‘discrete figures’ performance by Rhizomatiks x Elevenplay

Two Shows Over Two Nights

Thank you San Francisco, the first night of this show in celebration of Gray Area's 10 year anniversary sold out in less than a week. Based on demand, we have added a second night to allow an all-ages audience to view this unique experience. Please select the correct date when ordering. There are no refunds or exchanges.

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 8PM (All Ages) Tix here
General Admission On Sale Now!

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 8PM (21+) Sold Out

Presenting the United States Premiere of ‘discrete figures’ a new dance technology performance by artist Daito Manabe’s Rhizomatiks Research and Choreographer MIKIKO's ELEVENPLAY, in collaboration with artist Kyle McDonald.

Inspired by Alan Turing, their newest performance marries choreography for five dancers with machine learning technology and a stage designed for interactivity between performers, drones, virtual dancers and other objects.

A Decade of Gray Area

Celebrating Gray Area’s 10 year anniversary programming art & technology in San Francisco, we invite you to join us in supporting our largest production in the Grand Theater to date co-presented by Heron Arts, Japan Foundation and tickets available exclusively on Up All Night.

Full Length Dance and Technology Performance

An expansive multidisciplinary collaboration between mathematicians, dancers, media artists, composers, and engineers, this complex experimental augmented reality performance is truly the first of its kind. This newest dance performance probes the circuitry connecting the corporeal to the cognitive, questioning the very essence of humanity and machine.

Alan Turing is often called the father of modern computing. He was a brilliant mathematician and logician. He developed the idea of the modern computer and artificial intelligence

Turing thus gave birth to one physical incarnation of mathematics. His creations are the embodiment of the act of performing mathematics. Although his contemporaries would see a sharp delineation between human and machine, in his eyes, his progeny did not constitute a distant “other”. Rather, he was the father of a “living machine.”

How might mathematics manifest itself as physical expression? What binds human cognition and philosophy to a human being’s body? How might this connection dissolve or transform in time?

The full-length show follows the emergence of mathematics in relationship to the human body, exploring perception and our physical modes of expression through a complex set of emerging technologies.

Production Credits

Stage Direction | Choreography: MIKIKO
Artistic Direction | Music: Daito Manabe (Rhizomatiks Research)
Technical Direction | Hardware Engineering: Motoi Ishibashi (Rhizomatiks Research)
Machine learning Direction: Kyle McDonald
Machine learning: Yuta Asai (Rhizomatiks Research)
Projection System | Software Engineering: Yuya Hanai (Rhizomatiks Research)
Visualization: Satoshi Horii (Rhizomatiks Research)
Visualization: You Tanaka (Rhizomatiks Research)
Videographer: Muryo Homma (Rhizomatiks Research)
Stage Engineering: Momoko Nishimoto (Rhizomatiks Research)
Production management: Yoko Shiraiwa (ELEVENPLAY), Nozomi Yamaguchi (Rhizomatiks Research), Ayumi Ota (Rhizomatiks Research), Rina Watanabe (Rhizomatiks Research)
Production: Rhizomatiks co., ltd.

Artist Collaboration Background

An interdisciplinary digital Renaissance man, Rhizomatiks Research co-founder Daito Manabe stands out for his new approaches to the human body, data, programming, computers and other everyday phenomena. With one foot in the future, the Tokyo-based media artist and creative technologist uses programming, sound design and interaction design to develop next-level production technology for major international events and entertainment projects, from augmented reality videos for musicians to live interactive technology for dancers.

Among his extensive collaborations, Manabe developed the imaging system for Björk’s video “Mouth Mantra,” lead the AR/VR live imaging production for her “Quicksand” performance, co-created the “Sensing Streams” installation with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and most recently completed the commission “Celestial Frequencies” at the Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics. After working with L.A.-based producer Nosaj Thing on music videos that used advanced projection mapping, augmented reality, dancing drones and motion capture, Manabe and the L.A.-based producer set out on their ever-evolving, Prix Ars Electronica Award-winning music video "Cold Stare", forefronting new technology not only as art but as a way to transcend reality.

In that spirit, Manabe and Rhizomatiks Research have collaborated in a visual, technical and musical director role with choreographer MIKIKO and the ELEVENPLAY performance company in several high-tech, data-driven performances since 2013, combining corporeal and mechanical bodies in spectacular gyrations of dance and technology.

Artist Bios


Dance company directed by choreographer & art director, MIKIKO. ELEVENPLAY was founded by MIKIKO in 2009, in the hopes of creating dancers who posses highly artistic sense and creativity on top of exquisite techniques, body and spirit. Composed of female dancers from a variety of genre, ELEVENPLAY's methods of expression are diverse, including stages, video works, and still photos. In "MOSAIC", performed in March 2014, the dance installation unfolded the unique world-view of ELEVENPLAY, and was widely praised. In May 2014, we performed, together with Miku Hatsune, the opening act for Lady GaGa's world tour 2014, in which our innovative world of expression, where the virtuality and reality brought out each other's beauty in perfect unity, fascinated Lady GaGa fans at the scene. We have many collaboration pieces with Rhizomatiks, directed by Daito Manabe; in June 2014, we were privileged to present one of such pieces at the world's renowned art festival "Sonar Music Festival 2014". Since then, we have been eagerly broadening our playing field worldwide, as seen in our Mexico Tour in October which was also a large success.


MIKIKO, a stage designer/choreographer, has taken an artistic direction and choreographed almost fifty artists and world popular Japanese artists like Perfume, BABYMETAL, Ringo Shiina and more. She won many prizes, and her choreography is outstanding in the scene of Japanese Pop-music. MIKIKO is one of the most greatest choreographer and represents Japan. Also, as choreographer/director of dance company "ELEVENPLAY", she has been building up her very own creative world of MIKIKO with the company's highly talented dancers. In 2013, ELEVENPLAY collaborated with Rhizomatiks, and they created/performed an interactive dance installation at YCAM. In 2013 and 2014, their dance installation got invitation from "Sonar Festival", "Festival Internacional Cervantino" and "MUTEK MEXICO”; as a result, their works became world famous and a high reputation in media-arts scene. ELEVENPLAY, led by choreographer MIKIKO, are exploring an artistic possibility in fusion with both kinesthetic expression and technology such as drones and robotic arms. Those challenges for kinesthetic expression by MIKIKO and Rhizomatiks represent totally new style collaboration and art, ended up. Perfume Global Site Project, a open-source project of Perfume’s motion capture dance data that was choreographed by MIKIKO, was over fifty-thousand download at first day and became a great sensation in the world. More than thousand creators jointed this project and recreated visual images in the scene of motion graphics as a derivative work by using dance data from the site. This project attracted a really high attention and reputation from over the world; therefore, the project got a grand prix prize from Japan Media Arts Festival, Entertainment Section and Ars Electronica, Interactive-Art Section, honorable mention. MIKIKO recently takes an art direction for Perfume’s concert and music video for Nosaj Thing  and creates a new vision in mixture of a real and virtual world. She is tremendously good at sublimating the newest technology in her choreography, and extends her field by collaborating other genre creators.

Rhizomatiks Research

Rhizomatiks Research is one of the division from Rhizomatiks, dedicated to exploring new possibilities in the realms of technical and artistic expression. Focusing on media art, data art, and other RD-intensive projects, our team strives to deliver cutting edge solutions that have not yet been seen on a global stage. Rhizomatiks Research is accountable for all steps of a project, from hardware/software development up through operation. Additionally, we study the relationship between people and technology, and collaborate on projects with a myriad of creators.

Daito Manabe

Tokyo-Based Media Artist, DJ, Programmer Launched Rhizomatiks in 2006. Since 2015, has served alongside Motoi Ishibashi as co-director of Rhizomatiks Research, the firm’s division dedicated to exploring new possibilities in the realms of technical and artistic expression with a focus on R&D-intensive projects. Distinguished professor at Keio University SFC. Manabe utilizes programming, sound design, and interaction design to develop stage production technology for both international large-scale events and entertainment projects while also collaborating with leading artists across a diverse range of genres. As a media artist, Manabe takes a new approach to everyday materials and phenomenon. However, his end goal is not simply rich, high-definition realism by recognizing and recombining these elemental building blocks. Rather, his practice is informed by careful observation to discover and elucidate the essential potentiality inherent to the human body, data, programming, computers, and other phenomena. Manabe’s collaborations on dance performances with MIKIKO and ELEVENPLAY have showcased a wide array of technology including drones, robotics, machine learning, and even volumetric projection to create 3D images in the air from a massive volume of rays. Additional data-driven performances have explored innovative applications of dance data and machine learning. These collaborations have been performed at major festivals including Ars Electronica, Sónar (Barcelona), Scopitone (Nantes), and MUTEK (Mexico City) to widespread media acclaim (WIRED, Discovery Channel, etc.) credit: Photo by Shizuo Takahashi

Motoi Ishibashi

Engineer / Artist. Director of Rhizomatiks Research. Born in 1975. Graduated from the Department of Systems and Control Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS). After graduation, Ishibashi produced show windows and advertisements using an interactive video system, which at the time was still largely unknown. In 2006, he began making full-fledged media art works. His works include “Pa++ern”, “fadeout” and “particles”, and he has shown them at countless museums and events, such as Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media[YCAM], NTT InterCommunication Center[ICC], Ars Electronica and Sonar. In 2010, he expanded his field of activities to include entertainment, and began overseeing the technical aspects of music videos, concerts, and large-scale shows, creating new expressions using advanced systems in live performances. He continues to produce spaces and experiences that would not be possible with video alone through the use of devices and hardware. In 2011, he was awarded the Excellence Prize in the art division of the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival, and the Award of Distinction in the interactive division of Prix Ars Electronica.

Kyle McDonald

Kyle McDonald is an artist working with code. He is a contributor to open source arts-engineering toolkits like openFrameworks, and builds tools that allow artists to use new algorithms in creative ways. He has a habit of sharing ideas and projects in public before they're completed. He creatively subverts networked communication and computation, explores glitch and systemic bias, and extends these concepts to reversal of everything from identity to relationships. Kyle has been an adjunct professor at NYU's ITP, and a member of F.A.T. Lab, community manager for openFrameworks, and artist in residence at STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon, as well as YCAM in Japan. His work is commissioned by and shown at exhibitions and festivals around the world, including: NTT ICC, Ars Electronica, Sonar/OFFF, Eyebeam, Anyang Public Art Project, Cinekid, CLICK Festival, NODE Festival, and many others. He frequently leads workshops exploring computer vision and interaction.


Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation is Japan's only institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs throughout the world.  To cultivate friendship and ties between Japan and the world, the Japan Foundation creates global opportunities to foster friendship, trust, and mutual understanding through culture, language, and dialogue. The Japan Foundation was established in October 1972 as a special legal entity supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In October 2003, it was reorganized as an independent administrative institution. Based on a government endowment of 78 billion yen, the activities of the Japan Foundation are financed by annual government subsidies, investment revenue, and donations from the private sector.

Heron Arts

Heron Arts was founded in 2013 by Mark Slee, an active member of San Francisco's creative community, organizing events since the mid-2000s. Prior to Heron Arts, Slee was a member of Facebook's product design and development team. He is joined in 2015 by directors Noah Antieau and Tova Lobatz, who are pursuing ambitious programming that will encompass installations and experiential interactive environments, alongside traditional gallery exhibitions. Antieau has been involved in the arts for two decades. He founded Red Truck Gallery in New Orleans and annually curates a section of the LA Art Show, which he has dubbed Littletopia. Lobatz was formerly the youngest director of a prominent gallery in San Francisco and founded the public arts organization Art City. In the summer of 2014, she was the head curator of the highly successful public art advertising takeover Way Out West. Collectively the three hope to provide San Francisco with a fresh outlook on contemporary beauty in the arts.

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