The Ikigai Machine


The Ikigai Machine is a retro sci-fi story of an inventor born in a silent world where there is no air/sound. The inventor invents a machine that creates an atmosphere and experiences sound for the first time.


Myles de Bastion


The Ikigai Machine




Experimental Video (includes non-narrative types)


Against a black background, there are white bubbles moving around the video. The title appears in the middle of the video, "The Ikigai Machine" by Myles de Bastion.

Everything is black and white in the video.

Once the title disappears, the black and white Saturn appears and the captions are indicated in the bottom. "In a different time, a different dimension. there is a place far away. It looks like home. But there is no air, not like it used to." Meanwhile the captions are indicated, there is a hand painting around inside the Saturn.

When the Saturn scene is over, an white image of an ear with sounds appears. The caption shows up and saying, "Without air, there was no sound." Then an image of barrier appears and covers the ear.

The image disappears, all five cloned men appear and standing in a line. They wear a nice uniform which is a black vest with a white long sleeve with khakis pants. Also, they wear a full face mask. The captions are indicated in the bottom, "The people who live there, were not unlike us." Then other four men disappear and there is one man with a full face mask on standing. He raises his hands and signs, "Signing." Meanwhile he signs, the caption appears and says, "Except, they spoke with their hands." After signing with the caption, he showed a pill and the caption says, "Until, they invented a way." Then he puts it into his mouth and swallows.

After swallowing, there is a woman with a full face mask on showing up with the same man. She wears the same as uniform as the man's. They raise their hands and sign, "Signing." The caption shows, "To transmit thoughts." White outlined circles appear in the background and whooshes fast. When the circles stop, both nod at each other.

There is another man with facial hair and wearing a full face mask on showing up with them. They stand in a line and sign, "Signing." The caption appears and says, "They all, became telepathic." then the white outlined circles appear again and whoosh fast in the background. They keep signing.

When three people disappear, there is a white outlined clock appears and the caption says, "Generations passed." Two men with a full face mask on showing up on the side behind the clock and signing, "Signing." One man with facial hair behind the man puts down that man's sign down Meanwhile he does that, the caption shows up and says, "They forgot their language spoken with hands." Then both men disappears.

When the clock scene is over, five cloned men showing up again and standing in the line. The white outlined circles appear in the background and whoosh fast again. Meanwhile it happens, the caption says, "Their technology helped them to communicate."

After the five men disappear, two men and one woman appear with a full face mask on and they try to take the mask off. Meanwhile they take it off, the caption says, "But it could not fix their world without air." They struggle to breathe and then put the mask back on. They finally can breathe and they look sad.

A baby showing after three people and sitting with a pacifier in the mouth. The baby wear the same uniform, too. The caption says, "One day, someone was born and the invention did not work for them." Then someone's hand puts a pill into the baby's mouth and swallows. After swallowing, the white outlined clock shows in the face of baby and then the baby disappears. A little girl with a full face mask on shows in the clock and she looks happy. She wears the same uniform as others. When the clock disappears, the caption says, "Instead of thoughts clearly transmitted." Then two parents with a full face mask on showing behind the girl and struggling to communicate with her but they look so frustrated. The captions say, "There was only silence. It was deafening. The parents did their best with primitive gestures. Speaking with hands was crude, not like it used to be." Then both parents disappear and the girl looks sad now. The caption appears and says, "Most stayed away." After the girl being sad, the clock appears and the girl is behind it. She looks frustrated in the back and the caption says, "Isolated and sad, years passed, frustration grew." The girl disappears and the clock still runs form faster to slower.

After the clock disappears, one man and one woman with a full face mask on act silly and mock. The caption says, "They proclaimed, one whose thoughts cannot be seen, cannot be friends." Then they stop and just stand right there.

In the black background, the caption appears and says, "The one with unseen thoughts spent most of their time alone." Then several white outlined images of tools keep appearing and the captions say, "They liked to build things. Nimble and deft were their hands. Intricate structures, complex networks of electric wires. They built a machine, without knowing what it was for. Switching the machine on. At first there was nothing.... Then slowly a hiss..........."

One woman and one man wear a full face mask on and stand. There is a full circle of rainbow in the background and both look around. The caption says, "The room filled with a new sensation." Then the man takes off the mask and the woman is shocked. The caption says, "Sound! Never experienced before!" A woman follows and takes her mask off. The caption says, "Excited, they showed their invention to the parents who marveled." They try to breathe and finally can breathe. They look happy. They disappear and then an white image of people with question marks above with the caption saying, "Yet no-one really understood how sound could be used. At least not yet." Then the image disappears. A new white outlined image of a bulb and the caption says, "Only the one with thoughts unseen, had an inkling what to do."

After the circle of rainbow in the background, the images of tools appear again and the caption says, "They built another machine. It could be held, it had strings. The strings could be moved, to make many different sounds. They learned how to play the string machine. The sounds meant something, they felt like something."

Then an white image of people with shapes of heart above and the caption says, "Others who heard it too, marveled at their own new feelings." When the image disappears, the Saturn comes back again with white shapes hearts. The caption says, "People all over the world came to learn of the machines and their inventor.

In the black background, the white caption says, "They gathered around the inventor and gave them whatever was needed." Then 4 white outlined images of pyramids of cubes and the caption says," the inventors showed people how to make their own machines."

Then the Saturn comes back again with the white outlined clock that runs fast. The captions say, "Generations passed. The world had air, once more."

Everything in the video becomes color now.

Two men and one woman take their full face mask off and they can be able to breathe. They look very happy now. After they disappear, an white image of a person standing on the circles. The captions say, "The inventor never was able to communicate in the usual way but it didn't matter. They had given the ultimate gift and was loved by the people for it. They were never again, lonely."

In the black background, the caption says, "The End. (APPLAUSE)" with two white hands shaking.




Myles de Bastion, “The Ikigai Machine,” RIT/NTID Dyer Arts Center , accessed May 28, 2023,