Composer/artist Ryoji Ikeda has been on a roll lately, mounting massive immersive audiovisual experiences. His aesthetic talent, in crisp blacks and whites and SONAR-like pings above oceans of glitching noise, is in spinning operettas of data. The latest project, which closed at the start of this month at Berlin’s Kraftwerk, pulled apart the data from a car. As brand integration, it’s not quite a winner for subtlety, literally working from the components of a Honda Civic, but Ikeda’s unique stamp carries the day. His work is almost a showcase for contrast ratio, and sure enough top-notch projectors make that light and dark necessarily bold. (Credit to projectiondesign F32s, at 7500:1 contrast and 8000 lumens, reports creativeapplications.)
One of my fondest art memories of last year was spending time at Ikeda’s Transfinite at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. This single show helped cement the Armory’s place on the map for installations and contemporary art, not just its traditional art shows. Its success was in creating an environment that felt oddly like a public park, enclosed indoors – very much not the thing you’d expect from a digital art installation. I saw couples making out, children running around and dancing across projected patterns, young people staring into space in quiet meditation, lying aside friends as if at a picnic. It had the feeling of the modernist plaza, a space that in its abstract severity seemed to produce an open container for whatever people chose. So, it’s worth revisiting those works, too.
Whatever the work, though, Ikeda’s designs are demonstrating real staying power, in a fusion of visual and sonic aesthetic sense, in digital punctuation.
And more on data.anatomy, from Designboom: