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Desired Identities

Identités désirées

New Technology-based Metamorphosis in Japan

Métamorphoses et nouvelles technologies au Japon

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Published on Friday, May 29, 2020


In Japan, characters now invade social networks up to the point where a whole industry of character-camouflage is prompting millions of web users to merge with videogames-like creatures. How can we understand this phenomenon? What social changes does it contribute to shape and to mirror?During the course of an international workshop, researchers from various disciplines are invited to share their experiences and outcomes concerning this phenomenon, which has been stamped kyara-ka, “transforming into a character” (Aihara Hiroyuki, 2007). It is now giving birth to what Nozawa Shunsuke (2013) calls “an emerging art of self–fashioning”. Based on elaborate techniques of disguises, the kyara-ka phenomenon covers a variety of communication strategies and practices. Exploring all the aspects of this “thingification of humans”, the workshop will reflect on how and why a growing number of people market themselves as characters.


Online organization

A live streaming event

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28, starting at 12:00 p.m. (noon, CEST time), pre-recorded videos of each presentation in English (and with subtitles in English) will be streamed online, one after another, following the schedule, in order to foster the excitement of a real-time event. Connect here to attend the event: YouTube Desired Identities (https://tinyurl.com/ydgwtg2k). Or on the museum website:  http://www.quaibranly.fr 

Online meetings in public chat-rooms

At the end of each panel, the lecturers will log-in online for question and answer sessions in a public chat-room. To attend the chat meetings, attendees are requested to register (for free) on this anonymous Google form: https://ti-nyurl.com/y8yxjff6  After registering, attendees will receive invitations to join the lecturers and share 20 minutes of discussion.  For those who won’t be able to register, just click on the url indicated in the Program and connect directly to each Chat Meeting. 

A fully recorded conference

For those who won’t be able to attend the LiveStreaming event, no worry: after being streamed, each video will automatically be put online, in free access, on the YouTube channel of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac and on the museum website: http://www.quaibranly.fr However, during the LiveStreaming, two art videos will become public, never to be seen again.  Also, during the LiveStreaming, attendees will be able to meet through the YouTube ChatBox and post comments in real time. The comments will disappear automatically at the end of each presentation, thus making the LiveStreaming event more lively: we want it to be a shared experience of exchanges through different time zones.


Digital International Conference organized by the ERC-Funded Research Project “Emotional Machines: The Technological Transformation of Intimacy in Japan” (EMTECH) in cooperation with the Department of Research and Higher Education of the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

Saturday 27 June 2020

12:00–17:20  Live on the YouTube Channel of musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

  • 12:00-12:10  Philippe CHARLIER (Department of Research and Higher Education of musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, France) Welcome Speech – “How to Make Love with a Ghost?
  • 12:10–12:20  Liudmila BREDIKHINA & Agnès GIARD: Can’t Stop “Me” Anymore (short film, 2020) 
  • 12:20–12:30 Superflux (Anab JAIN & Jon ARDERN): Trigger Warning (short film, 2018)
  • 12:30–13:10  Dominique BOULLIER - Keynote (Sciences Po, CEE, France): “Extension of the Domain of Fake
  • 13:10–13:30 Chat Meeting (20 mn) 
  • 13:30–14:00  Lunch Break (30 mn)

Panel: High-tech and kyara-ka

  • 14:00–14:30 Akihiko SHIRAI (GREE VR Studio Lab, Japan): Research and Development for Avatar-Driven Virtual Society in VR4.0 Era
  • 14:30–15:00 Patrick W. GALBRAITH (Senshū University, Japan): “Character, Culture, Platform: Locating Emotional Technology in Contemporary Japan
  • 15:00–15:20 Chat Meeting (20 mn) 
  • 15:20–16:00 Coffee Break (40 mn)

Panel: Avatars and Self-Presentation

  • 16:00–16:30  Alain DELLA NEGRA & Kaori KINOSHITA Spotting “Tsuma” (short film, 2019)
  • 16:30–17:00  Agnès GIARD (Freie Universität Berlin, EMTECH, Germany): “Becoming an Avatar in a Japanese Love Game: Female Identity and Desired Alienation
  • 17:00–17:20  Chat Meeting (20 mn)  

Sunday 28 June 2020  

12:00–17:20   Live on the YouTube Channel of musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac 

Panel: Kyara-ka and Embodiment

  • 12:00–12:30  Shunsuke NOZAWA (Hokkaido University, Japan): “The Seiyūesque: the Layering of Agency and the Labor of Characterization
  • 12:30–13:00 Debra J. OCCHI (Miyazaki International College, Japan): “Kyara-ka Characterizations, Technologies, and Tensions of Embodiment for Local Tokusatsu Action Heroes in Miyazaki’s Himukaizer Media Mix
  • 13:00–13:20 Chat Meeting (20 mn)
  • 13:20–14:00 Lunch Break (40 mn)

PanelVirtualTuber and Visual Transgendering

  • 14:00–14:30  Edmond ERNEST DIT ALBAN (McGill University, Canada): Kyara-ka as a Queering Process? From Queer Animation to Online VTubers Personas
  • 14:30–14:45  Lou RAMBERT PREISS Les Zumains / DOLLER (short film, 2017)
  • 14:45–15:15  HOLOGRAPHIC (VTubers, Tōkyō University & Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Japan): “The Babiniku Phenomenon in Japan: when Men Metamorphose into Bishōjo Characters
  • 15:15–15:35  Chat Meeting (20 mn) 
  • 15:35–16:00  Coffee Break (25 mn)

PanelHatsune Miku and Vocaloid Metamorphoses

  • 16:00–16:30 Rafal ZABOROWSKI (King’s College London, United Kingdom): “Virtually Authentic: Co-creating Hatsune Miku
  • 16:30–17:00 Cody POULTON (University of Victoria, Canada): “Performative Metamorphoses: Hatsune Miku and 3.5 Dimension Culture
  • 17:00–17:20  Chat Meeting (20 mn)


Conference Organized by:  

  • Elena Giannoulis
  • Agnès Giard
  • Berthold Frommann

Coordination by: 

Language: English 

Contact: All questions should be emailed to agnes.giard@fu-berlin.de





  • Saturday, June 27, 2020
  • Sunday, June 28, 2020


  • Japan, character, identity, avatar, game, cosplay, digital


  • Agnès Giard
    courriel : aniesu [dot] giard [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Giard Agnes
    courriel : aniesu [dot] giard [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Desired Identities », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Friday, May 29, 2020, https://doi.org/10.58079/14y6

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