The squid’s body surface has unique cells which contain a pigment called chromatophores.

We stimulated the chromatophores of squid by sending sound signals of accompanied music to its body through electronic probes and made an experimental music video/performance.

In contrast with the standard displays, our display only exists in a specific location and time because of the requirement of freshness. However, the limitation proposes the geographical variation of displays according to the different types of squids. In this sense, the squid display is a video output device made in the ocean. Thus, the decrease of biodiversity directly means the reduction of visual expressions.

The idea of Umwelt [Uexküll, 1934] leads that animal consciousness cannot be returned to objective science. Squid is said to have a sense of sound through the skin. Also, since the structure of the photoreceptor in the retina of the squid is different from humans, it is speculated that squids perceive a different world from us  [Godfrey-Smith, 2016]. However, if we could moderate (e.g., refrigerated) their movement alive (currently, we assassinate them to fix the body), we might interweave our message (i.e., sound signals) with the primal pattern generated by squids.

The squid display is an attempt to visualize a piece of music as an electric signal. In the same time, our approach also highlights the common points that all species use an electrical signal for communication.

A trial of this work

Live performance at 404 festival

Another trial


Juppo Yokokawa, Haruki Muta, Ryo Adachi, Hiroshi Ito, Kazuhiro Jo, “A Pixel-Free Display Using Squid’s Chromatophores” Art Machines: International Symposium on Computational Media Art Proceedings. School of Creative Media City University of Hong Kong, pp118‒119, Jan. 2019

横川十帆,城一裕,“イカの色素胞を用いたピクセルフリーなディスプレイの提案”,第38回 JSSA 先端芸術音楽創作学会 会報 Vol.11 No.1 pp.1‒4, Mar. 2019

Juppo Yokokawa, Kazuhiro Jo, “An Alternative Display Using Squid’s Chromatophores”, Art in the Anthropocene, Dublin. June 2019

横川十帆,城一裕,“ケンサキイカの色素胞を用いた音の可視化手法の提案”,情報処理学会 第 123 回音 楽情報科学・第 127 回音声言語情報処理合同研究発表会,京都,2019/6