やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』 / Yakushimaru Etsuko – “I’m Humanity”

やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』 /  Yakushimaru Etsuko – “I’m Humanity”

Ars Electronica STARTS Prize 2017 Grand Prize Winner


I’m Humanity  became the first song in human history to be released in the three formats digital music distribution, CD, and genetically-modified microorganism.

やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』 / Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity”





*Contact us  –  info@yakushimaruetsuko.com










わたしは人類 滅んじゃった









りんごは赤い 赤いは信号

止まれ 止まれ 進化よ止まれ















陸海空未開の地 いつか見た未来のシーン

3・2・1期待の星 進化した未来のシーン


善と悪と裏と表 0と1と光と影

アラアラこんにちは イエスイエスまたあいましょう

いっぱいあったな 記憶はここにあるんだな








わたしは人類 はじめまして





“I’m Humanity”


All the happiness there was

All the lovers we swore love with

How did all this happen?

I’m Humanity, and I’ve gone extinct



Don’t tell me it was a mistake

It sure doesn’t feel like it was

Here’s a story of love

Once upon a time

There was an old man and an old woman

The two picked apples and ate them

Apples are red

Red is the stoplight

Stop, stop

Evolution, stop


I want to blame this on love

I want to blame this on love


Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it

Stop it, stop it, stop the evolution

Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it

Stop it, stop it, don’t stop it


I want to blame this on love (Stop it, stop it, stop the evolution)

I want to blame this on love (Stop it, stop it, don’t stop it)


The sea, the mountain, the wind, the birds, the sky, the stars, and your voice

With A and G and C and T, DNA makes who you are

A pristine area of land, sea, and sky, a scene from the future you’ve seen before

3, 2, 1, the star of hope, a scene from an evolved future


Good and evil, heads and tails, 0 and 1, light and shadow

God, god, hello, yes, yes, see you again

There were so many here, the memories are here


I want to blame this on love (Stop it, stop it, stop the evolution)

I want to blame this on love (Stop it, stop it, don’t stop it)


All the happiness there was

All the lovers we swore love with

How did all this happen?

I’m Humanity, good to meet you





やくしまるえつこ 『わたしは人類』 ステートメント









地上に古くから生息するシアノバクテリアの一種である微生物「シネココッカス」の塩基配列を用いてポップミュージックを制作し、さらにその楽曲情報をコドン変換して長いDNAシークエンスの設計図にし、 人工合成したDNAをこの微生物の染色体に組み込んで『わたしは人類』とする。 これは、”人類滅亡後の音楽”をコンセプトにしたプロジェクトであり、 新しい音楽――伝達と記録、変容と拡散――の形を探る試みである。












“I’m Humanity” is Yakushimaru Etsuko’s project based on the concept of “post-humanity music.” It seeks to find the shape of new music ―how it is transmitted, recorded, mutated, and diffused. Humans have always continued its path through history by means of transmission and recording, and the history of music is also one that exists within the results of transmission, recording, mutation, and diffusion. Music that is sung or played is transmitted, copied, and performed to others via word of mouth, as scores, through radio, records, and CDs, or cloud computing. This music travels far and wide, beyond space and time as it goes through mutations as well in that process. The deep connection between music and media is that of transmission and recording, and can be thought of as its genes and DNA. In “l’m Humanity”, Yakushimaru Etsuko makes pop music with the use of the nucleic acid sequence of Synechococcus, which is a type of cyanobacteria that has long existed. The musical information is converted into a genetic code, which was used to create a long DNA sequence comprising three connected nucleic acid sequences. The DNA was artificially composited and incorporated into the chromosomes of the microorganism. This genetically-modified microorganism with music in its DNA is able to continuously self-replicate. So even if humanity as we know it becomes extinct, it will live on, waiting for the music within it to be decoded and played by the species that replaces humanity.






When thinking about the lifespan of recording media, for example, CDs are said to last for decades and acid-free paper is said to last for centuries. In comparison, DNA’s lifespan as a recording media is five hundred thousand years⎯physicochemically speaking. Because the lifespan of DNA is so long, it has great potential as a recording media. On the other hand, it is not rare for nucleic acid sequences to mutate, and naturally this leads to changes in the genetic information. In that respect, in the history of “diffusion of music,” in which “mutation” has also had an important role in addition to “transmission” of information, the uniqueness of the “mutation” of nucleic acid sequences was strikingly similar. In the lyrics of *I’m Humanity*, the microorganism I’m Humanity sings “Stop the evolution―don’t stop it.” Although mutation spurs evolution, it also means that a species changes. Perhaps I’m Humanity is caught between its own evolution and its fear that its evolving could mean the loss of nucleic acid sequences with musical information, which would make it impossible for  I’m Humanity to sing the song anymore.





I’m Humanity  became the first song in human history to be released in the three formats digital music distribution, CD, and genetically-modified microorganism.


そして、楽曲発表と同時に、遺伝子組換えでできた新たな微生物それ自体を、2016年9月から茨城県で開催された国際芸術祭「KENPOKU ART 2016」のテーマソングとして展示。この展示において、日本の経済産業大臣が初めて「遺伝子組換え微生物」の一般公開展示の大臣認可を行いました。


At the same time as the release of the song, I’m Humanity, the new microorganism created through genetic modification itself was exhibited as the “theme song” of KENPOKU ART 2016, an international art festival that was held in Ibaraki Prefecture from September, 2016. In this exhibit, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry granted ministerial permission for “a genetically-modified microorganism” to be exhibited to the public for the first time.



In December, 2016, the genetically-modified microorganism of I’m Humanity was exhibited at Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM]. There, I’m Humanity was performed live by Soutaiseiriron, a band spearheaded by Etsuko Yakushimaru. In this performance, the transposon (the genes that transfer on the genome and cause mutation)  based on the DNA of Synechococcus, was planted in the score of I’m Humanity. That segment was performed in an arrangement to make it seem like actual mutation was taking place.


やくしまるえつこ (WIRED.JP やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』インタビュー より)


Whatever it may be, the work I make is separate from myself, as it feels more to me like a piece only becomes a piece when it is interpreted. If there is nobody to interpret it, a piece is nothing but a sequence of information. In that sense, it can be said that the essence of a piece is in how and by what or whom that information is interpreted. That is precisely why it is more interesting to be open in all directions.

How is music converted when it is interpreted by machine? How does artificial intelligence understand the music? Or what color would the music appear as when it is passed through the filter of extraterrestrial life? And what kind of differences in interpretation would there be between such observers? The wish to have this music analyzed by post-human species originates from these ideas.”

 – Etsuko Yakushimaru

Excerpt from the WIRED.JP Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity” interview




やくしまるえつこ (WIRED.JP やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』インタビュー より)


I wanted to make the microorganism say “I’m Humanity” because the issue of what is defined as humanity isn’t important. Humanity’s definition of something human is unimportant to organisms that will emerge after humanity’s end.

 – Etsuko Yakushimaru

Excerpt from the WIRED.JP Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity” interview


やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』はアルスエレクトロニカ『STARTS PRIZE』グランプリを受賞。

Ars Electronica STARTS Prize 2017 Grand Prize Winner Etsuko Yakushimaru – “I’m Humanity”

2017年9月8日:Prix Ars Electronica GALA 2017  (at Brucknerhaus Linz)


(撮影・協力:Ars Electronica、tom mesic、みらい制作、REALROCKDESIGN)





金沢21世紀美術館がポップミュージック / バイオアート作品をコレクションとして収蔵するのは、同館史上初めて。









ここに収録された「わたしは人類」を聴いてみればいい。この歌詞の、それから音の、届けようとしている熱量はほとんど圧倒的で、あなたは「ああ、フィクションには力があるな」とうなずかざるを得ないだろう。それから、「これはフィクションではないな」と悟って、そのことに愕然とするだろう。あなたはその歴史の実在する「世界」に行って、戻ったのだ。あなたは人類史の外側にあっさりと出たのだ。――古川日出男 (作家)



Exhibition of “I’m Humanity”

2023:Deutsches Hygiene-Museum: ‘OF GENES AND HUMAN BEINGS’, Dresden

2022-2023:Chronus Art Center ‘Entangled: ‘bio/media’, Shanghai

2022-2023:‘Navigating the Digital Realm’, Brussel

2022:Palácio Sinel de Cordes ‘NEAR+FUTURES+QUASI+WORLDS’, Lisbon

2022:Biblioteca Salaborsa ‘NEAR + FUTURES + QUASI + WORLDS’, Bologna

2020:STATE Studio ‘NEAR + FUTURES + QUASI + WORLDS’, Berlin

2020年6月8日~2020年9月27日: GYRE GALLERY・<ヒストポリス -絶滅と再生- 展>


2019年9月14日 ~2019年12月19日:金沢21世紀美術館「開館15周年記念 現在地:未来の地図を描くために[1]」








・やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』 / Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity”



相対性理論『調べる相対性理論』 / Soutaiseiriron “Shiraberu Soutaiseiriron”




やくしまるえつこ『わたしは人類』 (CD入りシャーレ作品) / Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity”  (CD in the UV-printed petri dish)









・WIRED Audi INNOVATION AWARD 2019 受賞者インタビュー やくしまるえつこ「この世界に“バグ”を生み出す。それはいつか、進化になる。」


WIRED.jp やくしまるえつこインタビュー  微生物に「わたしは人類」と言わせたい──やくしまるえつこ、微生物と音楽をめぐる対話」

WIRED.JP Etsuko Yakushimaru “I’m Humanity” interview  “I wanted to make the microorganism say ‘I’m Humanity’” 


・CINRA.NET 「今月の顔」やくしまるえつこ




Etsuko Yakushimaru’s “I’m Humanity” was featured in Newsweek Global.











経済産業省商務情報政策局生物化学産業課 課長 西村秀隆





独立行政法人製品評価技術基盤機構バイオテクノロジーセンター 所長 木井保夫





首都大学東京 教授 花田智


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