Thinking of math, most of you remember sitting in class and drowsing off into to the O-zone, wondering when the class will finally reach its end.
There might have been one or two students intrigued by the way the numbers would fit perfectly into the equation, only to either stop it or enlarge it.
Adding the physics and biological perspective of sound to the equation, your senses are put to a most intriguing test. The eyes watch as the absolutely white screen becomes alive with consistent geometrical structures becoming numbers and a black screen, making one think of how the brain should focus. Coming into the surroundings, a sound makes its way through the quietness of blank nothingness.
Born in 1966, in the Gifu capital of Gifu prefecture, Ryoji Ikeda had made what we disliked most in school a most intriguing combustion of senses, putting the idea of a matrix into the sphere of art. Our imagination and sense of thinking is altered by the digital world. Ikeda takes the perception of numbers and sounds and pushes it to another level. Binary patterns of 0s and 1s, have been developed into a project ‘test pattern’ (2008 – ), scrutinizing the relationship between the odds which are yet also similar. With the way he combines sound and math, his creations are another way of understanding the imperceptible multi-substance of figures that infiltrates our world .
Installations of large-scales series called ‘spectra’ (2001 – ) happened in Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Nagoya. These engaged a blinding light of white ‘nothingness’ to be seen as a sculptural meaning, and in the process, creating a transformation of public locations. Before continuing with projects such as ‘datamatics’; consisting of structural sound movement in 2006, Ikeda has collaborated with Carsten Nicolai on a project ‘cyclo’ (2000 – ). ‘Cyclo’ makes what we find most irritating in the breakdown of our software and computer programmed music a point of scrutiny with the help of music. Live performances, Cds and books share similarities with ‘cyclo’, in a sense that they are visualized via cinematographic modules for simultaneous sound visualization (Raster- noton, 2001, 2011)
Ikedas’ exhibitions were held alongside his performances at prestigious spaces counting Auditorium Parco della Musica, Roma, ICC, Tokyo; Art Bejing; Göteborg Biennale; Palazzo Grassi, Venezia; Amrmory Park Avenue, New York; Australian Center for the Moving Image, Melbourne, MIT, Boston; Ars Electronica Center, Linz; Centre Pompidou, Parisl. Galleries and museums where his pieces were performed were also exhibited at the Tate Modern, London; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Singapora Art Museum; Museo de Arte, Bogota. Festivals for which are not to be forgotten such as Sónar Festival Barcelona; Elektra Festival Montreal; Festival d’Automne Paris; Grec Festival; Crossing the Line Festival, New York, including electronic music festivals and clubs.
text: Julie Pazderka