AI-based Performance Piece
Premiere June 2022 at Centre Pompidou
a co-production of the Decoder Ensemble and IRCAM Paris
Next Performances: September 29 and 30, PACT Zollverein


Photo by Quentin Chevrier

Program Notes:

An institute for self-optimization. A church for transcendence. A simulation space for the bored escapist. A therapy session for the traumatized self. An iteration loop to break the pattern. Which pattern? The pattern.
The pattern of self. The pattern of the subject. The pattern of internal world building:
This framing is clear.

Imagine an AI-driven institute that creates a virtual reality simulation of your life and human constellations. An explorative space, in which a computer entity shapes every interaction and communication – like in an extended therapy session. ANIMA™ is a center to which people go to enter a simulated situation exemplifying passages and moments of their life – with changing parameters and modified realities. It is an AI-driven scenario run by a computer to provide psychologic insight or transcendental enlightenment. It is a process of letting go one’s ego and body and surrender to a constantly changing, intensifying setting, in which the world dissolves together with the person entering. It brings to life the future and the past and animates the virtual. It operates at the border of the object and the subject, between biology and technology – and between enlightenment and self-dissolving.

Here, in this institute:
We believe in the surface and representation.
Here, in this institute:
We believe in subjects as objects.
Here, in this institute:
We believe in in recursive self exploration,
Iterated inward zooming,
Until nothing is left:

Something empty
cannot suffer.
Something hollow
Is inviolable.


Artistic director, composer: Alexander Schubert
Choreography: Patricia Carolin Mai
Video: Lucas Gutierrez
Scenography: Stefan Britze
Costumes: Felina Levits
Lights: Diego Muhr
Ircam electronics: Thomas Goepfer, Dionysios Papanicolaou
Sound distribution: Luca Bagnoli
Scientific collaboration with Ircam-STMS (ACIDS): Antoine Caillon, Philippe Esling
Performance: Decoder-Ensemble , Carola Schaal, Jonathan Shapiro, Andrej Koroliov, Leopold Hurt, Sonja Lena Schmid, Guy Marsan, Si-Ying Fung, Ines Assoul, Stefanie Inhelder, Lise Herdam
Text Assistance: Michael Brailey
Production: Lisa Brunmayr, Mirella Frenzel, Dennis Naehr
Commissioned by: Ircam-Centre Pompidou

Alexander-Schubert · Anima™