Brainwash festival & de Brakke Grond present: Thomas Ryckewaert

Move 37

March 2016. AlphaGo, a deep neural network developed by Google’s Deepmind, challenges the world champion of Go, Lee Sedol. Go is the oldest board game in the world, invented in China about 3.000 years ago. The number of possible positions in a Go game is larger than the amount of atoms in the universe - mere computational power is useless; intuition and creativity are much more important qualities for a Go player. Therefore nobody expects the machine to beat the human. But in March 2016 the implausible happens: AlphaGo beats Sedol 4 – 1 and hits the front page of Nature.



AlphaGo’s 37th move in the second game is crucial and hits like a bomb. The computer comes up with a solution no human being could have imagined, Sedol leaves his chair and when he returns he looks pale as a ghost. The live commentators fall silent and the image seems to freeze. In this moment of defeat and wonder the radical weirdness of A.I. stares us in the face: highly intelligent, creative but also completely alien.

In ‘Move 37’, Thomas Ryckewaert takes this moment as the starting point for a lecture performance of phenomena that are beyond human imagination. With cosmologist Thomas Hertog he presents an unusual lecture performance on the radically weird. They join on a trip through the dark, cool horror of the intelligent machine, the beauty of fading conventions on what is human at all, through time and space warped in black holes. In this lecture performance nothing is what it seems, human becomes alien, the computer intuitive, perception is deceived and the robot dreams.



"Not just your average lecture performance, but a David Lynch movie of sorts – in which inexplicable things create a permanent friction between the normal and the radically weird. Fascinating." 
- Etcetera

Direction & script Thomas Ryckewaert
Texts and performance Thomas Hertog & Thomas Ryckewaert
Dramaturgy Kristof Van Baarle
Scenography Erki De Vries
Light Giacomo Gorini, Janneke Donkersloot
Sound Jürgen De Blonde
Video Paul Van Caudenberg
Costumes Andrea Kränzlin
Director’s Assistant Sibran Sampers
Management Karen Feys
Coproducers Platform 0090, Instituut voor Theoretische Fysica (KULeuven), deSingel Internationale Kunstcampus, Het Laatste Bedrijf
Thanks to WPZimmer, BUDA
Supported by de Tax Shelter maatregel van de Belgische Federale Overheid, Gallop Tax Shelter en de Vlaamse Overheid.