye” (with Kenshu Shimpo, Japan Alps Festa, 2017), “Offloaded Agency” (Barbican, 2019).
Yasuo Kobayashi is Professor Emeritus of The University of Tokyo. His numerous works include Yūrei no shinri (The Truth of Ghost), Suiseisha, 2015, the book of 7 dialogues with Arakawa, and “Opera sengo bunka-ron (On Opera Post-War Culture 2),” in Nichijō-hinichijō, meikyū no jidai 1970–1995 (Ordinary-Extraordinary, the Age of Labyrinth 1970–1995), Miraisha, 2020, in which he mentions Arakawa.